Bad state of road mars Children’s Day celebration in Ogun as Loral, other students call for government action

By Jet Stanley Madu

“I think Addo-Odo is not on the Ogun State map the Governor has. Agbara to Lusada to MTN up to Egudu is no good road. Even Egudu and Lusada areas are worse than Agbara. Big vehicles fall all the time. It is by God’s grace that none of them had fallen on schoolchildren”.

This was the view of an Ogun State community-based artisan who refused to have his name in print when he spoke to The Sun Education on the last Children’s Day what he feels is the mental state of schoolchildren who ply Agbara-Lusada road to school, every day in school bus.  While other parts of the road are in very bad shape following the constant fall of rain, the worse part is found in Addo-Odo community stretch of the road. This is what necessitated the remark by the angry artisan that the village is not on the map of Ogun State governor, Senator Ibikunle Amosun.

If you asked the schoolchildren of Loral International Boarding Secondary School, Igbesa and other schoolchildren who have their schools located in that area and who were there on May 27 to celebrate the Children’s Day, their views are mostly likely to corroborate that of the artisan’s. It was supposed to be a day of fun but the bad state of the road turned the fun into pain, sighs and regrets.

This reporter was among many who rode through Agbara-Lusada road that day and found the experience a most harrowing one. To say the least, Agbara-Lusada road does not just pass for a death trap as most Nigerian roads say, some potholes on it have further degenerated into shallow graves.

Pupils of the Lord’s Grace International Nursery and Primary School who were being conveyed to the venue in their school bus for the celebration of the Children’s Day had their fun suddenly interrupted when the bus broke down owing to the nature of the bad road between Agbeto and OPIC (Ogun Property Investment Company). The look on the faces of the lads was one of despair in the midst of fun. Loral school handlers, Mrs. Felicia Nwokocha and Mrs. Uche Ogbunnoba who narrated their ordeal, said the experience wasn’t palatable to discuss. They were grateful to God however for being able to manage the pupils through it while urging the state governor to “remember Addo-Odo area and put it in his scheme of work.”

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Sadly, the challenge bad roads pose to students who transit to and from school is nationwide. All the same, students of Loral International Boarding School had some fun celebrating the Children’s Day at Igbesa. Ekwunife Kenney, SS 2, Alfred Olive SS 2 and Ezugo Nwangu, SS 2, all Prefects-elect took charge organizing the programme.

Speaking on the lessons learnt, Ekwunife said: “I’ve exercised my body and brain. We were left on our own to organize the event. I picked up a few lessons from the way we organized the hall. It will help me to know how to co-ordinate younger ones and I gained a sense of leadership”.

On her part, Alfred said given the privilege to “organize the Children’s Day socials” helped her to acquire organizational skills. Ezugo said experiences of the day gave him so much joy. “I had a bit of an exercise. I learnt how to organize things without external help from teachers or non-teaching staff.”

The children played, sang, mimed songs and danced. They mixed and interacted freely, no segregation – no walls of barrier – senior or junior. Of particular interest among the games they played was Switch. It is a game where students were made to play particular roles and then, quickly switch roles and adjust perfectly. Then, the audience attempt to guess who switched to what role.

The Curricular Officer, Mr. Hassan Omotayo who spoke on the significance of the day, explained that the day was designed to accord respect to the rights of children. “Going by the Child Right Convention stipulations of the UN (United Nations) that children be accorded recognition, because they’re tomorrow’s future, so we have to give them the best by making life worth living for them. It helps to give children a sense of belonging and to make them to aspire for a greater heights”.

He pointed out that the essence of giving the students the liberty to run the event their own way was to endow them with independent spirit and sense of responsibility, so that right from “this tender age”, they would imbibe organizational and leadership skills, “if we groom them into tomorrow’s leaders with some sense of responsibility”