By MILLICENT IFEANYICHUKWU
LAGOS- The Rt. Rev. Babatunde Johnson, Bishop of Badagry, Lagos State, has called on Nigerians to salvage the nation by inculcating into children the sense of morality and fear of God.
Johnson made the appeal in his sermon at the thanksgiving service of 163rd Founder’s Day anniversary of CMS Grammar School, Bariga, Lagos.
It also marked the commissioning of projects organised by Old Grammarians’ Society (OGS) at the School Chapel on Monday.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the event was hosted by 1982/84, 1987 and 1997 sets of the school and it recorded hundreds of OGS members in attendance.
He urged parents and guardians to join the church, school authorities and teachers at various levels to mentor children of who will grow to be future leaders.
“The fear of God is the beginning of wisdom and that is the foundation of education, where this is missing, then there is likely to be a problem,” he added.
While applauding the good work, contributions and support of OGS, the Bishop encouraged the society to continue to partner with the management, particularly as it had been fully recovered as a missionary school.
“I believe you’re proud of the school that is why you are doing what you are doing, the school is proud of you and the owners are also proud of you,
“We have come back from exile and so we can arise and shine,” he added.
“The school projects such as modern Kitchen, Garden, Staff Room computarisation and solar-powered street lights, were commissioned by the Bishop and we’re dedicated to the school to mark the 163rd anniversary celebration.”
Mr Olu Vincent, President OGS said there was need for old boys, individuals, private and corporate organisations to work with the government.
Vincent said the OGS was passionate about making CMS Grammar School, which he described as Nigeria’s oldest secondary school a model, being the driving force behind the projects.
According to him, “the excitement and joy of the event is that we have present here OGS members from all walks of life, even from United States, U.K and Europe; it’s a great day”.
“Education can take about 70 per cent of the GDP and if left to government, other sectors will suffer, we are therefore encouraging all alumni to do something to lift up education in Nigeria and save the nation from crises.
“I feel elated as the event has created physical forum for mates that have not seen themselves for years to do so and socialise, like the father of the day left the school in 1949,” he added.
Also Mr Dare Odufowokan, Publicity Secretary, described the annual OGS event as a weeklong loaded event which members looked forward to and OGS sets take up projects in the school.
“We had Community Hymn Singing held at Cathedral Church, Marina, Press Conference/lecture, prize-giving day for students and teachers, career talk day, novelty match and lastly Founder’s Day luncheon.
“This is an annual event where celebrating sets are mandated to do something to uplift and facelift the school, so every year something new springs up and that is how we have been contributing to our alma mater.
“A lot of beautification projects have been commissioned here today, sponsored by the OGS celebrating sets. Before now, 1994 set was regarded as the game changer.
“But from what we are seeing today, the 1982/84, 1987 and 1997 have raised the bar, and I know that next year’s celebrating sets will aspire to surpass them, so we expect greater things, ” he added.
On the sidelines, Mr Skin Popoola, President OGS America, explained that the idea behind the computarisation was to promote e-Library, while the solarisation was to create an enabling environment for them to study at all times.
According to him, it’s a serious information technology that you never had, worth 2 million dollars and a portion of the fund would be saved for maintenance and replacement.
“For the computarisation, it will expose and prepare the students on ICT ahead of higher college, we don’t want them to be bound in this area; it will cut across repairs and training facility for programmes.
“We will be working with university lecturers or professors that will be putting the students through, getting them ready for higher school,” he added.
Meanwhile, Mr John Emore, Chairman OGS Uk/Europe, expressed displeasure at the prolonged ASUU strike which had kept students home and out of academic activities for months.
Emore therefore, appealed to the government to seriously and urgently resolve the issue, adding that it was fundamental that priority should be given to education where the future relied.
“We in Diaspora are not happy with the way education is being run here, we are appealing to the government to give its best to students so that they can do better than us.
“If they are being given a lousy education, the country is going to get lousy administration and if Nigeria fails, blacks has failed because Nigeria is the most populated black nation in Africa.(NAN)