• Wednesday, May 22, 2024
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BusinessDay

A superstar the world doesn’t know

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It is not the indecent movie star acting dirty or the decadent music star singing rubbish. It is never the model in the nude or the character in the show of shame. It is neither the infamous Personality of the Year nor among the Most Influential People of our TIME.

He is not into ‘’politricks’’ and never a ‘’thief executive’’ of the federal republic. He is not into oil and gas business collecting payments for products not supplied. He is not known to be in any public-private partnership sharing contracts in Nigeria. He is a God-fearing man and not a businessman of god. Unlike the godfathers, he is a good father. He is Deacon E.A.O. Adeola, a retired school principal and an educationist par excellence.

Anyone who knows him can testify that Deacon E.A.O. Adeola is a blessing to mankind. When he was teaching us English and morals, he actually was providing leadership to little stars like diamonds in the sky.

I will never forget the day I travelled from Igboho to Saki in the company of Douglas, Ibrahim, Mr. Ogundiran – a teacher, and Deacon E.A.O. Adeola – the school principal. Douglas, Ibrahim and I had been selected to represent Irepo Grammar School in a competition organized for students from Oke-Ogun ‘state’ of Oyo State.

We left very early in the morning and arrived at the venue in good time. I remember we carried a bag but only Mr Ogundiran and the principal knew we had an envelope containing the question papers. Contestants from the schools all had science backgrounds but Douglas from my school did neither Physics nor Chemistry where most of the questions were drawn from. We wondered how other schools got to send only science students but my school had got no hint even though we were with the question papers alone all the way.

Needless to say it wasn’t going to be an easy ride for my school. Although Ibrahim emerged the overall best student, Douglas’s performance dropped our average score below the average. Predictably, my school didn’t come out on top.

We wished we had known the contest was purely for science students but no regrets never opening the envelope on our way to the venue. Thanks to Deacon E.A.O. Adeola and the other teacher, who believe that hard work with honesty and integrity is the key to success. Deacon would not condone any act of indiscipline and could dismiss a student for slightest involvement in examination malpractices.

My principal taught me to write and now I write on subjects of national importance. By the way, if you want to know more about Nigeria, you may wish to read my latest write-ups – “One nation loose in corruption”; “Between the right side and their right side”; “Using ICT for national development”; among others.

Time would fail me to tell of G.O. Aponbiede, a shining star, who served his country meritoriously without blemish. In the meantime, let’s celebrate Deacon E.A.O. Adeola. Real celebrities let’s celebrate.

JOHN ADEBISI