GCUOBA Class Sept ’73: The familiar, the unexpected gather to set the stage for an annual colloquium

Members of the Benin Exco-L-R; Anegbode Emma, Ogefere Lemuel, Prof. Ofovwe Gabriel, Okobaroh G and Okotor S.P.J

By Temitope Tanimowo

TUES, SEPTEMBER 19 2017-theG&BJournalThe third, since the inaugural gathering in Lagos on February 4, 2017. So much to commemorate, or celebrate, or at least think and reflect about.

The University of Benin Teaching Hospital (UBTH) guest house, venue of the meeting, was filled with echoes of laughter and cheers as the boys of Class Sept ’73 of the Government College Ughelli (GCU) came together for its quarterly meeting on the 16th of September 2017. Eyes gazed, moments froze as prominent and well respected men, and they are now men, in the society greeted, teased and laughed their hearts out as boys would.

The well attended meeting was enriched by members from the Diaspora and from across the country including Abuja.

It wasn’t all about the teasing and laughter though. It was about more poignant issues; how to give back to the school in the form of an impacting project and more importantly, how to resonate on a consistent basis, discussions on Nigeria’s primary/secondary education.

And so the stage was set for a briefing on the steps taken by members to ensure this happens.

Samuel Omatseye, Chairman of the Organising Committee of the Colloquium, a renowned author and columnist led the discussion on the issue during the meeting chaired by a seasoned real estate influencer, Omo-Egbedi Gordons, in the absence of the class chairman, Omatsola Vincent, a management consultant. It was the most practical sphere for intellectual, creative ideas to suggest paths that might inch towards perfection for an annual colloquium that hopefully will become a national platform to secure a more solid path for Nigeria’s primary and secondary education system.

The date for the inaugural colloquium has already been set, scheduled to take place at the Civic Centre in Lagos, on October 26, 2017. Among the prominent personalities pencilled down and those already confirmed to attend include; Professor Grace Alele-Williams, the first Nigerian woman to head a Nigerian University, the University of Benin and the first Nigerian woman to receive a doctorate degree, in this case, for Mathematics. Also on the card is the managing director of Access Bank Plc, Herbert Wigwe, Aliko Dangote, Chairman of Dangote Group, The Registrar of the Joint Admission Matriculation Board (JAMB), Prof Is-haq Oloyede, Prof. Itse Sagay as well as Babatunde Fashola, minister of Power, Works and housing, the governor of Delta State among other governors targeted to attend the event.

Members of the class will be in attendance from across the globe as well as the current school principal, students, Old Boys Association executives and the President General.

The idea of the colloquium, according to the Vincent, the class Chairman, is to create a climate, at national level, that will allow for primary and secondary education to be better equipped to flourish without bureaucracy that prevents the country’s future generation from becoming skilled labour employees and entrepreneurs.


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