Image caption: The Soun being presented with the award plaque by national president of OGSOSA Tunde Alagbe
Ogbomoso Gram Sch ex-students pay homage to Soun, charged to gibe school facelift
The Ogbomoso Grammar School old students have been charged, by the Soun of Ogbomosoland Oba Ghandi Afolabi Olaoye Orumogege III, to change the face of their alma mater and make it a model, noting the school “looks dusty, and the walls have fallen.”
Oba Olaoye who received the alumni association at his palace warmly in the presence of two Ilu chiefs the Areago High Chief Sobalaje Otolorin and the Iyalode High Chief Rebecca Ogundare, however expressed disappointment at the outlook of the school in terms of aesthetic.
The monarch who ascended the throne exactly a month ago had highlighted part of his vision for the development of the community disclosing a twenty five year development plan was being developed.
He remarked to actualize the plan every indigene of the city needs to contribute and play significant role within their sphere and it’s on this basis that he challenged the alumni of the premier secondary school in Ogbomoso to make it a model not only in terms of educational standard but also in terms of outlook.
Recall that the chopper that brought in the monarch on the day he was installed landed at Ogbomoso Grammar School field and so he must have had a good view of the school which helped him to form an opinion.
Articulating his plans the former pastor of the Redeemed Christian Church of God informed he attended Adventist Grammar School in Ede, Osun state, remarking the school has a very vibrant old students association.
“I didn’t have the opportunity to go to Ogbomoso Grammar School, I went to Adventist Grammar School Ede (that is where I met (Dr) Deji (Adeleke) and through him, the other Adelekes). My class, 1977 set is very very vibrant, we took up the challenge.”
The monarch now fired, “But then Ogbomoso Grammar School is there, it looks dusty, the walls are down, it doesn’t look beautiful, so, no matter anything you do in the place this one will still make it be an eyesore. So, one of the things we need to do is to be deliberate about the appearance of the school.
“Whether you like it or not if you have a first class brain if you go to an interview and you are dressed like a jerk you will not get that job. Because they will send you away. Appearance is important. You never get the second chance to erase a bad impression.”
Oba Olaoye therefore urged the alumni to change the face of the school, noting if the school have a more beautiful appearance other schools would be challenged to strive to improve theirs too.
“One of the things I want you to do is to contribute to painting the walls of the school, that alone can attract people to the school. Let the appearance of your school improve, let your school challenge Ogbomoso High School, let it challenge other high schools so that they will all look beautiful. Let’s change our outlook, if we start small small that is how we will change this town.”
He asserted that to achieve “the change we desire requires just a little effort, and changing the psyche of our people,” pointing out, “If you live abroad and you get to a nice neighbourhood one of the things you notice is that the vegetation of the neighbourhood changes, well manicured, but if you go to black people neighbourhood (sorry I am a black man), you see the difference, everywhere is littered. But the difference is just that the white man, he has put in a little more effort, he puts litter where it is supposed to be, he cuts his grass, he makes the system works.”
The royal father added, “Let’s make sure Ogbomoso gets to where we want it, it may not be in one year, it may not be in two years but I am sure Ogbomoso is going to change.If you say you want to be a model you have to stand out, you can’t be doing what everybody is doing, we want this city to be a model and we want everybody to participate in making it show. Let your school challenge others, make it a model. One person can be a catalyst for change, so, let your school be a catalyst for how schools look in Ogbomoso. We need to change the psyche of the people.”
He further said, “As an instance the same people you enter plane with from abroad they were orderly at the point of departure but let them get to Ikeja, utter confusion. It is the people they see there, everyone is orderly so they become orderly but once they get to Nigeria they become disorderly again because they feel anything goes here. So, let’s try to make sure in ogbomoso that not anything goes. Our standard is our own standard not even Abuja standard. In our sphere of influence let everybody control it. If we all control our sphere of influence we will move there gradually.
