Oke-Ira, a community in Ojodu Local Council Development Area (LCDA) of Lagos State was agog recently. Many people converged on the community for the maiden edition of an interschool quiz competition organised by the office of Honourable Gbenga Opebi, the Councillor representing Ward C Oke-Ira Central, for pupils of primary and secondary schools in the area.
Opebi said the initiative was to improve the standard of education in the community, give back to the society and expose the pupils to proper learning. The event was part of activities marking the 500 days in office of the Chairman of the LCDA, Julius Olumuyiwa Oloro.
Pupils from public and private primary and secondary schools in the ward participated in the competition, including Okeira Primary Schools,Tropic Pearl Schools, Tunmi Olugunwa Schools, Bethel Gemini Schools, Livingstone Schools and several others.
Opebi said after the programme that the event was fulfilling. “It was competitive and I believe strongly that when they go back to their various schools, they must have gained one or two things from this experience. I intend to make it an annual event, and I am sure there will be improvements in consecutive editions. This is just the beginning and it was a positive experience.
“At the end of this event, my people will know that they have a representative that cares for them, a representative that cares for the education of their children and that is a great motivation for me to continue the good work. I intend to depopulate the clique of rogues and criminals in the community,” he noted.
While lauding the sponsors of the programme, Opebi said there were other initiatives in the offing aimed at improving the lives of people of the community.
“This is not my first programme,” he said. “Three months ago, I did a three-day free health summit for residents of my ward. Many of them got free treatment and free drugs. I intend to change the story and the belief that politicians are out there to deceive the people. I want to make a sustainable impact that will even outlive my tenure as a councillor.”
He also spoke about the seeming disdain of the elite for the Yoruba language. “I feel concerned that we have failed to train our children our language,” he said.
“We need to go back to the drawing board and see how we can change the bad trend. How will the children now understand our culture and tradition if we do not speak our language? That is why I agreed with the panellists to include Yoruba Language in the subjects for the competition. We need to start teaching the language whether in
our homes or in the schools.”
Vice Chairman of the council, Reverend Olubunmi Oluyagi stood in for the Chairman. He said the idea of the
quiz was mooted to help improve the educational standard in the area, starting from the grassroots.
While praising the pupils, Oluyagi commended Opebi for the initiative.
“We are very proud of his achievements in the last one year, I think this should encourage others to do the same. Educational development is part of the programmes of the All Progressives Congress (APC). We are known for our transformation agenda in the states and in Nigeria. So, let us support the students, let us support the parents and let us support the schools in ensuring that the teachers give their best to the students,” he said.
One of the panelists, Mrs. Beckley, said the exposure of the pupils to the quiz competition was wonderful, adding that the programme would enhance meaningful knowledge.
“A competition like this helps to discover new talents and expose the pupils. It will also build their confidence and prepare them for future challenges,” she said.
She urged the teachers to encourage the use of Yoruba Language in public and private schools. “They should endeavour to teach the students our local language.”
There were questions in Mathematics, English Language, Basic Science, Basic Technology and Yoruba language.Awards were given to the best schools in all the categories.
For the Primary and Junior School section, Okeira Primary School came first, while Bethel Gemini emerged victorious from the Senior Secondary School category.
Officials of Ojodu LCDA and APC leaders at the event were Comrade Olanrewaju Dayo, Supervisor, Agric and Rural Development, Lateef Abass, Deputy Chairman APC, Olawale Abdul Salam, Supervisor, Works and Infrastructure, Tayo Orekoya, APC leader, Mr. Akinwande, a director and representative of Mrs. Funmilayo Onadipe, Tutor General and Permanent Secretary, Education District VI, Oshodi Lagos, Hon Ademola Okubajo, former Secretary, Ojodu LCDA and Mrs. Yemisi Idowu among others.