Posted by A Special Correspondent | 16 July 2019 | 658 times
Birthdays are usually a very memorable and special day in the life of every human being. It is also a day that calls for reflection, for some people, it is a day to just wine and dine, have fun and it goes on for the rest of their life. Whilst for some, it is a moment of impact and leaving enduring legacies behind.
For famed rights activist, Dr Joe Okei-Odumakin, it is a moment of mould and birthing great and sound leaders of character and competences. Spurred by her burning passion to see that every child is in school and feel safe, she led her team to Agidingbi Senior Grammar School, Ikeja, where she went in school uniform with the collaboration of Ambassador Saidi Balogun, President of Golden Movies Ambassadors of Nigeria.
The Principal, teachers and students of the school were elated to have the 2013 International Woman of Courage Award recipient, decked in secondary school uniform to inspire the young stars in the school.
Welcoming the celebrant to the school assembly, Mr. Kola Odesanmi, the Principal, Agidingbi Senior Grammar School, lauded Dr Joe’s unconventional and spirited initiative of identifying with students of public schools on her birthday. Her presence with the young minds will sure inspire them towards greatness in life.
In his words, “it has gone down into history today that Africa’s most courageous and front-line Activist, Dr Joe, came into this school in uniform with a movie star, Ambassador Saidi Balogun, to charge our students that they can attain any height that they aim at in life, provided they remain focused and dedicated to their studies.”
Speaking to the students, Ambassador Saidi Balogun noted that education is the only and surest way out of the danger posed by ignorance. He further advised the students to desist from truancy and bad influence of peer pressure. Also speaking to the students, the Area Commander of Nigeria Police, Area F Divisional Command, Ikeja, Assistant Commissioner of Police, ACP Olasoji Akinbamilayo, charged the students to inculcate the habit of reading their books as this is the only way to measure up with any great mind in the world. ‘’Your background or present challenges have nothing to do with the glorious height that is ahead of you, if you remain disciplined and dedicated to your studies.” Speaking further, he noted thus, “in our own time, we read without electricity light, we came from very poor background but our dedication to our studies, hard work and the grace of God have brought us to where we are today.”
While expressing her profound appreciation to the students, teachers, principal and other well-wishers present, Dr Joe relayed that she is a product of public schools in Nigeria. She used the medium to appeal to governments across states to give proper attention to public school funding and ensure that the learning environment are conducive for learning. Speaking further, Dr. Joe advised well-meaning Nigerians to also support the efforts the government to make education compulsory for all and free for every child. “Together, we can,” she concluded.
•Photo shows famed rights activist, Dr Joe Okei-Odumakin, dressed in school uniform and mingling with students of Agidingbi Senior Grammar School, Ikeja, Lagos, to mark her birthday
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