Speech by the Governor of the State of Osun, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, at the golden anniversary/commissioning of projects and launching of N50 million development fund of Anglican Grammar School, Arigidi-Akoko, Ondo State, at the school’s premises on February 4, 2011
I am most pleased to be part of today’s celebration, the golden anniversary/commissioning of projects and launching of N50 million development fund of our alma mater, Anglican Grammar School, Arigidi Akoko, Ondo State.n The presentation of Bola Ahmed Tinubu ICT Centre to the school is even of greater joy to me.
Of course, every old student is always proud of his or her old school and this distinguished audience will kindly indulge me if I say that I went to the best secondary school in the world. I still have vivid memories of my years around here – the discipline, the ideological consciousness of the time, the affectations of the teachers and the hope of a better tomorrow for self and country which the school imbued in us.
My ideological path of revolutionary engagement was set at this school. This is not unique to me. It was the same experience for my contemporaries who are proudly in one position of leadership or the other all over the world and pulling their weight.
One significant legacy I took from the school was its moral ferment. We were raised to have the fear of God, to respect the environment, to help and respect fellow human beings and to uplift the glory and honour of our country. These are values that constitute the core of my being and have determined the course of my life. I am therefore grateful to the almighty for the privilege to attend this great school that is the cradle of leadership in all aspects of life.
What we are doing today can only amount to a token of appreciation because we can never really pay back for what we got from the school.
The Information and Communication Technology Centre we are presenting is actually a statement on the direction of the future. The computer has actually become the centre of the universe. Everything today is about the computer, whichever way it is presented as a desktop, laptop, tablet and handheld device.
It is interesting now that even artisans like mechanics need the computer to diagnose problems with cars and find solutions to them. Architects and draughtsmen now use the computer to design precision houses.
Even farmers need the computer for soil testing and analysis, planning, operating certain machineries, tracking farm animals, diagnosing diseases in plants and animals, confirming bank balances, requisitioning farm inputs such as seedlings, fertilisers and agro-chemicals and coordinating harvest. The use of the computer is virtually limitless, depending on the imaginative capacity of the user.
In the State of Osun, we are concluding arrangements to provide computer tablets tagged ‘Opon Imo’ to all senior secondary schools students in the state. These tablets will contain lecture notes, all the text books for all the subjects of study, past questions and answers for the West African Examination Council (WAEC), National Examination Council (NECO) and Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB) examinations and tutorials.
This has bridged the gap of carrying books in sacks, their wear and tear and subsequent replacement and also provides ready learning tools and aid.
Employers now demand computer literacy as a condition for employment, irrespective of other competencies. It is clear now that those without knowledge of computer are greatly disadvantaged in today’s world and have no part in the future.
I therefore enjoin the teachers and students of this school to make the best use of the facility. Computer therefore is a tool, just like the pen, which every adult must know how to use. It is for documentation, for expression and for life. This centre is therefore a preparation ground for every student that will pass through this institution to face that digital future.
In my own assessment, nobody deserves the honour of having it named after him than Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu. I must let this distinguished audience know that after the Almighty God and my parents, the next greatest influence in my life is Asiwaju. He is my mentor, my role model, my leader, my motivator and benefactor. He is the dogged, courageous, irrepressible and indefatigable fighter for democracy and human rights. He is the Nigerian face of the rule of law, true federalism, freedom, liberty and progress.
This is the cause for which he has committed his life and for which we all support him. Need I add that he is a great philanthropist who gave of himself and substance liberally without consideration for ethnic, religious and class affiliation? It is an honour richly deserved.
I am also calling on old students of this school to do something worthwhile for their alma mater. It is a little way of giving back what we got from the school. While the government has the greatest responsibility for providing the best education for the teeming youths, the well to do in society must also play not a little role.
Education is the means by which values are transmitted and society renews itself. It is the vehicle for wealth creation, the path to greatness and development for a people. Wise people must therefore invest in the education of the people in their society. It is enlightened self interest to invest in education. Educated people are more likely to succeed in life than the uneducated. They are more amenable to peace and less likely predisposed to violence.
It is our goal that by the time we complete our tenure in office, we would have attained full literacy and functional education in the State of Osun. No child will be left behind under our watch. Education must impact on life.
We are presenting state-of-the-art, well equipped public schools very soon where all pupils will be kitted and the elementary pupils fed at government expense. During my tenure, by the grace of the Almighty, world renowned scientists, poets, entrepreneurs, Nobel Laureates, priests and world changers are going to emerge from our school system. This will be accompanied by a significant leap in industrialisation, entertainment, social advancement and general prosperity.
I must not fail to mention the situation in our country at the moment. This situation calls for true leadership. Life is sacred. We cannot watch helplessly the wanton destruction of life and property as it is presently. What is necessary to tame this menace is imperative now. An unconditional engagement is strongly recommended for the sake of our nation and people.
We must also accept as irreducible minimum condition, the practice of true federalism. We are a plural society with many nations within the Nigerian nation. On many occasions in the past, we have got to the brink and miraculously returned. We have thus stretched our luck too far to the point of taking it for granted. Are we not daring fate? We may have gone beyond the tolerance threshold and if care is not taken, we stand the grave risk of plunging the nation into a catastrophe by obdurately clinging to a system that is beyond salvage. We must therefore return to true federalism.
We must also embark immediately on sovereign national conference. While we are the same in our essential humanity, we are different as a people – with different, history, world view, cultural practices and I daresay at different levels of civilisation. These differences are showing everyday and posing grave danger to our union.
Sovereign national conference is not and has never been a call for the dissolution of Nigeria. What is necessary and which we are asking for is the negotiation of the terms of our union.
Those who foreclosed the negotiation of our union are the real enemies of the country. We must commence this national conference without delay if we are to save the country from inevitable untoward consequences.
This centre is dedicated to and named after Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, a symbol of democracy, rule of law and true federalism.
I thank you for your attention.