EXACTLY sixty years ago, Senator Adesoji Akanbi representing Oyo south senatorial district on Monday undertook another historic feat as he preserved one of Chief Obafemi Awolowo’s legacies by renovating blocks of classrooms and school infrastructure at Methodist Basic School, Agbeni, Ibadan.
The school, built in 1957 expressed the exact picture of several monuments in Nigeria built by the late sage which are either abandoned or underused. Unfortunately, most of these statues are now in ruins.
Speaking at the epoch-making event, Senator Akanbi noted that the late nationalist, Awolowo empowered the Southwest with the most powerful weapon and invested heavily in education, adding that the region is reaping the benefits.
The lawmaker stressed that Awolowo was not only a political leader, but also an intellectual, a type of philosopher king, describing him as an ‘everlasting light’ saying that people will continue to propagate his good works.
“The benefits of education are endless for all groups and individuals. I saw this renovation as an opportunity that came my way and cannot afford to let slip away”.
Congratulating the All Progressives Congress, APC, Oyo state chapter, Akanbi said ” It would have been sad if the opposition who do not belong to Awolowo’s progressive lineage had renovated this school”
In the light of the current lean and paucity of resources accrued to the state, Akanbi made it known that the state government alone cannot solve the problem confronting the sector, he, however implored others to contribute to the development of education in the state.
Commending Akanbi’s intervention earlier in her address, Awolowo’s eldest daughter, Reverend (Mrs) Tola Oyediran appreciated the lawmaker for bridging religious divides in carrying out his projects.
Fulfilled that her late father’s legacies like Methodist School was not forsaken, Oyediran further tasked management of the school on maintenance.
Similarly, the officiating minister, Methodist Church, Reverend Ezekiel Akande lamented the poor state of the school which he said remained a major concern to the church and community.
He urged Nigerian leaders to shun selfishness and emulate the first Premier of the old Western Region, the late Chief Obafemi Awolowo, by ensuring that their children and wards attend schools here in Nigeria, rather than sending them abroad.
Now that the school has undergone a major transformation, a clear departure from what was described as “open heavens” owing to leaking roofs, the Head Teacher, Methodist Basic School II, Mrs Yerokun Anthonia paid a glowing tribute to Senator Akanbi for completing the renovation within six weeks.
Also, some old students in their separate remarks, Mrs Orefuwa Ayanbadejo (Head girl, 1966/67), Professor Boluwaji Ajayi (1957), and Mr Babatunde Oyedokun while saluting the lawmaker noted that the building renovation was among several ways of preserving Awolowo’s legacies, especially his commitment to education.
The renovated school was accompanied with other complements such as toilets, water and furniture.
By Idowu Ayodele, Ibadan
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