“So, my first challenge is change the face of your school. Let it look nice so that the school stands out. That is my first challenge. Let your school challenge others. We paint the fences of our houses individually, how then can all of us not be able to gather to paint the fence of our school? The beauty of a school alone can awe you and you feel it is a standard school. Outlook is the bottom line, nowadays, they call it packaging, so, package your school, that is how we will know what stuff you are made of. This is a 1952 school! Let’s be Ogbomoso focused. This is what I am saying, everybody is waiting for government, the government doesn’t have the money, but the money is in our hands, if we contribute small, small it will be substantial.”
He challenged the alumni exco to be more aggressive in bringing more old students on board reiterating people are sentimental about their alma maters and will be willing to contribute to their developments if convinced just as he informed that in America the alumni are doing wonders in this aspect.
“In America, the alumni is the major source of funding because the alumni (in universities), they love their schools, they help their colleagues get jobs etc. The alumni give scholarships to students. So, look for people who are abroad, go after them aggressively, convince them to become part of your activities. What I am saying is, it does not require so much to change the face of our schools, if you can get 100 people living abroad to part with just 100 dollars (that is not much there but is a lot of money here, N100, 000) that is N10m.
“Your entrance gate make it beautiful. So, please, let’s do these, let’s develop this town, it is important. For me, if you can start that one I will use it as starting point to change schools in Ogbomoso. We want to do a lot of things.”
Speaking earlier, the national president of the association, Mr.Olatunde Alagbe (a member of the 1983 set), congratulated the Soun over his ascension to the throne pledging the allegiance and support of the body.
Alagbe assured the alumni will be willing at anytime to collaborate with the visionary monarch stressing his vision as enunciated aligns with theirs.
“On behalf of all alumni of Ogbomoso Grammar School, we bring greetings, we are happy over your ascension to the throne. The school, established in 1952 as you are aware Kabiyesi, is the premier school and we are trying up till now to maintain the quality, to maintain the standard, our focus as old students is development of our school, development of the teacher and welfare of students.”
He further said, “We marked our 70th anniversary last year, we have members that cut across Nigeria who are very active, not only indigenes, who are all doing well. We have come to congratulate you Kabiyesi, we have come to pledge our support and to assure that whatever is in our capability as an association we will be obliged to do, to support this palace. We pray God who put you on the throne will help you to surpass your predecessors. God will grant you wisdom and understanding to lead this big town.”
Enthusing many alumni of the school are doing great and contributing to national development in different spheres, he submitted, “We are just happy to be associated with you. Whenever the need arises we are going to run to you. The school has produced over 30,000 students, and we have made marks in different facets of life, we have people that occupied various positions before now and even currently. A former Chief of Defence Staff, Paul Dike is an alumnus, late Isiaka Adeleke, pioneer executive governor of Osun state, was an alumnus too, he was a very active member, there are others too, though not indigenes but are very proud to associate with this place. That is why we congratulated Senator Isiaka Adeleke’s brother, Governor Ademola Adeleke, who is now governor of Osun state, so that we can sustain the relationship we had with his late brother.”
The alumni subsequently presented to the monarch, a history book of the school, an award plaque and a congratulatory letter as souvenirs.
Meanwhile, in his response to Kabiyesi’s treatise, the alumni president assured, “We will surely work towards that.”
Among members in the alumni delegation are Barrister S.A. Muhammed – a member of the 1969 set who is national vice president/legal adviser, Mr.Isaac Oladejo Abodunrin (national PRO), Rev’d Niyi Adebayo, Mr.Oyekunle Gbenga Collins, Mr.Ademola Adebowale, Mr. Muyiwa Oke, Mr. Sunday Okediran (national treasurer), Dr. Tolani Adewumi (current principal) and Col Feyisayo Oladoye.
Before departing the alumni prayed earnestly for the Oba led by Rev’d Niyi Adebayo, founder and senior pastor of True Worshippers Church, Oke-Anu, Ogbomoso and proprietor of Zoe Group of Schools.