In this exclusive interview with media professionals, which later turned out to be his last, the revered late monarch, His Royal Majesty, Oba Charles Oladele Ibitoye, Adogbajale bi’leke II, elucidated extensively about his passion for the growth and advancement of Omu-Aran, the rising waves of the standard of education and the place of GSS Omu-Aran in the development of his domain among other sundry issues.
Your words for the old boys of GSS Omu-Aran as the school marks 50 years of its existence.
First and foremost, we give thanks to God Almighty who has helped us thus far. When we talk about 50 years, it is not a small thing. For someone to be fifty, the person will be seen as someone who has come of age. To God be the glory for the school to have been in existence till now. I use this opportunity to congratulate all the old students for supporting the school. We are elated following the progress of the institution and the old students. We are happy knowing many of them are well-placed in the country now.
They are, in various fields, contributing to national development. I am highly impressed with the way and manner they have been carrying on. I congratulate them. I wish them long life and prosperity. I pray for them for continued success in their endeavours. The old students I’m aware are involved in many developmental projects in the school. I can remember very vividly the construction of the school’s Hall of Fame was built by them some years ago.They are renovating building structures and also assisting the present students by way of giving scholarships to best performed ones. Their efforts are commendable.
The observation of some of the old students is that government has neglected the school. As the traditional ruler of the community, what is your advice to government?
We all know that government has gotten so many things on its hands. We have to face the reality; if we have to wait till government gets everything done, we would be deceiving ourselves. Presently, we are just getting out of recession. This affects a lot of things. That is why I’m happy the old students are partnering government in the area of the school projects. Their effort is complimenting that of government.
The school has given them the best to become what they are today. Thank God they now know it is time to give back to the school that produced them. For instance, Bishop David Oyedepo, who is one of them, has been doing so much for the community. He is very much concerned about the education of the children in the community. About two years ago, he spent N40million in the procurement of science equipment and computers for all secondary schools in Omu-Aran.
To move forward, we don’t have to leave everything for the government. I can only appeal to government and all old students to do more.
Compare to the days of old, many of the younger ones are not known to be serious about their education these days. What is your advice to the younger generation?
Education is key to development. By that I expect all young children to face their studies squarely if they are to realize their dreams. To achieve greatness in any profession, one must not be lazy in his or her studies. Even to become governor of a state, one must be educated; not to talk about becoming a nation’s president. It is true that most of the students are not serious and they have the opportunity. But those that are serious are making it. However, I still appeal to them to be more serious about their education. The intervention of the parents is very much needed. They have to train them from the start so that they can be useful to the society.
Igbomina people are known for saying: Owo ni’e je. This caused the rush of school leavers to Lagos
for a business expedition, what is the Olomu-in-Council doing to encourage more of the younger ones
to study further?
To me, even if you want to do business, you need sound education, beyond school certificate level. It must be known that high level of education will enhance the business. In my community today, it is no longer common having school leavers rushing to Lagos for trading apprenticeship. They have realized that education is very important. And we shall continue to guide them in this direction.
Looking back at the time you ascended the throne and now, the number of schools has increased tremendously; the university has been added. Could this be adduced to your passion for education or what
We thank God and give Him all the glory for the way and manner people have been responding to the clarion call. Majority of these schools are built by private individuals and organizations. Like I said the other time, if we wait for government, we would not get to where we are now. I use this opportunity to thank the owners of these schools as their establishments have practically added value to Omu-Aran town. We appreciate their passion for education. For instance, Landmark University, established by Bishop David Oyedepo, has been a booster to the community’s economy. It has transformed the community.
What other amenities are needed by the people to fast-track development?
Omu-Aran is fast-growing on daily basis. It is a fact that facilities on the ground are being over-stretched. Equipment at the water dam is now obsolete, they need to be fixed.
In this area, we want the government to assist because the people of the community had done their best.Township roads are in deplorable condition. We believe the government will start work on them soon because information at our disposal is that most of these roads have been approved for reconstruction by the administration of Governor Abdulfatah Ahmed. Princess Funke Adedoyin, member, House of Representatives, Abuja is also set to undertake the funding of some of the roads as part of her constituency projects. We appreciate her too.
Kabiesi! With due respect for Your Royalty, we want you to share with us your vision for OmuAran.
Again, I thank God even as we continue to ask Him for more. I’m praying to leave Omu-Aran far greater than I met it; it is God that has been helping us to translate our vision into reality. But my vision has not been realized, and every blessed day we continue to journey towards it. In fact, it will soon become small London. I also thank the good people of Omu-Aran, old and young, because they have been cooperating with me.
Courtesy: OGSSOBA Magazine ( 50th Anniversary Edition)
Late Oba Ibitoye was installed as the Olomu of Omu-Aran in 1993 and died in December 2017 after a brief illness at the age of 65.
The late monarch has been slated to be among those to feature on this platform but the arrangement has not beeen concluded before he fell sick, which eventualy led to his death.