In a rare display of appreciation, the Chinese Youths Association, recently donated a 500-seater multi-purpose hall to the Lagos State Model College, Ojo built to honour the dedication of Akinbayo Olusoji, an Assistant Commissioner of Police, whois an old student of the college. Rebecca Ejifoma reports
Recently, the Chinese Youths Association (CYA) honoured Akinbayo Olusoji, an Assistant Commissioner of Police in charge of Area D, Mushin of the Lagos State Police Command, with the donation of a 500-seater multi-purpose hall to the Lagos State Model College, Ojo, where he is an old boy.
At the official handing over and commissioning of the building which took place last Saturday, the Deputy Governor of Lagos State; Dr.(Mrs) Idiat Oluranti Adebule, who was represented by the Permanent Secretary in charge of the Teaching Service Commission, Mrs. Olatokunboh Adeleye, while appreciating the association expressed the belief that the donation was in tandem with the “association’s” vision of supporting our schools in the spirit of corporate social responsibility.”
In her speech, the deputy governor noted that the newly constructed multi-purpose hall would create “an enabling environment that will help secure our children’s dignity and safety while also ensuring a conducive atmosphere for teaching and learning” stressing that the Chinese Youths Association had chosen “a very important sector to touch and impact lives in this school.”
She emphasised further that “children are our future and the leaders of tomorrow. As a result, the way to ensure quality, effective and functional education for them is to continue to create conducive environment for learning and teaching as well as providing better infrastructure for them.”
Adebule who coordinates activities of the state Ministry of Education in addition to her duties as deputy governor clearly stated that “today’s commissioning and presentation of this multi-purpose hall by the Chinese Youths Association is a clear demonstration of the support for our programmes and vision in the education sector”.
While appreciating the CYA and the old students association of the college for the synergy in making the dream a reality, the deputy governor assured that the government of Lagos State “would continue to partner with all stakeholders committed to the education and development of our children”.
The gesture which was more of a corporate social responsibility is a way of further strengthening the bilateral relationship between Nigeria and China.
Speaking on behalf of the donors, Mr. Jack Zhou who is the secretary of CYA, said members of the association who are doing different businesses in Nigeria were moved by the need to assist in developing Nigeria in whatever capacity they could.
He added that they had found Olusoji who is the Area Commander in Charge of Area D, Mushin of the Lagos State Police Command as a worthy Nigerian through whom such development could be extended to people hence they approached him.
The area commander in his brief speech said he was admitted into the college in September 1982 at the old permanent site which was later taken over by government as the take off location of the Lagos State University, Ojo.
Upon graduation from the college with his mates in 1987, he said he went for further studies after which he enlisted in the Nigeria Police Force.
According to him, his first encounter with the Chinese as a police officer was when he was serving as the Divisional Police Officer in charge of Ikeja Division.
He narrated how his men had arrested some Chinese who went out for a night event driving while already drunk. Their “arrest” was ostensibly to protect them from any danger from criminals who might take advantage of their state of drunkenness.
The ACP said that they were allowed to go freely the next day when they had regained consciousness and over time the news of his policing with human face began to spread among the Chinese community in Lagos who understandably had searched the internet to get more information about him.
Olusoji pointed out that one of his outstanding achievements that time was the arrest of some die-hard criminals who offered him a bribe of N21million which was turned down.
This singular achievement and other break-through unknowingly endeared him to the police authorities, thereby necessitating his promotion to the rank of ACP and subsequent deployment to head Area D at Mushin which is considered as one of the area commands facing the hardest criminal challenges in the state.
The Chinese nationals who over time had found some credibility in Olusoji with regards to his activities as police officer could not resist seeking his cooperation as they wanted a crime free environment for their businesses.
According to Olusoji, it was in appreciation of his dedication to duty that the leadership of CYA approached him, seeking to know what they could do for him as a person. Rather than ask for something that would benefit only him and his family, he opted to align with the aspiration of his old students association of 1987 set which had intention to build a multi-purpose hall. So he urged the association to build a hall for his alma mater, which was in dire need of such.
The immediate past principal of the College; Mrs. Olufumilayo Modupe Adenekan who was full of praises for ACP Olusoji and the Chinese Youths Association recalled how the police officer in company of some officials of the old students association of the college had approached her in early 2018 to intimate her of the intention to build a hall for the college.
She narrated how she almost dismissed them as unserious minded people with the contention that the old students were fond of coming to ask for what to do for the school only to end up doing nothing. Luckily, she gave a listening ear to Olusoji and his colleagues and subsequently the Chinese were introduced as people who were set to embark on the project. It was this clarification according to her, that necessitated the request for ministerial approval to enable the project commence.
Present at the occasion to witness the commissioning were traditional rulers like Oba Galibu Adeniyi Rufai, Olojo of Ojo, Oba Gausu Alani Rasaki, the Ovori of Ibeshe, Amuwo Odofin and Chief Saliu Aliyo.
The Tutor General, Education District IV was represented by Mr. Ogunsiji Adeniran. Mr. J.N. Mashaka, a member of the Board, Teaching Service Commission, Mr. Friday Enamegba, Chairman ’87 set of the college were also in attendance.
Members of the Chinese Youths Association at the event which coincided with the 2019 National Youth Day celebration were no fewer than 30 among were Mr. John Hu, honorary President, Chinese Youths Association, Mrs. Zhoujun of the Association of Chinese Women in Nigeria and Mrs. Changanlin of Chinese Investment Association, Overseas Service Centre.
Earlier in his speech on behalf of the National President of the college old students association, the National Secretary, Mr. Emmanuel Nwogbo had given the historical background of the college which current poor infrastructural state was precipitated by the relocation from its original site to a temporary place for the take off of the Lagos State University at its foundation stage.
While paying tribute to ACP Akinbayo Olusoji for not being selfish when the opportunity beckoned on him, the National Secretary called the Lagos State Government to take the school back to its glorious when it was known as Government College, Ojo.
Apart from the official handing over of the multi purpose hall to the representative of the deputy governor who incidentally cut the ceremonial take, students of the college entertained the audience with some cultural display and dance.