‘Get your children to attend your old schools’
This is what we do at Govt College, Ughelli, says Obayuwana
The public presentation of a memoir of Mr. Festus Alfred Oladimeji Oseni, a civil engineer who retired from the federal civil service as a director and clocked 83 yesterday became a forum for remembering Nigeria as it used to be before civilisation kicked us in the face.
Specifically, as most of the elders who attended most of the best public schools from Government College Ibadan, Ibadan Grammar School, Kings College, etc, began to boast about the pre-eminence of their old schools.
Mr. Festus Obayuwana, an old student of Government College Ughelli took up the serious issue beyond the banters of the octogenarians and asked why the elders who constitute the elite corps have not been getting admissions for their children in their old schools they remembered with fondness at the book launch.
Obayuwana said it was interesting to hear how people have been praising their old schools. But it would have been more interesting to know why the old students at the launch had not been keen on allowing their children to attend their old schools as a way of auditing quality of the old schools that produced most of the prominent elders that graced the occasion.
The Benin man invited everyone to note that old students of the Government College, Ughelli had been serious in that direction by paying attention to the affairs of the old school to the extent that they could seek admissions for their wards there.
The celebrant and author of the book, Pa Oseni is a product of Government College, Ibadan and most old boys of the famous college stimulated the debate that Obayuwana rounded off with his poser on what old boys had been doing to restore the lost glory of the schools.
Prominent elders on the occasion included Chief Ajibola Ogunshola, former Chairman of The Punch who reviewed the book; Ambassador Dapo Fawofora and his wife; Adebisi Sonubi, an engineer, Chairman of the occasion; Mrs. F.N Saraki, mother of the Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki; (She hails from Owo); Chief Sola Ogunleye, the Olubola of Owo, who represented the Olowo of Owo, in Ondo State; Olanrewaju, Olateju Olagbegi.
Others are Justice Adesuyi Olateru-Olagbegi, Chief (Mrs.) Dupe Afe Babalola, wife of Are Afe Babalola who represented her husband as chief presenter of the memoir; Mr. Adebayo Ibirogba, Justice and Mrs. Alabi.
The 264-page book published by the University of Ibadan Press was reviewed by Chief Ogunshola, who concluded that the book is rich in adventures and fact files about engineering, planning and religion.
Pa Oseni, the pioneer Director of Development and Engineering Services had previously served at the Federal Ministry of Works’ Planning Department of the Highways Division of the Ministry. A product of Government College, Ibadan, University College Ibadan, Queen’s University, Belfast, Northern Ireland and University of Pittsburg, Pennsylvania, U.S.A where he obtained B.Sc (Civil Engineering), M.Sc (Civil Engineering & MPW (Public Works) degrees.
The book contains Pa Oseni’s many parts including The Yoruba in Me, The Engineer in Me, The Civil Servant in Me, The Politician in Me, The Adventurer in Me and The Hope in Me.
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