The Dekina old Boys Association, (DOBA), class of 77, said it was putting measures in place to restore the lost glory of the school which used to be a reference point in the past.
The old Boys Association stated this resolve during their meeting to celebrate the silver jubilee of the school in grand re-union, held on the 29th July, 2023, At Chida Hotel, Abuja.
In a speech delivered at the occasion, by Dr. Daniel Ademu,
Head Boy 1977, said as a first measure, towards restoring the glory of GSSD, there is the urgent need to restore boarding facility and to run it as Private Public Partnership, (PPP), the kind of arrangement their beloved Senior brother, Dr Ibrahim Wada is doing with Garki Hospital, Abuja.
He stressed that to achieve this the discussion must go beyond this forum, saying if it’s statutorily allowed.
Speaking further he said, “This event is not just about coming together to look at our faces, exchange pleasantries, eat, drink and go back home. It’s essentially about the future of the school.
“It’s true that what’s happening in our old school now is part of the general societal rot that seem to have taken over the whole space. Greed, selfishness, unrighteousness, inability to distinguish between right and wrong and outright wickedness has become the order of the day.
“Just last night we were discussing the matter of the school and somebody said that the rot is beyond redemption and so we should not place too much emphasis on restoring the old glory.
I have a different view, even though I didn’t express it to him. I believe that nothing is impossible if there is a will.
“Truly, if we wait for government to change the situation, we can as well wait till eternity. There are still good schools around, howbeit not government schools.
“First is that for the glory of GSSD to return we must restore boarding facility, and run it as PPP Private Public Partnership (PPP), the kind of arrangement our beloved Senior brother, Dr Ibrahim Wada is doing with Garki Hospital, Abuja. The discussion is beyond this forum, that is if it’s statutorily allowed.
THE SPEECH IN FULL
A SPEECH DELIVERED AT THE RE-UNION DINNER OF THE CLASS OF DOBA77 ON THE 29TH JULY, 2023 AT CHIDA HOTEL, ABUJA
The Chairman, Chief S. I. Ocheja,
Members of the High Table,
The Chairman LOC,
My highly distinguished Seniors,
My highly distinguished Classmates,
My highly distinguished Juniors,
Other invited guests,
Gentlemen of the Press,
It is with a grateful heart that I stand before you today to welcome you formally to this re-union event of class of 1977. It is a great privilege & extreme honour that I don’t take for granted. The class of ’77 is obviously a great family. By Divine providence we came into the school in January 1973 as young boys that did not know what the future held for us. We were a total of 109 students admitted into form one(as it was then called). In this gathering today that number is not complete. For so many genuine reasons some could not come, but for some, life has played a fast one on us as they have passed on to the great beyond. It is because of this last group that my rejoicing is very incomplete, very sadly.
May we therefore rise in honour of our departed friends & compatriots with whom we shared wonderful friendship/brotherliness in our formative years at GSS, DEKINA, to observe a minute silence in their honour.
Fondly remembered are the great friends & compatriots;
- Francis Drisu
- Sanusi Kadiri
- Samuel Abah
- Paul Enemakwu
- Capt. Yahaya Mundi
- Bala Opaluwa
- Ali Yusuf
- Ransome Akale
- Olakushehin Attah
- Shaibu Muhammad
- Samuel Ujah
- Akoji Onekutu
- Joel Ocholi
- Ademu Muhammad
- Prof. Ibrahim Zekeri
- Abdulmalik Yakubu
May their souls rest in peace with the Lord, AMEN!
Please permit me to pray for the families of our departed friends/compatriots.
This year, January 2023 marked 50 years we entered GSS, DEKINA as students. 50 is the year of Jubilee, the year of emancipation when the captives must be set free. For the class of ’77, it is therefore a very special year & with that understanding we thought it appropriate, not just to celebrate but to also give thanks to God who has numbered us among the living.
May we therefore rise once more to give a round of applause to the class of DOBA77, for God’s faithfulness, love & mercy.
GSS DEKINA, OUR SURE FOUNDATION.
Most of the students entered the school as novices. As I look back at those years, I came to understand that the school was so structured as to put everyone on the platform of stack ignorance, & therefore it put structures in place to teach the students wisdom & knowledge, irrespective of our parental background. The teachers were ready to teach & the students were ready to learn.
Two principles stood out very clearly in our formative years in GSS, DEKINA;
1.The principle of “spare the rod & spoil the child” was well understood & applied, so the rod was given a free hand to operate. No child died on account of this but we were made.
- Teach the child way he should go & when he grows he will not depart.
May I therefore use this opportunity, on behalf of DOBA77 to appreciate the following;
A). The school GSSD, that stock to the ideals of the school anthem & ensured that every stanza is adhered to, in bringing us up.
The school anthem;
Well crafted & ideals maintained to bring us up well in order to fit well into the larger society.
Two principals of the school are here;
1.Our father Chief S. I. Ocheja. Sir, we were not privileged to meet you when we came to the school but I particularly heard of how you managed the school so well. Dr Christopher Umoche, now in Houston Texas, USA is my cousin. He was the headboy of 1972 set. In Dec. 1972, the year he passed out from the school, he took me along to Dekina so that I could have an idea of the school I was going to enter in January of the following year. He told me about the principal that was leaving, I wasn’t privileged to see you at all but I heard of the great job you did on the school. Thank you, Sir.
- Mr. Abimaje Onalo
Not much I can say about you but I know you’re contending with so many things. I spoke with you & from our discussion I understand that you met us in our final year. We shall hear from you, & see how we can put heads together in an attempt to bring back the glory of the old GSSD. Thank you for honouring our invitation.
