I had loved to be a teacher from childhood because of their popularity – Elder Olujobi, 87 years old retired principal

An octogenarian and retired secondary school principal, Elder Ayo Olujobi, who tells his story, saying life was good while he was growing, urged parents not to compromise education of their children. He also advised the country’s leaders to implement policies and programmes that will improve living standard and make people happy


My name is Elder Ayo Olujobi. I was born on June 5, 1936 at Ikere Ekiti here.
My father, Samuel Olujobi, was a farmer. He was the Baba Isale of Holy Trinity Church, Odo Oja Ikere Ekiti for many years before he died, and my mother, Mary Olujobi, was a petty trader.
My parents named me Ayo because I was the first surviving son of the family, a polygamous family.


I began primary education in 1944 at St Louis Primary School, now Holy Trinity Primary School, Ikere Ekiti. I lived with my parents, they took care of me and they encouraged me to learn. After primary school education, I got opportunity to teach because of the influence of my father in the church, I was appointed a pupil teacher. After three years, I took entrance examination to All Saints College Teachers College, Usi Ekiti, where I obtained Grade 3 Teachers Certificate. After I completed my studies at the school, I taught for some years, then I took the entrance examination to another teachers’ college, Ondo/Oyo Joint Provincial College, Ile-Ife,where I had my Grade 2 Certificate. I was very popular in the school because of my sporting prowess. I was a footballer and a sprinter.


Education was on my mind right from childhood. I had it on mind that I would become a teacher because teachers were very popular then. My intention was to teach after leaving school. But I studied further to the university level to improve my position as a teacher.
I studied privately to qualify for admission to university. After the two teacher’s colleges, I studied privately for Advanced Level certificate and I passed. I had two Advanced Level papers called GCE London then and conducted by WAEC. So, my admission into the University of Lagos was through Direct Entry.


Because of his position in the church, I was forced to serve God, to read the Bible and to follow the rules and regulations in the Bible because I didn’t want anyone to say ‘look at the son of a leader’. I was an obedient child growing up. Because of the position of my father, I was very serious with my studies.
One bid lesson I learned from him is endurance. He was very enduring. My father was not easily discouraged. He encouraged me to be strong in faith. My mum was a quiet woman. She was always on the look out to make me happy.


My father died before my mother. That was long ago, I cannot remember the dates offhand, but I was already an adult and on my own before they died.


I studied Philosophy and History because my AL papers qualified me to study the courses. Life was smooth and interesting in the university. I had many friends and I was very active in sports. People knew me in all departments as a good sportsman. It was during my first year in the university that I had my first son, now a medical doctor. When I was informed of the birth, I came down from Unilag to Ilesha where we were residing then.
My wife had a job that time, she was a teacher. Again, we had very good friends then at Ilesa, especially the Daramola family. They played vital roles.
I graduated in 1977, then I went for the compulsory NYSC service year in Benue State. I was very happy with the status and that I was able to achieve my desire to be a university graduate. I am the first graduate in the Olujobi family.


I was encouraged to come and teach because of my teaching experience. After my NYSC service year in Benue State, I returned to pick up teaching appointment. I was posted to Adeyeri Grammar School, Owo where I spent eight years. There I became a vice principal and I was later posted out as principal to More High School, Afo in Ose Local Government area in Ondo State. While at Afo, I assisted in the development of that community. I did a lot of things that brought government activities and presence there because I was very influential in government then. I used my contacts and position and they all appreciated what I did for them. I also used my contact to influence electricity to the town. The person in charge of electricity was my school mate. So, through him, electricity was extended to the town. After Afo, I returned to Ikere as the Principal of Eleyo High School, Ikere Ekiti. That was where I retired in 1994.
Many of my students are successful in their different fields because I encouraged them, I always advised them that they could get to any level if they worked hard in their studies and some of them took to and are successful.


I was very happy that I had the opportunity to serve as a teacher in my area. I thank God that at the appropriate time, I retired as the principal of Eleyo Grammar School. After retirement, I came back to my house and have since, been living happily with my family. God gave me the opportunity to train my children. Today, they are all graduates. I have the opportunity to serve God.


No. I have no interest in politics at all. I only attempted politics in the university, where I was a student parliamentarian with the likes of Ebenezer Babatope popularly called Ebino Topsy as at that time.
I do not like politics because it is very rough. I don’t know how to tell lies. I did not join politics because I cannot say A is B. Politicians are full of deceits. When you get there, they will influence you. If you refuse to join them, that can be dangerous, because they will see you as disturbing them from making money. So, I decided to stay away.


