FLASHBACK: How Oba Ajagungbade III financially rescued Ogbomoso Baptist Association to found secondary school

Image caption: Late Oba Oladunni Oyewumi Ajagungbade III

FLASHBACK: How Oba Ajagungbade III financially rescued Ogb Baptist Association to found secondary school


In years past getting approval for founding of secondary schools was a herculean task. The British colonialists had shown preference for Nigerians to be low cadre staff and to find career in pastoral work. Thus, stringent conditions were set up for the establishment of secondary schools in the country. It is part of the reason a community like Ogbomoso could not get a secondary school about 100 years after its first primary school (Baptist Day School, Osupa) was founded, in 1855. It was in 1952 that the first secondary school was founded – Ogbomoso Grammar School. It took the efforts of all the people of the town represented by Ogbomoso Parapo and all elites then, home and abroad, to drive the vision to success. It would take another seven years before the second secondary school – Ogbomoso Girls High School – after equally jaw-breaking striving got off the ground. The third secondary school – Ogbomoso High School – did not come about until 1968.


Now, the Ogbomoso Baptist Association of the Nigerian Baptist Convention wanted a secondary school of their own too. In the history of educational development in Ogbomoso the Baptist Mission cannot be waved aside – it has the first primary school and the first degree awarding institution not only in the community but throughout the country – The Nigerian Baptist Theological Seminary, NBTS. It started awarding degree in 1948!

So, the Baptists in ogbomoso now wanted a secondary school.

According to the “Foundational History” of Ogbomoso Baptist High School, contained in the programme for the school’s 50th anniversary organized by the alumni body, a committee was set up headed by Reverend S.A. Ige (minister-in-charge of Ijeru Baptist Church, Ogbomoso). Other members of the committee were Reverend Okesiji (First Baptist Church, Okelerin), Reverend Joseph Ogunmoriyele (Ayegun Baptist Church) and Reverend E.O. Fanibe (Ori-Oke Baptist Church).

Other members of the committee were Reverend D.W. Adetoye (Ebenezer Baptist Church), Deacon Ayegboyin and Mr. D.A. Isola (CEO of Charity Photo).

The committee set out out for the daunting task. Land was acquired through the then Onpetu of Ijeru Oba Solomon Oladeji Atoyebi.

Now, the finance. Part of the requirements according to the source is possession of a minimum of forty pounds in bank account. That was unattainable for the Baptist mission as it had run out of fund. It sought assistance from Ogbomoso indigenes across the country especially in the northern part of the country but the effort was not successful. (Forty pounds must be a huge money since the whole of the Baptist could not cough out the fund)!

Their effort was thus going down the drain because of this inability to raise the forty pound minimum amount required by the Ministry of Education. It was at that juncture that the then Prince Oladunni Oyewumi was approached. He supported the dream without wasting time, pronto, he made available the forty pounds. His intervention cleared the path for the take off of the school, which became the fourth secondary school in today’s Ogbomoso zone.

Shortly after, Prince Oladunni Oyewumi was installed as the Soun of Ogbomosoland, becoming over time, His Imperial Majesty Oba Dr Oladunni Oyewumi Ajagungbade III JP, CON, CFR, and would reign for over forty eight years. What a coincidence! Forty pounds donation for a noble project, over forty years on the throne!

The school has today produced many great icons – state commissioners, local government chairmen, eminent scholars/academics, medical practitioners, engineers, lawyers and others making waves throughout the world and contributing immensely to human evolution.

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