Victor Ogunje in Ado Ekiti
Ekiti State Government yesterday returned Christ School, Ado-Ekiti to its original owner – the Anglican Communion, in fulfilment of the government’s pledge to return all mission schools to their original owners.
Ekiti State Governor, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, who signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) returning the school to the Anglican Communion, said the handing over of Christ’s School would provide a template for subsequent release of other schools whose owners have indicated interest in having them back.
The brief ceremony, which took place at the Governor’s Office, was witnessed by the Bishop of Anglican Communion, Ekiti Diocese, Rt. Revd. Christopher Omotunde, some leaders of the church and representatives of the alumni association of the 86-year-old school.
Fayemi stated that the return of mission schools would help in building a future generation of values-driven and morally sound individuals, adding that the return of the schools would equally assist in lightening government’s financial burden, especially at a time when government’s purse is lean.
The governor, who reiterated his administration’s commitment to engaging positively with the missions that desire to take over their schools, expressed optimism that the returned school would assist the present administration in achieving “its policy thrust of reclaiming our land and restoring our values as Ekitis.”
“What we are witnessing today is a culmination of a process which began during our first term in office to return schools belonging to mission bodies to their original owners, and I am delighted that the final consummation of the release of Christ’s School has been achieved. Ours will not be the first time such a consummation will take place between governments and missionary bodies. Other states like Anambra, Lagos and Enugu had done similarly in the past,” he said.
In his remarks, Omotunde, who hailed the government’s decision on mission schools, commended Fayemi for making good his promise to return mission schools to original owners.
“You initiated the idea of returning mission schools to their original owners during your first term in office. We are happy that you are here today fulfilling that promise with the return of Christ’s School to the Anglican Church,” he said.
Omotunde, who said Christ’s School had always been a model across the country, promised that the mission would leave no stone unturned in ensuring that the school returns to its pride of place in Nigeria.
Dr. Odunayo Fagbeyiro, who represented Christ’s School Alumni and Bishop Omotunde signed the MoU on behalf of the Anglican Communion, while the Secretary to the State Government, Mr. Biodun Oyebanji and the state Attorney General, Mr. Wale Fapohunda signed on behalf of Ekiti State Government.