Return Olivet Baptist to its rightful owners, old students tell government
THE old students of Olivet Baptist High School (Olivet Heights) Oyo, one of the oldest schools in Nigeria have called on the state government to return the school to its rightful owners. They made the call recently during the 70th anniversary of the school in Oyo State.
The President of National Old Students Association (NOSA) of the school, Dr. Kunle Ogunmola, said that there is need for the return of the school to its rightful owners for proper maintenance and to bring it back to its former glory.
Ogunmola explained that the school, which came into existence in January 1945 through the American Southern Baptist Missionary at Oke-Isokun, Oyo State, was one of the few schools in Nigeria equipped with hostel facilities, staff quarters, good laboratories among others, regretting that since the government took over its management in 1976, things have fallen apart, as the standards have reduced drastically. “That is why NOSA has decided to bring it back to its glorious days of excellence in facilities and academics by remodeling some of the old infrastructure and providing for future students, financial scholarship to foster their education through raising N200milion,” he said.
According to Dr. Ogunmola, returning the school to its glorious days of Olivet Heights, is a compelling task on those who have benefitted from the solid educational foundation the school gave them to propel them in their various careers. “It is a debt owed by every former student of the Great Olivet Baptist High School and a debt we must pay back.”
Ogunmola, therefore, challenged every member of NOSA to take part through donations and active participation and collaboration to modernise the school campus for the benefit of the present and future generations.
The 2nd National President of NOSA, Engineer Gboyega Ajibola, also posited that the fund raising remained important due to the need for the future of the children.
He noted that if a school like Olivet Baptist High School should be allowed to fall, “it portends a decay and total neglect of the educational system.”
Lagos State Chairman of NOSA, Dr. Lekan Adelakun, also maintained that handing over the school to the rightful owners would be the best thing that could happen to the school. Handling over the school to the rightful owners will enhance better management and by so doing the school will bounce back.
Chairperson of the Anniversary Planning Committee, Mrs Kemi Ogunniyi expressed concern over the nature of the school that has produced important personalities in the society, but has ended up being in a dilapidated condition.
“What will the world say about a school that produced Nigerians like Mr Oba Otudeko, Chief Harry Akande, Dr. Benjamin Adigun, Mr. Femi Otedola, Chief Durosinmi Etti, Professor Wande Abimbola, Dr Kola Ogunmola, Mr Olusegun Ahmadu and many other personalities, going down like that without proper care?” she querried .
She also insisted that old students of the school should show much concern on the falling state of the school by pulling resources together to revive and bring it back to its former status. “That is what this fundraising dinner and week-long celebration from August 3 to August 9 2015 is all about. So the public should join NOSA members to make this happen through individual donations.”
Part of the activities of the celebration was the visitation and donation of items to Heritage Home for the orphaned and abandoned children at Mende, Maryland Lagos.