It was a moment of celebration and joy to the parents and beneficiaries of the state Accountant General’s annual scholarship programme to indigent pupils and students just as the programme practically gave hope to the hopeless.
The fifth edition of the scholarship which held at its usual venue, Karuma Primary School, Karuma area, Ilorin, actually put smiles on the faces of the beneficiaries as it has been usually done, as the programme gulped N1.2m worth of items and cash donation courtesy of the state Accountant General.
To this end, no fewer than 16 primary schools across Gbambari District in Ilorin East local government area of Kwara state benefited from this annual scholarship award sponsored by the state Accountant General, Alhaji sulaiman Dare Ishola.
The scholarship programme equally featured the presentation of N10,000 each to selected 15 students of tertiary institutions studying withing and outside the kwara state, N12,000 each to 20 selected secondary students to purchase NABTEB forms, while 20 selected primary school indigent pupils went home with sum of N5,000 each as their school fees.
Other items that were dolled out at the event included distribution of school sandals, school uniforms as well as bench and desks for primary school pupils.
Among the benefitted schools are Okesuna primary schools ‘A’ and ‘B’; Okelele Schools ‘A’ and ‘B’; Dada school ‘A’; Ipata school ‘A’; Samsudeen; Akerebiata; and Buranudeen among others.
The annual award presentation is being carried out by the state Accountant General through Balogun Gambari Youth Movement (BAGYUM).
Speaking shortly before the presentation of the cash and items to the would be beneficiaries, the sole sponsor of the scholarship, Alhaji Sulaiman Dare Ishola said the gesture was borne out of his passion and commitment towards the standard of education in the community.
Ishola who spoke through Alhaji Kola Ajibade on the occasion, explained that his annual scholarship programme is targeted at the less privilege pupils and students for them to have access to sound and qualitative education like their counterparts who are born with proverbial sliver spoon in their mouths.
Ishola declared that the gesture was neither a politically motivated not targeted at 2019 election, pointing out that he has been consistently sponsoring the scholarship programme via Balogun Gambari Youth Movement since 2013.
He therefore advised other well meaning people in the community to take a cue from his benevolence so as to collectively bridge the gap between the poor and the rich in the society.
Also in his address, the Chairman of Ilorin East local government, Alhaji Abdulmumeen Lar commended the state Accountant General for showing interest in the welfares of the younger generation and pledged his support to the Balogun Gambari Youth Movement any time the need arises.
In his lecture, Mr Sakariyahu Lawal of History Department, College of Education, Ilorin, called on stakeholders in the education sector to develop policies and programmes that would ensure qualitative education for the younger generation irrespective of the status of their parents.
Lawal recalled that provision of scholarship was part of government educational policies and programmes as evidence in the past where many Nigerian leaders were the beneficiaries of government sponsored educational programmes.
He expressed concern that the beneficiaries of free education policy are now policy makers in education sector both at national and state levels but could not bring back those policies they had once enjoyed.
“They are promoters of commercialization of education. If education was to be paid for in those days, how many of them could their parent afford it? Is this an education legacy left behind by Sardauna and Awolowo? The men who labour to see that the children of nonentities become leaders of this country”.
He commended the Accountant General for the gesture which, saying that it would go along way in adding values to the life of younger generation.
“If a community is lucky to have a selfless, committed, humanitarian and wealthy individual like the sole sponsor of this scholarship, it it worthy of appreciation and his name will forever remain in the archives written in gold”, he said.
Earlier in his address, the President of Balogun Gambari Youth Movement, Mallam Garba Mukaila Sefura said the state Accountant General, has been given scholarship to indigents students through their association consistently as far back as five years ago.
Be that as it may, this year edition of the scholarship programme was a bit different and more colourful than the previous years as the presence of some personalities who shared the Accountant General’s philosophy of life, practically added glitz and glamour to the epoch making event.
It is quite remarkable that the presence of Ilorin East local government chairman, Alhaji Abdulmumeen Lar and an Ilorin born philanthropist, Ambassador Abdulfatahi Sheriki as well as Alhaji Dare Denkosi provided a significant boost to the gesture as their moral and financial support to the event will continue to remain ever green in the minds of the beneficiaries and those in attendance.
One of the guests on the occasion, Ambassador Abdulfatahi Sheriki took everybody by surprise as he dolled out the sum of N400,000 cash as his support to the programme.
Ambassador Sheriki who is a successful business mogul donated the sum of N300,000, which he fulfilled right during the programme through money transfer, to the association as his support and N100,000 cash to the best Science Student during the last association’s summer lesson, Aliu Rabiat, while another sum of N20,000 was donated to the same girl by Alhaji Dare Denkosi.
In her response, the Head Mistress of one of the benefitted schools, Alhaja Lawal Joke Alimat of Ipata Primary school ‘A’ thanked the sole sponsor of the scholarship for remembering children of the poor and prayed God to continue to give him the wherewithal to be able to do more of this humanitarian service for the growth and development of the society.
Present at the occasion included the pioneer president of BAGYUM, who is now the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Environment and Forestry, Alhaji Amosa Isiaka Al-amin, immediate past president of the association, Mallam Suleiman Idris, Alhaji Gani Yitta, Alhaji Mansankore among others.