GCIOBA Lagos Branch Chairman's Speech At The 2015 Annual Luncheon of the Branch


The Chairman of the Occasion, our own Chief Olu Falomo,

The Guest Speaker, Ade Ogundeyin,

The President of the Association, Biodun Jolaoso,

All Old Boys, ancient, medieval, modern and feeding bottle, our permanent Young Girls,

Friends, well – wishers and all invitees.

Once again on behalf of the entire Executive, I welcome you to the Annual Luncheon of the Lagos Branch of the Old Boys Association of our great Alma Mater. I must particularly welcome the Chairman of the occasion, Chief Olu Falomo who has over the years demonstrated unquantifiable love for everything related to GCI and the guest speaker, Ade Ogundeyin for their enthusiastic response to the Lagos Branch request that they perform these roles today. They have responded in this manner despite their other pressing commitments. This is a further demonstration of the interest they have in our endangered secondary school.

You will immediately observe that they are both outstanding Old Boys of our institution. We have carefully selected two Old Boys cutting across the strata.

Permit me Ladies and Gentlemen to note that at the inauguration of our Executive Committee, we took the position that we would as much as possible seek the support of Old Boys in all our activities as we believe very strongly that the Old Boys Association of Government College Ibadan, Nigeria is a repertoire of phenomenal talent that must be identified and celebrated. This Luncheon today is made possible by the efforts of so many Old Boys who the Branch is grateful to for rising to the occasion.

I am indeed honoured that the Chairman and the Guest Speaker, represent the best of minds that any nation can produce and if this caliber of persons are well utilized, they are all that a nation requires for achieving phenomenal growth and success.

I have over the years raised certain issues about the failure of the Nigerian Intelligentsia. The issues I raised about the Nigerian Intelligentsia are still with us today if not in a substantially worse state.

You will all agree with me there is a multiplicity of issues requiring attention in Nigeria. It took me a while to distill my thoughts in my mind and realize that a consistent thread in all my thought was the collapse of intellectualism in Nigeria which has led invariably not just to the underdevelopment of the country but to a worse situation where even the token institutions or issues that were hitherto developed have now been destroyed.

The Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English defines INTELLIGENTSIA as “the people in society who are highly educated and often concern themselves with ideas and new developments”.

The question is whether Nigeria still possesses well educated persons who are at the vanguard of the development of the nation or whether such category of persons are disappearing so quickly from the Nigerian society that we can safely say that it is only a matter of time before they will cease to exist in this nation.

My fellow Old Boys, the answer to my question is obvious. The Intelligentsia in Nigeria have not lived up to their calling and responsibility as delivered above. Many reasons have been adduced for this failure. A poll recently conducted shows that over 70% of Nigerians believe our problem is due to a vacuum in leadership.

The average Nigerian will easily tell you the fault lies in our leaders.

My role today does not extend to adducing any reasons for these state of events. This will happen on some other day. However, I must mention that this lacuna in the development of Nigeria has proved to be catastrophic. Those who know have been relegated to irrelevance, if not oblivion. Those who don’t know have elevated themselves to tin gods.

As we embark on a new dispensation with all of us begging for change, distinguished guests, we must all form part of the Change or else it will be very difficult to achieve the Nigeria of our dreams. It is actually hurtful that as a generation of this nation, we have been unable to bequeath to our successors and children what our predecessors and parents gave to us conscientiously.

I must congratulate the Merit Award winners of today. It is no easy test to be recognized for outstanding contributions. I also enjoin others to emulate the sterling qualities that had been identified in the recipients of today.

I now invite you all to enjoy every bit of the activities that have lined up for this occasion and wish you all a very interesting and fulfilling Annual Luncheon.

Chairman, GCIOBA Lagos Branch.


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