Ebenezer Grammar School: How Fujah, Olori And Ogun ASUSS Chairman Arrested Imminent Extinction - THE ENCOUNTER NEWS

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Saturday, September 12, 2020

Ebenezer Grammar School: How Fujah, Olori And Ogun ASUSS Chairman Arrested Imminent Extinction

Fujah Hall 

Segun Adeleye 

ABEOKUTA - Whoever is still swimming in the illusion that the potency of Trinity is a fluke will afterwards have a rethink with the total turn around maintenance and rebuilding brought to bear on the Ebenezer Grammar School, Iberekodo, Abeokuta, South Western Nigeria by the trilogy of Fujah, Olori and Lasisi.


The TAM is the one that is unconsciously saving the school from imminent extinction on account of neglect by first line stakeholder, which is the government. It is therefore not the TAM of the four Nigerian refineries that has become conduit pipes with which the dramatis personae in subsequent governments since 1999 when "democracy" returns pocket the peoples patrimony.


But rather the one that brings out tears of joy and accomplishment out of the eyes of Deaconess (if you like, Mrs) Abosede Babalola, the Principal of the school. 


Dateline was September 10. Setting: the School premises and the main Characters, in no particular order: Mr. Abayomi Fujah; Engr. Tajudee Adisa Olori and Comrade Akeem Lasisi, the current Chairman, Association of Senior Staff of Secondary Schools (ASUSS), all distinguished Old Boys of the School.


Before they were honoured as distinguished Old Boys, they had taken lesson from the truism in the Maxim that "one actually starts living when one lives for others"


On the clarion call of the Principal, who herself was inspired and set ablaze, literarily speaking by the inscription on the platform of the Assembly grounds of the School, "Prayer Changes Things", the trio had saddled themselves with the task of rebuilding the either dilapidated buildings or the ones that had architecturally gone into obsolesce.


"I give God all the glory for what He has done in Ebenezer Grammar School, for what He is doing and for what He will yet do. When I was transferred to the Senior School in September 2017, as a Principal, I was taken aback with the situation I met on ground. All the buildings were dilapidated and one had already collapsed.


"The roof of the old School hall had caved in and was in total ruins. It has been long abandoned..." a visibly emotional but overtly  grateful Babalola told a distinguished audience that cuts across the strata of men and women from the organised private sector, the public sector and off course traditional rulers and hordes of retired but strong Permanent Secretaries and Principals. 



But through spiritual doggedness after seeing an inscription on the platform of the Assembly grounds which reads "prayer changes things", She started praying to God for the School that God should raise a builder to turn around the fortunes of the School for the greater good.


Realising that faith without work is fatality, the Principal set to work. Pronto, She began aggressive search for Old Students, exploring all avenue that is technologically enabled.


And lo and behold, She began to receive answers to prayers, in trickles until the Assistant Senior Prefect of the Class of 83, Engr. Tajudeen Adisa Olori surfaced.


The emergence of Olori on the rescue scene provoked as well the emergence of the one the Principal sobriquet Hurricane Fujah. Between Olori and Fujah, it is graphically a case of the deep and deep pocketed calling to the deep and deep pocketed. 


Fujah of the class of 1976 deservedly deserves the sobriquet as you will soon agree with me. He turned the dilapidated School hall into an Ultra modern event center; sunk a borehole; renovated the Administrative block; renovated Classrooms; constructed a School canteen; controlled erosion of the sports pavilion; fitted white boards in all the classrooms; beautify the Schools with flowers; renovated the security post; re-roofed the old School hall where WASSCE is being currently written thereby leaving everyone "overwhelmed, dumbfounded and flabbergasted" in the words of the Principal of the Senior School.


On Olori, the Principal testifies thus: "While the renovation of my office was on, Engr. Tajudeen Olori(1983 Assistant Senior Prefect Boy) just strolled in and asked what he could do. I took him round the school under drizzling rain and he ended up renovating SS3 Block. He equally provided Administrative Block for the Junior School. He also made furniture for the Staff of both Senior /Junior School.


