Oyo State Governor, Senator Abiola Ajimobi, has reminisced on how sound education and adherence to parental guidance propelled him to attain greatness in life in spite of his humble background as the son of a tailor.
The governor shared this story of his early days with the pupils of Ifesowapo Community Primary School I and II, Sanyo, Ibadan, while making a personal donation of school uniforms to the 400 pupils of the school, on Tuesday.
The school was part of the structures gutted by a fire disaster ignited by a fuel-laden tanker in the community on February 14, 2016.
The governor had, during his sympathy visit to the area on February 19, 2016, pledged to provide free uniforms for all the pupils of the school from his personal purse as part of efforts to assuage their feelings.
Ajimobi said, “When I visited this school after the fire incident, I saw some pupils wearing dirty and tattered uniforms. I saw some without uniforms and I began to see the picture of my early days in them because I was also like them while I was in the primary school.
“I took particular notice of one of the pupils with ringworm on his head and I said to myself this was exactly how some of us looked like in my early school days. We trekked to school, buying and eating all sorts of junk foods on our way.
“If God could help me to attain this status in spite of my humble background, I see no reason why any of you should not become governor, president, minister, doctors, etcetera. I want our parents to make the necessary sacrifice to ensure that their wards are educated.
“Humble background is not an excuse not to attain greatness in life. You should begin to encourage your children and tell them what you want them to be in future. I remember my father used to tell me I would become a governor in future and here I am today.”
The governor assured the stakeholders in the school that he would soon fulfill his other promises to the school, which included reconstruction of the building affected by the fire and the construction of a new one.
Ajimobi advised the school and other members of the public to wary of the antics of opposition politicians, whom he said would have visited the school soon after the incident with bogus promises if the incident had occurred during electioneering.
He said, “Such is the life of majority of our politicians. If the incident had happened during the electioneering, they would have besieged this school with promises of ‘I will do this I will do that.’
“I’m sure none of them had visited here since the incident happened. Here I am today fulfilling my pledge to you. I must make it clear that I’m no longer seeking any elective post, but that should not take away the empathy in me. We should learn to be our brother’s keepers at all times.”
Ajimobi urged the people of the state to always vote for politicians with genuine love for them rather than political office seekers who were mere opportunists.
The governor also said that the task of revamping the education sector was already ongoing and that the momentum would soon be felt within the nooks and crannies of the state.
In her welcome address, the acting Executive Secretary of the state Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB), Mrs. Bola Eniola, commended the governor for the passion he had for the pupils.
Other speakers at the occasion, including the Chairman of Parent-Teachers Association of the school, Alhaji Inaolaji Olowe, and Chairman of the Nigerian Union of Teachers, Oluyole Local Government, Mr. Seye Obadina, expressed gratitude to the governor for what they termed the “unprecedented gesture.”