Because of my character and achievement, people knew I was transparent, they invited me that they wanted me to serve on the Hospital Management Committee of Ekiti State Specialists’ Hospital, Ikere Ekiti after retirement. I was nominated by my town, Ikere Ekiti, to serve there. For about 15 years, I was the Chairman of the Hospital Management Committee as nominated by the town and by virtue of that position, I was on the Ekiti State Committee on Drug Revolving Fund, representing Ekiti South Senatorial District. I resigned voluntarily because of old age. Aside that, it was a decision to give others chance to occupy the post. Because I do not want to be there perpetually, I decided to give the chance for the appointment of another person into the position.
I was the representative of the National Population Commission in Ikere Local Government Area during the last population census conducted by the NPC. I was also a member of the committee that was in charge of the construction of Ikere Town Hall. The community respects me, people like me, they contact me to seek advice.


As a sportsman, I represented our school in relay. I was the anchor, i.e taking the last leg in relay race. I was the captain of the team at Ondo/Oyo Joint Provincial College. But at the university, I did not participate because I had to concentrate on my course, Philosophy.
There was this memorable experience: There was that day that my teammates carried me shoulder high because they felt I performed an unbelievable feat. My school, Ondo/Oyo Joint Provincial College, was invited to Imade College, Owo for a relay race, I was on the last leg, my team was in the second position when the baton was handed over to me, but I outran the anchor of the leading team and we ended up taking the first position. My fellow students could not believe it, they carried me shoulder high rejoicing. They took the celebration to school.


I didn’t you marry more than a wife because of my experience. When I was young, I had spiritual attacks because I was first son, but I survived by the grace of God. Also, in the house that I lived as a tenant before I got married, I had bitter experience there seeing couples in polygamous families frequently engaging in quarrels, divorce issues, incidents of deaths etc. Even, when I was at Owo, a man offered me his daughter for marriage, but I told the man to let her daughter find her rightful husband since there was no reason for me to betray my wife by marrying another woman. Even in Ikere here, there were entreaties and moves to tempt me to marry another woman, but the bitter experiences I had of polygamy and my marital vow were fresh in my memories.


I had a friend when I was at Ilesa, it was in his house that I met my wife. She came from Ogbomoso to Ilesa, She was preparing for GCE then, a slim lady. She did not want to go home to avoid being worried by men, so she was staying with a lady who was teaching in the same school with her. The woman’s husband was my friend. That was where I met her. So my friend told me that an Ekiti woman was in the house and encouraged me to go and woo her. We got married in 1974 and God blessed us with four children.


My children are all graduates. I encouraged them, I enticed them. I did everything to motivate them. They all attended good schools. Three of them attended Federal Government College and the last one had secondary school education at St Louis Secondary School. I am very happy now because I trained my children and they are now taking care of me. They make me very comfortable. I encourage parents to take care of their children, ensure they have good education, because our children are our future.


The authorities need to be very careful to avoid revolution. They have to be very careful. They have to move in ways that will make lives easier for the people, improve the standard of living of the people. They must act to avoid revolution. Revolution is a very bad exercise which can involve unnecessary destruction and loss of lives. They have to be very careful in their administration. They have to do things that will make people comfortable, not things that will add to citizens’ problems.


There is a programme in the University of Lagos, they call it General African Studies. It is a very good course. It will make you know everything about other tribes. It is a course that has the capability to unite the country. It is also a course that opens people’s eyes. It does not give vocational training, but it will make you know what is going on, what the government is doing and know about many things. The government should adopt this for all schools.
Also, government should make vocational education compulsory in schools. They should introduce it in all institutions so that students would learn trades and vocations which can make them stand on their own after graduation without having to look for non-existent white collar jobs. When people can stand on their own, they will be productive and as well be employers of labour. This will solve the problem of unemployment.
If that kind of vocational education had started in Nigeria before now, the country would not have been like this.


Because I am a plain person and I am very careful about the oath which I took when marrying. I am very loyal because I made a promise not to flirt around and not to engage in extra-marital affairs. I stick to my wife. Since I got married, a third party has not had any cause to settle anything between my wife and I. Also, as a sportsman, I used to go for sports and exercise before now. I exercise my body every day. Again I am disciplined when it comes to food. I eat twice a day.


As I said earlier, people have to be honest with their marriage. People have to work hard to maintain their families. When you maintain your family, there will be no problem. All along, my wife and I never had misunderstanding for hours. People should marry only a wife and train their children. If you marry more than one wife, I don’t think the person will be happy.


In my family, I have no regret. But in my relationship with people out there, there are some areas where there can be regret. Because when you are trying to be honest with them, they will be dishonest with you. They will like to cheat you, take you for granted or use that opportunity to cheat you.


I have been to United Arab Emirate and America and we are preparing for Britain next year. When you get to Dubai, you will see the signboard that ‘This is the Centre of the World’. I was in Dubai for sight-seeing. It is a good place to go because there are so many things to make you happy. It is a place you will not like to leave. I was in New York to visit my childhood friends, Dr Bisi Omotoso and Francis Ogundana. I enjoyed the place as well.
The way things are, we have not been having honest leaders, they have not been faithful. Though President Bola Tinubu is trying to do some tangible things, I pray that God will help him. In Ekiti State, the man there at present, Governor Biodun Oyebanji, is also trying. We pray that he will continue this way.

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