In life, there is time for every time, time to begin something and time to end it. This was the case of the immediate past principal of King’s College Lagos, Otunba Dele Olapeju who finally bowed out of the service last week after spending 33 years in active service and served 70 months in king’s college as Principal.
In a well-packaged ceremony lined for the pulling out of the principal from active service, which attracted dignitaries from all walks of life, was a moment to behold.
Olapeju said that on assumption into office as the principal of the college, he met a lot of challenges and decided to restore the past glory of the college, which was seriously challenged.
“I recalled that upon my assumption of office on January 2010, I met the college in a very challenging dilapidation and begging state. Without being immodest, the college was on a fast reverse remaining only in name and the past glory. With the support of team King’s college, the able leadership of Dr. Sunny Kuku, the president of King’s College Old Boys (KCOB), the college Parents Teachers Association (PTA), we have been able to deliver on my avowed twin agenda of transformation and Restoration of the King’s college ‘he stated.
He said that it was his wish, having set an irreversible agenda on marching forward; focusing on the infrastructural challenges of the college, what is critical now was the maintenance of the structure already in place.
“We must come to term with reality that ours is an aging institution with 106 years. The structure, we have, if in another land and clan would have been buried and replaced.
“We need consistently to procure funds that would ensure continued maintenance and sustenance of our heritage. Undoubtedly, king’s college remains the foremost institution and grandparents to the Nigerian nation.
Among the KC team, it was agreed that the college would continue to provide services to the nation because it has people in every part of the country and in all facets of the government establishment “he stated.
According to him, KC today has better infrastructure with over 3000 students in the two campuses.
He also disclosed that most of the infrastructures on the college were provided by private organizations and many are wiling to assist further.
According to him, apart from government funds, the KC team realized that it needed to attract funds from other sources to carry out the transformation and restoration agenda to conclusion.
Addressing Journalists to announce programme of activities lined up for his retirement ceremony, he said that he was reluctant to be in king’s college and also reluctant to leave the college.
According to him, he had almost reject the offer to head the institution because of his position in the leadership of federal ministry of education, but the permanent secretary did not allowed him to complain.
“When I came to King’s college, I had a feeling of what I met on ground. There were a lot of challenges, the college was just like a farm camp and I needed to act quickly to prove that KC was one of the nation’s heritage and I moved into restoring the college to its past glory, the KC remains only in name and the heritage was being challenged.
“I never wanted to come here but when I came I never wanted to leave” he said.
According to him, his presence at the college had helped to restore the institution which is national heritage to its former glory, saying that in last the six years the college has always be coming out with excellent grades.
He also commended the press for supporting him towards achieving the much he was able to achieve at the king’s college, stressing that without the support of the press he could not have made success in his transformation and restoration agenda.
He thanked God for the strength given to him to complete his services years in good health, adding that all he did at the king’s was like miracle.
According to him, since the first Africa Principal of the college, Federal Government has been proud of the King’s college Principals.
He said that KC had always strived to be the best and it is still the best, parading the best teachers in all subjects.
He said that throughout his tenure as the principal there was no fund released to the institution for capital project.
Olapeju advised the federal government to pay attention to the infrastructural development of the college, saying that the college remains one of the national heritages.
According to him, unity school in the country should remain under the control of federal government, saying that if they are transferred into the hands of the private sectors it would denies aces to those from poor families.
“Private organizations are interested in making profits and we should not hand over our national heritage to their hands to determines the fates our children “he said.
High light of the occasion include, giving awards to deserving teachers, matriculation of fresh students, the principal teaching for the last time as the government teacher and principal of King’s college.
– Titus Eleweke