A reader’s reaction to “Ibadan Grammar School Centennial” & my response – Tola Adenle


Ibadan “Grammar” celebrates its Centennial

  1. TAO OTUNLA Says:
    April 3, 2013 at 11:50 pm eOsun school uniforms BIZARRE?…….in all of Ghana,in cruel Brittania,children for shared values,discipline,and to give every child a level dressage start, go to school in “the same uniform”. What may I ask is bizarre about this except unthinking reaction to those values listed above that are severely lacking in today’s Nigeria? Is this an unkind exaggeration of ill feeling towards the government or a poor understanding of the meaning of meaning the word BIZARRE. Mo kun fope o.taoReply
    • emotan77 Says:
      April 4, 2013 at 7:36 am eDear Mr. Otunla,Thank you for weighing in on Osun’s new move on public schools’ uniforms in Osun, an aside in the report on Ibadan Grammar School’s Centennial.While we all share the same humanity, a common thread that also sees us sharing many values, different countries chart their own courses. In Nigeria, the “Old Students Associations” have long become INSTITUTIONS at secondary school level just as in the U.S.A, Alumni Associations at university level are institutions. Different as they may be, they both aid their schools and colleges in raising funds to improve infrastructure, create scholarships and provide – in the case of Nigerian schools – items that governments are not willing or able to provide. Millions of U.S. college alumni are proud to belong to their college associations and the mails for solicitations and alumni magazines that include news on research breakthroughs, etcetera, never let you forget that you are a Gator, a Bulldog, a Running/Yelling Rebel, etcetera. It is an IDENTITY that alumni wear proudly.

      In Nigeria, school uniforms are part of the IDENTITY that students and former students have about their schools just as something as pedestrian as vehicle license plates create identity in Nigeria. It is not an UNTHINKING REACTION to any values to be able to recognize students of various schools by the uniforms they wear nor “ill feeling towards the government” as such things always descend in Nigeria: if you are not for us in every way and on every action we take, then you are against us.

      I wonder what the benefits of students switching from the old uniforms to the same outfits throughout a whole state are. I also just wonder if those Old Students Associations who have always been ready to pour in money to complement governments’ meager resources would react to their schools’ new identities – of which the school uniform is the public sign – become submerged.

      To Nigerian students for generations, the school uniform has always been almost sacred. Even these days when there are millions of students across the country, it is the reason why some students who have nefarious activities in mind would wear regular clothing to cover their school uniforms. It is also why schools like Ibadan Grammar has YORUBA ASO OKE in its colors woven. During the Centennial as during many celebrations, the men wore FILA and the women had IBORUN made from the cloth. In the U.S.A., any alumni worth his/her diploma has in her home or office flag or other insignia that shows where her collegiate loyalty lies.

      Mr. Otunla, I owe no “ill feeling” towards any government and, happily, can say that I was one of the very few – pardon my saying so – who continuously wrote about the previous Osun Government’s profligacy, writings that exposed me to great dangers as many in the state and within then opposition ACN, would tell.  [I actually lived at Osogbo from March 2009 to June 2011 and was at Osogbo the day the Tribunal declared retd. Brigadier Oyinlola a usurper and Alhaji Aregbesola the rightfully-elected governor.]  All the same, an aside to a policy I find BIZARRE and mentioned in writing about Ibadan Grammar’s old students’ contributions to the school’s development does not deserve the name calling although I’ve been called worse in a writing career that dates back to the 70s just as a great majority of people who have read me since The Daily Sketch know that  I make calls as I see them.

      If we can have this descent into parochialism that one normally expects from the general populace – from you – on an issue (mega schools) I had written in favor of based on what I knew about Ondo State before a reader wrote about it, then Nigeria may not have much hope. I’ve written tons of essays about President Jonathan just as I wrote tons about retd. General Obasanjo and Alhaji Yar Adua (including their first ladyism-s) but may be in matters pertaining to Osun State for now, I should – in the immortal words of late Uncle Bola Ige –  just siddon look.  Governors Oyinlola and Gbenga Daniel once believed – and said so – that I was a hack who was dictated to by Asiwaju Tinubu!

      You have my best regards, as always.


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4 Comments on “A reader’s reaction to “Ibadan Grammar School Centennial” & my response – Tola Adenle”

  1. Dele-Daramola Says:

    Please pardon my mistakes; wrote the response on my phone half asleep (considering the time).
    Last line should read……wear same dress, drive same car and build/live in same uniformed houses…



  2. Dele-Daramola Says:

    It is amazing how people defend the new Apostle of ‘equality’ in Osun State. What’s ‘shared value’ benefit when every student still bears their individual names and parental cultural values, discipline and religious beliefs? If after clothing and feeding them equally, does that impart the sought-knowledge equally?

    Sadly, the Czar of equality is pushing for equal holiday opportunity for Muslims and Christians as against the traditional Saturday and Sunday weekly breaks! You still wonder what will happen to business-men/women if not granted Mondays as it is Ojo Aje – a good day for business – and Wednesdays as Ojo’ru – a bad day – for traditionalists!

    Tola, like you rightly posited, each school has its unique identity and values. I was born and brought up in Lagos. My parents who are indigenes of Ondo shopped for and got me a desired well-recommended high school in old Oyo state, St Charle’s Grammar School based on the individual values of the school not on ‘shared value’ of the state!

    If it is that good to have equal, shared values and discipline,then it will only be expected that everybody should have the same height, wear the same dress, drive same car and build/live in same uniform houses!




    • emotan77 Says:

      Dear Dele,

      I read of a woman whose car had tire problem on the Lagos “expressway” from Ibadan Grammar School’s website and because her car had the Ibadan Grammar School sticker from her husband’s old school, she narrated how another old student stopped to help her. From the alumni news magazine that I receive, alumni write in to narrate incidents of meeting others in far-flung places. Not long ago, I wrote of meeting a Gator (University of Florida alumnus) at Ilara-Mokin which I wrote about here.

      Human bonds are many and people feel closer to people with shared experiences and shared past.




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