Bayelsa State Governor, Senator Douye Diri, has said teachers play a very significant role in the moulding of their students to become leaders.
He said leaders and professionals could not have been successful in their careers without the discipline and tenacity of teachers.
A statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr Daniel Alabrah, said the governor spoke on Saturday night at the gala/awards of the alumni of his alma mater, Government Secondary School, Odi in Kolokuma/Opokuma Local Government Area of the state.
The event held at the DSP Alamieyeseigha Memorial Banquet Hall, Government House, Yenagoa, was to raise funds for the building and equipping of the school’s science laboratories as part of activities marking its 50th anniversary celebrations.
The Bayelsa governor urged the alumni members to remain united and committed to sustaining the association and to continue to give back to their alma mater, saying the school laid the foundation of who they have become in society.
He appreciated King Alfred Diette-Spiff, who as former military governor of the old Rivers State, initiated the policies that gave children in rural areas access to education.
The governor also thanked the principals and teachers of the school, who he said moulded the students of the school to become responsible and productive members of society.
Senator Diri urged members to reflect on their days as students in the school and thank God for who they have become, noting that in spite of the non-conducive learning environment, most of them have excelled in various fields of endeavour.
His words, “Let us hold this association very strong. What we have done in Odi today will produce more Professors, doctors and politicians. What you have done is giving back to our children by motivating them to have role models.
“The journey of 50 years from 1972, as we can all attest, is a worthwhile one. Some of us have left.
“Let us appreciate God for keeping us alive and allowing our alma mater, Government Secondary School, Odi, to continue to turn out very useful manpower for our society.
“I would like us to retrospect on our days at GSS where we drank stagnant stream water. There was no pipe-borne water, no electricity and we were using lanterns to go to prep.
“In spite of the difficulties we passed through, the school produced people who became Rear Admirals and Generals in the military, lawyers, doctors and legislators. Most of us have distinguished ourselves in one area or the other. It can only be God.
“I feel very happy that our secondary school was established under the leadership of King Alfred Diette-Spiff in the old Rivers State, who had the educational policy that children that were far from Port Harcourt, the state capital, and who did not have the opportunity to be admitted into schools, had access to education. Today, virtually all of us are what we are because of those policies.
“We are what we are because of the principals and teachers that moulded us during our stay in that school. I pay tribute to our principals and teachers that moulded us academically.
“On behalf of the alumni association, we say thank you for making us who we are academically. You moulded us very well.”
Earlier, chairman of the GSS alumni association, Professor Ebimieowei Etebu, stated that the golden anniversary celebration provided an opportunity for members to reunite and reminisce on their days in the school.
According to him, the school formed in the students the capacity to withstand difficult situations, which has resulted in their great exploits in different facets of life.
He further stated that the association was formed to motivate members to give back to the institution and urged members to work together to further develop the school.
Awards were presented to former staff and students including Governor Diri, former Speaker of the House of Assembly and member representing Kolokuma-Opokuma Constituency 1, Dr. Tonye Isenah, the state Commissioner for Works and Infrastructure, Moses Teibowei, retired Rear Admiral Geoffrey Yanga, Brig-Gen. Eric Angaye as well as former principal and teachers of the school among others.
More than N30 million was raised in pledges to support the school’s science laboratories project.
On Saturday morning, the governor was joined by past and current students of the school for a march past and novelty football match in Odi community by his deputy, Senator Lawrence Ewhrudjakpo, Rear Admiral Yanga (rtd), Prof. Etebu, Gen. Angaye among other dignitaries.
The football game was between former students of the school and the All Stars International Football Club of Yenagoa, which ended in a 2-2 draw.
Governor Diri scored the second equaliser for his alma mater from the penalty spot and was voted the most valuable player of the match.
Speaking to journalists, he said: “It feels very great to be back, to reunite with those I met at a very tender age. Now we are all fathers and some even grandfathers and mothers.
“I like to commend my school mates for this event. It is a take away for every other school. We believe that those who benefited from this school are what we are today because of the discipline. I am sure a lot of the young ones today will see models among us.
“We will act as a bulwark for galvanizing the students of GSS to let them know that wherever you are you can be what you want to be.”
By: Ariwera Ibibo-Howells, Yenagoa
London Museum Returns Looted Benin Bronzes To Nigeria
A small museum in south-east London has begun the official process of returning looted Benin bronzes to Nigeria. The Horniman Museum, which houses a collection of 72 treasured items that were taken by force from Benin City in 1897, officially handed over ownership of the artifacts to the Nigerian government.
The Horniman described returning the looted objects as a “moral and appropriate” response after a request from Nigeria’s National Commission for Museums and Monuments (NCMM). There are still questions about whether thousands of items which were held at large institutions globally, including the British Museum, will ever be sent back.
