How Committed, Visionary Leadership Can Impact Generations – Osinbajo

Vice President Yemi Osinbajo has said there is strong connection between the kind of education students acquire and what they eventually become later in life.

He said this at the 90th Anniversary Fundraising Dinner of Igbobi College, organised by the Igbobi College Old Boys Association (ICOBA) on Saturday night at Eko Hotel.’

Osinbajo, who is an old student of the College, said his personality and values were shaped at Igbobi College, Yaba in Lagos State.

He said the school laid a foundation for the nurturing of leaders who have left indelible marks across different fields, impacting many generations.

He said, “Who we are today, our personalities, values were all shaped at Igbobi College. It was in Igbobi I realised that I had a strength in the Arts, it was also there I realised that I could never be a sprinter or footballer. It was obvious at that point. In my Form 1, Mrs. Erushade, my class teacher taught us to write essay every week and the best was posted on the notice board.

“For the first two weeks, Dapo Ali’s essay was declared the best, as it was neat and had the right punctuation marks; then she said, there was one that was very imaginative, though wasn’t as neat and doesn’t have the right punctuation marks; she read out my essay and everyone clapped. So, instead of one essay on the notice board, there were two. The best essay and mine; that encouragement stayed with me and gave me so much confidence going through school from then on.

“It is important to mention that the role of teachers is so crucial to what we become. I never forget that what Mrs. Erushade (now late) did at that point made a whole difference in my perception of myself and my abilities and how I eventually turned. I watched some of my senior debate and I knew I wanted to debate, so I debated for the school also,” he said.

He also pointed out that Igbobi College placed a value on academics, sports and literary activities as students were called up on stage during assembly to be recognised for their good performances while on the same stage, students could be publicly whipped for extreme bad behaviour. “So reward and punishment were on the same stage.

“Igbobi celebrated orderliness, honesty, self-denial and anyone caught stealing became an outcast. There was no special treatment irrespective of class or status of parents; in fact, excessive display of wealth was discouraged. I made my closest friends from Igbobi. When the founders of Igbobi College, decided to fill a gap they saw in the education of the boys, they not only created an environment that transformed the lives of the first 150 boys that walked into its Yaba campus in 1932; they triggered a legacy of excellence and integrity that has produced a retinue of young men who have gone on to set great examples in almost every sphere of human endeavour,” he said.
Commenting on the impact of the College on the society, Prof. Osinbajo noted that every generation from Igbobi College, since inception, has produced an array of outstanding leaders, pioneering businessmen and exceptional statesmen who have served at every level of public service and governance; clergymen with national and global influence; thought leaders and intellectuals with indelible footprints in academia and journalism, and many more in different other fields of endeavour.

“If there is anything Igbobi College has taught us, it is the difference a single person can make by taking responsibility for their own little corner of the world, and the duty we owe to pay it forward,” he added.

President of the Igbobi College Old Boys’ Association (ICOBA), Olumiyiwa O. Kinoshi said that the mustard seed, sown by the Founding Fathers of the College on February 2, 1932 has grown into a giant Acorn Tree, which has been producing leaders and will continue to do so, ‘Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow’.

Igbobi College was established on February 2, 1932 by a collaboration between the Methodist Church and the Church Missionary Society (CMS).

The highpoint of the occasion was the launch of the Endowment Fund by the Old Boys alumni association to contribute to the infrastructural development of the school.

According to Kinoshi, the mission of the Old Boys’ Association is to contribute massively to the future of their Alma Mater. “We are gathered here to launch the fundraiser for our target of ‘N1 Billion’, as additional contributions towards the ‘Infrastructural Renewal’ since the return of the College to the Missions by the Lagos State Government.

Also present at the occasion were the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Rt. Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila; past and present leadership of ICOBA, representatives of the school owners (Anglican and Methodist Churches), Captains of Industry, representatives of other Old Boys and Old Girls associations, among others.


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