Alumni roll out drums to celebrate IBHS at 80
• Recognise Outstanding Alumnus’ Philanthropy
As part of activities to mark the 80th anniversary of their alma mater, which has transformed their lives to be of good to themselves and the society at large, dignitaries from all walks of life, led by its National president and industrialist, Chief Bode Amao, converged recently on Ibadan, the Oyo State capital, under the auspices of Old Boys’ Assocaition to celebrate 80 years of the establishment Ibadan Boys’ High School.
Activities marking the event kicked of on October 24, 2018 with commissioning of projects. The four- day event was rounded off with a gala/dinner night, where award of excellence was given out to outstanding alumni.The history of the school began with a visionary man, Chief Timothy ‘Layide Oyesina. With five pupils in a room in his house at Oke Bola, Ibadan on January 22, 1938, the founder of Ibadan Boys’ High School (IBHS), Chief Oyesina was an uncommon dreamer.
Armed with the Yoruba proverbial saying that uneasy lies the head that wears the crown, Chief Oyesina wasn’t a man who readily takes no for an answer. A disciplinarian and goal-getter, the IBHS founder was imbued with the rare gift of an enigma.Hardly had the school commenced with just five pupils within a spate of about four months than the Ibadan Native Administration saw the doggedness in him and granted him six plots on which he erected a school building.
As if that was not enough, a week or so later, he got more six plots to propagate mass literacy in Ibadan. That was how, at 34, Timothy Oyesina, started the school he named IBHS, the second oldest private secondary school in Nigeria (now public); the first being Aggrey Memorial Secondary School, Arochukwu, a co-education founded in 1931 by another educationist, Dr. Alvan Ikoku.
Prior to IBHS, Ibadan could only boast of the existence of Ibadan Grammar School and Government College, Ibadan established in 1913 and 1929 respectively. Curiously, admission to Ibadan Grammar School was strictly for all Church Missionary Society (CMS) missions across Nigeria because it was founded by Alexander Babatunde (A.B.) Akinyele, an Anglican Bishop, who had encouraged members of the CMS to establish a secondary school in the ancient city.
The GCI also founded by the Department of Education then in Lagos ensured that admittance was not exclusive to neither Ibadan indigenes nor residents hence the resolve of Chief Oyesina, an enterprising Ibadan indigene, to change the dynamics by admitting more of his fellow indigenes in order to promote mass education, providing educational opportunities to all eager-learners.
Decades down the line, the IBHS like every other public school had suffered neglect due to underfunding. It became worse-off, with attendant decrepit and dilapidated classrooms until recently when the Old Boys of the school came together to rescue it from its parlous state and rebrand it for quality learning environment.
A visitor to the Oke Bola area of the city will today be dumbfounded over the turnaround that had taken place in the last few weeks in the school, as activities to mark its 80 years which climaxed with the awards presentation to deserving old boys, past and present principals and other spirited members of the public, took off in grand style.
The IBHS today is a beauty to behold as the school fence, gate-house and drainages now wear a new look. There is also a carefully laid paved interlocking from the school gate to all the adjoining classrooms that leave visitors in awe? Other projects commissioned for the anniversary included but not limited to a multipurpose sports court, ICT facilities/administrative office, e-library, sick bay, water reticulation, renovated science laboratories, renovated Oyesina hall and so on.
The seed planted 80 years ago has now grown in leaps and bounds producing high-fliers in the society. Some of these men include two former Governors of the state- late Chief Kolapo Ishola who was Governor of Oyo state between 1991 and 1993; High Chief Rashidi Ladoja, the current Osi Olubadan of Ibadanland who was Governor between 2003-2007. A former President of the Central Council of Ibadan Indigenes (CCII) and President of IBHS Old Students Association, Chief Bode Amao; a retired Deputy Comptroller of Customs, Dr. Olusegun Agbaje; Basorun Reuben Famuyibo; Elder Dimeji Lawal and a Media Consultant, Mr. Taiwo Ogundipe.
The roll call of IBHSOBA, many of who are academics of repute, professionals in fields of human endeavours, captains of industries at home and abroad, included Mr. Olaseni Peters, Mr. Lanre Adesanya, Rear Admiral Abdulateef Akintola (rtd), a US based Professor of Psychiatry, Prof Moruf Adelekan, HRH Oba Johnson Adekunle Dehinbo, the Okemu of Ala-Ijebu, former President of CCII, Chief Bayo Oyero, MD, Solat Telecoms, Alhaji Abdulganiy Abdulhammid, and Chief Tunde Aluko who launched the magazine for N1million. It was naira rain at the event as individual alumnus and set leaders pledged millions for the second phase of the rehabilitation of other projects in the school.
One of the award recipients who is also an Old Boy of the school, Mallam Yusuf Alli, SAN, was specially recognised by the Asiwaju of Ibadanland, Chief Bode Amao as a distinguished alumnus for his ceaseless financial support to the school as a worthy ambassador of IBHS. Yusuf Ali, a passionate philanthropist according to Amao, has been using the vehicle of Yusuf Ali Foundation of which he is the founder and sole financier to intervene in many public institutions by donating to the scholarship worth N2.088million to 50 students of IBHS WAEC and NECO.
Ali, the current Vice President of the school, singlehandedly reconstructed the fence with gate of the school after it was pulled down by the government for road expansion on Oke Bola/Molete axis of the city.Others include special contributions to the success of 80th anniversary of IBHS and his latest promise at the grand finale celebration to take over renovation and complete rehabilitation of another building in the school.
For all these philanthropic gestures and others, Chief Amoo, who presented Ali with the award of excellence of the school for being its pillar of support, using his hard-earned wealth and professional feats to promote IBHS, also prayed God to repay him in multiple folds.
Other awardees included Alhaji Tiamiyu Ishola Bello, Dr. Robert Okojie, Senator Ladoja, Prof Chukwuka Okonjo, Obi of Ogwashi-Ukwu as oldest living principal. Oldest Old Boy award was given to 96-year-old Pa Oyenuga Richard Olakiitan and the posthumous award to Rasak Akinola.
Also in attendance at the award’s night were the Chairman, School Governing Board, Professor P. O. Olowu; current CCII President, Chief Yemi Soladoye; some of its past Principals; the current Principal, Alhaji A. A. Olasupo, Pa K. O. Latunji and Professor Gbade Oyekan.
Highlight of the 80th anniversary of IBHS with the theme: Celebration & Intervention, was the special announcement that there would be an annual Bode Amao Lecture to hold every October.