B). Our Teachers,
Sir, Barr Micheal Obamero. We invited you to grace this occasion because you are a symbol/representation of a good & exemplary teacher. I am not a language person but the way you spoke & taught french language, & the charisma you carried with it made me like french but I couldn’t offer it because it’s just not in me to do it. We invited you to our gathering for you know that we cherish your impact on our lives. God bless you, Sir.
C). Our Seniors
We the class of DOBA77 thank you immensely for showing us the way. The teachers job stopped in the classroom but you provided the bulk of the training in the hostels. You were our senior brothers in the true sense of the word. For some of you we thought you were wicked but you meant well for us because your dealings with us truly moulded us but they didn’t break us. You taught us to take care of ourselves & our environments, to respect elders to be teachers of morality & integrity. We have invited you to let you know that we now cherish the training you gave us. Thank you so very much.
D). To our juniors,
Thank you for taking us for whom we were. As earlier spoken, all that were done was with good intentions. Thank you for being good learners that you were.
I was privileged to be part of the reunion of the class of DOBA79, by invitation. In that event, Sunday Ameh, SAN reminded me of a particular mannerism I had as the head boy in 1977. That there was one particular wrist watch I used to wear, & when I started shaking that wrist watch, then something very serious had happened. It was with a righteous intention. Thank you for being here.
E) To my Classmates.
This is the group of men of integrity & uprightness, bringing excellence into all we do. Please permit me to blow the trumpet of class of DOBA77, a little. I feel privileged to lead a group of such great men. You gave me the privilege to perform my duties well as the headboy in 1977 & as if that’s not enough, you made me your leader even as men of great honour & reputation. I am truly humbled & I want to let you know that I don’t take it for granted. Thank you so very much. The bond of unity in this class is great, characterized by intense love for one another. We live sacrificially one for another. We are brothers indeed.
LIFE OUTSIDE GSS, DEKINA.
Life has been very good to us as a group & as individuals. In the respective fields we have chosen we have made marks, locally & internationally. We are privileged & proud to have men of great virtues from this group. We made no apology for that statement, it’s just to appreciate the goodness of God in our lives. These men, you can call on them any time concerning issues of this class & they will respond. Permit me to mention a few, for our times sake.
- Razak Kutepa.
This guy doesn’t need introduction. He has a very large heart. He singlehandedly wrote off the budget for this reunion. I called Razak to remind him of this event & he asked me what I wanted him to do & I said, “give us money & make yourself available to attend the reunion”. He said how much & I called the entire budget for the reunion. He said he already had a program for that period but he would see what he could do. Razak singlehandedly offset the entire budget planned for this event. He is not here now because he couldn’t disengage.
Emma Amade, Paul Odekina these men had planned overseas trips but had to shift their dates because of the this event. They are not here because of unforeseen circumstances. The story is same for all of us but time would fail me to mention everyone.
Class of DOBA77, you’re a wonderful set of people. God bless you real good.
WAY FORWARD FOR GSS,DEKINA
This event is not just about coming together to look at our faces, exchange pleasantries, eat & drink & go back home.
It’s essentially about the future of the school.
It’s true that what’s happening in our old school now is part of the general societal wrot that seem to have taken over the whole space. Greed, selfishness, unrighteousness, inability to distinguish between right & wrong, & outright wickedness has become the order of the day. Just last night we were discussing the matter of the school & somebody said that the wrot is beyond redemption & so we should not place too much emphasis on restoring the old glory.
I have a different view, even though I didn’t express it to him. I believe that nothing is impossible if there is a will.
Truly, if we wait for government to change the situation, we can as well wait till eternity. There are still good schools around, howbeit not government schools.
First is that for the glory of GSSD to return we must restore boarding facility, & run it as PPP(Private Public Partnership), the kind of arrangement our beloved Senior brother, Dr Ibrahim Wada is doing with Garki Hospital, Abuja. The discussion is beyond this forum, that is if it’s statutarily allowed.
- LOC Chairman, Secretary & members. You overshot my expectations. Your commitment, zeal & dedication to the actualization of the event is unique. Your Excellency, Ambassador Samuel Jimba, we are classmates but I must confess that I didn’t know your worth before this event. The way you lead the members of your committee in planning & execution of this event took me unawares. Samson Makoji, you I know very well so I am not surprised. Same goes to all the members of the LOC, God bless you immensely.
- Professors Rotimi Aluko & Paul Daniel Ocheje. I must mention you very specially because you have done tremendously wonderful. You abandoned your very busy schedule, participated as members of the planning & implementation committee & you travelled all the way from Canada to Abuja just to attend this reunion. The lord Himself bless you indeed, AMEN.
- Barr. Sunday Ameh, SAN.
We have heard of your exploits in the legal profession & I want to tell you that we are proud of you as our schoolmate. You have kept the candle burning. They say when a child has washed his hands well, then he can dine with the elders. Your immense contribution to this re-union made things very easy for us. You took alot of burden off our shoulders & we are eternally grateful. The class of DOBA77 all know what you have done. I exercise restraint so I won’t mention the detail so that other classes don’t trouble you during their reunion. God bless you.
So much to be said because my heart is full of joy. If I omitted your your name it’s not out of disrespect but for time constraints.
Our candles shall not burn out, rather it shall continue to burn brighter & brighter for men to see our good works.
Thank you & God bless us all.
DR DANIEL ADEMU,