A visibly elated Babalola regalled the audience of how  the duo of Mr. Fujah and Engineer Olori completed the perimeter fencing of the School, employed three securities to complement one government security in the school," just as She enthused that the gesture has saved the School from being the haven for cult groups and miscreants. 


Mrs. Babalola commended the various innovations of the Ogun State Governor, Prince Dapo Abiodun, to salvage the educational sector, recalling rather gleefully that the "Ogun Digi Class" comes as a handy example, even as She canvassed a bigger, better platform of old Students of the School under an encompassing umbrella to achieve more for their Alma Mater.


Speaking on behalf of the Ogun State government, the Special Adviser on Primary, Secondary and Technical Education to the Governor, Mrs. Ronke Soyombo, commended the distinguished Old Students and sets which had given the School a new lease of life.


"Before we finished first year in office, you will see that we were able to actually build and renovate 95 Schools. As we speak, between now and December, we will be finishing 952 Schools in Ogun State.


"We are reviewing and reviving the curriculum, we are conceptualising our curriculum to suit the needs of Ogun State for our children to actually become great employers," Soyombo stressed without minding that the children may not be what She dreamt up if they grow to become non - respecters of time.


At a programme that many struggled to attend, on account of bad roads, and were eager to leave early, slated to start by 10:00 am, the Special Adviser kept Guests glued to the seat only for her to appear on the dot of 11: 15am without apologia.


To set some sane soul musings aloud, instead of seizing the grandeur of the occasion to say that the Government would do a project to encourage the Old Students of the State as for others, She tasked the retiring Principals, both Mrs. Babalola and Mrs. Fatima Sobiye, having called them to the podium to do more by looking for Old Students to return the school to her former boarding status.


Whereas the donours are private citizens nowhere near government and do not intend to belong as it were, such gargantuan altruistic  interventions by private citizens who pay taxes on their businesses and as employees as the case may be should be recommended for Mr. Governor's handshake to provoke others to achieve such feat for themselves and alma mater.


However, the challenge to the Principals to return the School to a boarding one triggered yet another bout of goodness in Fujah, who consulted the elated Principal of Senior School to announce he would build one of the dormitories.


In her own remark, at an  event where the Principal-General of Yewa division, Mrs. Ibironke Folake Lokulo-Sodipe; ANCOPOS President, Dr. Mrs. Ayodele Womiloju, Mr. Okudayo Okunade (retired Principal of Comprehensive High School, Ayetoro) and Chairman of the occasion attended, the Principal of the Junior School, Mrs. Fatima Sobiye, Oliver Twisted the assistance of the old students in the areas of ICT, modern laboratory equipment, student toilets, computer laboratory and computer itself as well as e - library. 


In his remark on the sideline of the award of "Distinguished Old Boy" and speaking the mind of other awardees, Mr. Fujah pleaded with the Teachers and the Administrators to enforce the maintenance discipline amongst the students, saying anything less of that could make the "building our future together" efforts already put in the School a wasted efforts.


Fujah, a real estate entrepreneur commended the sagacity of Engr. Olori, saying"what we are doing here will motivate others." 


Olori, who is the first Old Boy to do something substantial to his Alma mata said he was touched by the benevolence of God almighty to give back.


"I just have to give thanks to God. I cannot envisage I can get to where I am today. I am also doing this probably because of my religion background, Islam encourages you to be generous to others," says the Printer apprentice turned Oil and Gas player and multi-prenuer farmer, who is the Aranse Adini of Egbaland, the Seriki Gbagura Muslim and the Bashorun of Soyoye.


The hours - long entertaining and scintillating event was spiced by cultural display and footwork by the BLUE AND WHITE - wearing cultural group of the School as well as a juju playing group to wit.

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