By Boluwaji Obahopo, Lokoja
The Okene Secondary School Old Students Association has appealed to Governor Yahaya Bello to spare the school as one of the legacy colleges of old Northern Nigerian Government rather than turn it into a military Barrack.
The Alumni association made the appeal in a statement signed by its national President, Abubakar Abdulsalam Esq. and made available to newsmen in Lokoja.
Governor Bello had during the COVID-19 lockdown last year awarded the school to the Army to use as a base.
The association said the school, formerly known as Okene Teachers College before it transmuted to a secondary school in 1970 had produced a lot of great Nigerians in all fields of human endeavour.
“There is no doubt that the institution has produced a lot of alumni and former employees, who are doing it proudly in several areas both at home and abroad,” the statement said.
“One of such was the late Alhaji Bello Ipemida Ochi (the father of His Excellency, Alhaji Yahaya Adoza Bello) may his gentle soul rest in perfect peace.
“May God reward him for his love for the children of other parents he laboured to cater for while in the school as an employee, Amen.
“The school where Pa Bello’s humane attributes were exhibited and remembered might no longer exist as it is currently being proposed to be a military barracks.
“We wish to use this medium to appeal to you to use your good offices to ensure that the school is spared and retained so that it can continue to produce quality products with legacies as an institution of repute.”, the alumni added.
The association, however, eulogised the governor for the appointment of Prof. Salawu Sadiku, an old student of the school, as pioneer Vice-Chancellor of Confluence University of Science and Technology (CUSTECH), Osara in the Central Senatorial District of Kogi.
“We, the entire old students of OSS, Okene worldwide, wish to express our profound gratitude and appreciation to the Executive Governor of Kogi State, Alhaji Yahaya Adoza Bello for appointing one of us, Prof. Salawu Sadiku as the pioneer Vice-Chancellor of CUSTECH, Osara.”
The alumni described the appointment as a good one saying that the appointee was eminently qualified academically and had over the years, garnered the necessary cognate experience for the task ahead.
“We thank you for providing us the opportunity to showcase the stuff the products of the great Iresu-pogo College are made of through the appointment of Prof. Sadiku.
“We the old students pledge to collaborate with the government to turn around the fortunes of the school and continue to make it a centre of excellence that it has always been known for”, the alumni pledged.