However, the first six objects which were being returned includes two Benin Bronze plaques from the royal palace which were handed over to Nigerian officials at a ceremony marking the transfer of ownership of 72 looted items. The items were taken from Benin City by British troops in February 1897.
Nick Merriman, chief executive of the Horniman Museum and Gardens, and prof. Abba Tijani, the NCMM’s director general, were asked by journalists ahead of the official handover if they were frustrated at the British Museum’s apparent reluctance to hand over the 900 objects it had held for more than a century. Merriman, who said the Horniman had been an “excellent example” of leadership, stated that, “Journalists who ask me about the Benin return always want to ask me about the British Museum.”
“I would rather talk about what an excellent example the Horniman is rather than answer questions about the British Museum.” The six objects selected in consultation with the NCMM as being representative of the collection of 72 items form the first wave of physical repatriation of Benin objects from the Horniman.
A new agreement between the NCMM and the Horniman will allow the remainder to stay in Britain on loan for now, with a second phase of physical repatriations to follow in due course. Professor Tijani later explained that about 5,000 Benin bronzes were currently “scattered” around the world. He said that he is hoping that talks with various institutions may result in deals that could herald the items being returned from places including Germany and the U.S.
Underage Street Traders Increase Bothers Agency
The Delta State Capital Territory Development Agency has expressed worries at the increasing number of underage street traders.
The agency consequently blamed parents of such traders for their failure to ensure proper care of their children and wards.
Its Director-General, Mrs Joan Onyemaechi, told newsmen in Asaba that underage children were becoming common sight on streets in the state capital, whereas such children were supposed to be in school.
According to her, the proliferation of street trading has become worrisome and steps will be taken to ensure that children are taken off the streets.
“More than 8,000 under-age children are on the streets, especially at Koka and Ibusa junctions of Asaba, selling pure water and other items when they are supposed to be in school,’’ she noted.
Earlier, some of the hawkers, who spoke with newsmen, said they ventured into selling pure water to earn a living as there were no persons to cater to their well-being.
Ndiomu Lauds PAP’s First Class Graduates, Others As Admiralty Varsity Holds Maiden Convocation
The Interim Administrator of the Presidential Amnesty Programme (PAP), Maj. Gen Barry Ndiomu (rtd) has applauded PAP’s First-Class graduates at the Admiralty University of Nigeria, Ebusa, Delta State.
The ceremony, which was the school’s maiden convocation, held on the campus, at Asaba, the Delta State capital, saw a female beneficiary of the PAP scholarship, Ms Ebike-Emiyen Doma Perewolatei, emerging as the best graduating student in the Faculty of Arts, Management and Social Science for the 2021/2022 academic session.
The Tide learnt that Ms Perewolatei, who bagged four other awards, including cash gifts, clinched a coveted First-Class degree in History and International Studies with a CGPA of 4.86.
While Alagha Tarinpre Angela, another PAP scholarship beneficiary, who also bagged a First Class degree, was presented with an award and cash gift as the student who exhibited the best leadership qualities.
Another PAP Scholarship beneficiary graduate, Mr Famous Tumodi, who also bagged first-class honours, was awarded the best graduating student in International Relations and Tourism Studies.
In the same vein, another beneficiary of the PAP Scholarship, James Ayefemawei Thomas, emerged as the best graduating student with a first-class degree in Accounting, Business Administration and Economics on a CGPA of 4.72.
Other PAP Scholarship beneficiaries among the ten that bagged First Class are: Olotu Jerry, Peters Isobeye Princess, Bernard Moses Ebiwei, Azibanataram Reuben, Moses Diepreye Immaculate, and Iko Tokoni.
The Tide also learnt that aside the 10 students, 61 other beneficiaries of the Amnesty Programme also awarded Second Class Upper Division at the ceremony in which a total of 118 beneficiaries of the programme graduated.
Speaking on behalf of the Interim Administrator of the Presidential Amnesty Programme, Maj. Gen Barry Ndiomu (rtd), Head of the Reintegration Department, PAP, Wilfred Musa, said the Presidential Amnesty Programme was proud to have sponsored very brilliant minds who have been found worthy in character and learning.
He charged the recently graduated beneficiaries to continue to be good Ambassadors of the university, themselves, the PAP, and the Niger Delta at large, assuring that a good future awaits them if they choose to continue in the excellence they have exhibited in their academics.
He further expressed excitement about the award presented to Ms Alagha Tarinpre Angela, commending her for being an excellent example of a leader, saying it was worthy of emulation by Niger Deltans.
“The PAP is committed to excellence and these students have shown that there is a great future for the Niger Delta region.
“The Interim Admnistrator has revealed that the PAP will not renege on its existing commitment to the students under its scholarship programme.
“General Ndiomu has advised students undergoing studies in other universities to emulate the exemplary academic excellence of these fresh graduates”, he said.
By: Ariwera Ibibo-Howells, Yenagoa
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