The 2019 Best Teacher in Nigeria, Mrs Iyabo Agnes Elusakin, and Principal of the Oriwu Senior Model Ikorodu, Alhaja Abodun Ogunniyi, were on Thursday, November 21, 2019, honored by the Ikorodu Division Women Forum of the All Progressives Congress (APC).
At the well-attended ceremony held at the Ikorodu Teachers House located withn the premises of Oga/Aayngbure/Methodist Primary Schools in Ikorodu, the two outstanding teachers were presented with Excellence Awards.
While Mrs Elusakin was honoured for emerging as the 2019 Best Teacher in Nigeria, Alhaja Ogunniyi was honored for her feat in 2017 when she emerged as the Best Principal/School Administrator in Nigeria and her impacts on Oriwu Senior Model College, Ikorodu, which has led to many academic, cultural and sporting awards for the premier college in Ikorodu.
Princess Adenrele Ogunsanya, former Secretary to the Lagos State Government and the Chief host, congratulated the awarded and also thanked guests and leaders of the ruling party present at the event.
While recalling the importance her late father, Otunba Adenran Ogunsanya who was a former Commissioner for Education, placed on education and teachers, she said that Ikorodu always attach importance to education.
“I am particularly happy to be here today because teaching is something I enjoy identifying with. I want to say nothing is more rewarding than to celebrate excellence”, she stated.
“We know that Ikorodu has always counted education very important. I could remember a lot of traders work to train and send their children to school and many of them have brought good things home.
“When we think of Lagos state, I say without any apology that this division (Ikorodu) is aiming to lead others in terms of development.
“I want salute the awardees. I have heard a lot of good things about Alhaja Ogunniyi. I would keep in touch after today’s programme and to the best teacher in Nigeria, I congratulate you too. We will be doing ourselves injustice if we don’t come here today to celebrate you”.
Also, Prince Abiodun Ogunleye, the former Deputy Governor of Lagos State, speaking at the occasion, commended the awardees for their achievements.
The Ranodu of Imota, His royal Majesty, Oba Ajibade Bakare Agoro, in his royal message, stated that he attended the event to celebrate and honour teachers in Ikorodu.
“When I learnt that the best teacher was from lkorodu, I was thinking it was at SUBEB level but I just confirmed it that it was the national award and that she beat others from other parts of the federation to win the award. I am here today to celebrate with the teachers because God has chosen the profession to turn us into good and better people”, the royal father stated.
He stated that he has been able to accomplish everything in life because of the kind of education that was imparted in him.
“Generally, I am here to honor teachers because if not for their help, I won’t be where I am today. All what I have become today is as result of the education that I received.
“I attended Methodist Primary School in Imota and I know some teachers who taught me there and today, I am a Chartered Accountant after being a traditional ruler. They taught me to become an accountant and that’s why I am here to honor them” , he said
Oba Agoro also called for more attention for teachers in the country.
“Teachers in those days were just sacrificing their time to prepare some people to become the best in life. Today, things have changed. Apart from one or two programes like this organized to appreciate teachers, teachers have not been given enough attention that they deserve as far as I am concerned.
“I left primary school in 1962 and became a Chartered Accountant about 23years after. The love I have for teachers made me come here today. They have taught me a lot. Without teachers, almost all of us here won’t be seated here today”.
Member of the Governor Advisory Council and the First Secretary to the Lagos State Government, Asiwaju Olorunfunmi Basorun, also speaking, stated that history of Ikorodu cannot be completed without mentioning the role of teachers.
“There is no way the history of Ikorodu can be written without mentioning Nigeria Union of Teachers (NUT), teachers and schools.
“We have put education in the forefront in Ikorodu to the extent that today, one of our teachers became number 1 teacher in Nigeria. Congratulations to all of you”, Asiwaju Basorun stated.
Asiwaju Basorun, who is a former Commissioner for Education in Lagos State, described Mrs Elusakin as a First Class teacher who deserved all the honours that have come her way.
“If President Buhari would give her honor far away in Abuja and the Governor of Lagos State, Babajide Sanwo-Olu did the same thing, why should we fold our arms here? That’s what has led to this event.
“We are very proud of you and that is why we are rewarding you”, he added.
The elder statesman, while showing his displeasure at state of infrastructures in schools across Ikorodu division, also challenged students and teachers in the division to go for more academic awards.
Mrs Oluwagbemiga O.T Benson, former Permanent Secretary and the pioneer Executive Secretary of Lagos State Universal Basic Education Board (LSUBEB), in his keynote address at the award ceremony, stated that the community is recognizing the performances of teachers by organizing the award ceremony.
“I am grateful for the opportunity to grace this occasion where performance is being acknowledged. A performance rooted in focus, dedication, hardwork and a desire to excel”, she stated.
“I believe I would not be too presumptive to think that these “Great Achievers” (Mrs Oguniyi Abiodun Sherri and Mrs Elusakin Agnes Iyabo) that we are celebrating today have humble beginnings. Humble in their societal ranking, humble in their upbringing and humble in their conducts.
“For the organizers of this award ceremony, this presents an opportunity to complement and reciprocate the goodwill, ambition and intellect of those that are concerned with teaching and learning and that have excelled in that field.
“They have made us proud. Nothing is more profound and glorious than rewarding such excellence performance in an award ceremony such as the one we are witnessing today.
“You will all agree with me that excellence is what drives the world. But excellence has not just come to these two today. They have excelled in spite of all odds and challenges, not because they are given everything they want, they have excelled because their determination overcame their obstacles. They have mastered the subject matter and they have done us proud”.
She commended teachers generallyl for their commitment and dedication to developing others.
“Meanwhile, I am most heartily grateful to all teachers for their strong efforts and supports in promoting the complex personal development of the young officers”.
Comrade Oluwafemi Oluwaseun Fakolade,Ikorodu NUT Chairman, while commending the awardees, described Mrs Elusakin as a pride of Ikorodu who brought attention to Ikorodu with the feat she has achieved.
“One fact that cannot be taken away is that out of the 774 Local Government Councils in Nigeria, Ikorodu beat the entire 773 to emerge the best teacher in the country.
“The feat was recognized on the global map immediately you (Mrs Elusakin) emerged as the best teacher in Nigeria. It went round the whole world and the body that’s controlling education internationally became aware that you are from Ikorodu. We are very proud of you.
“This is just the beginning of the great things that we are still going to win in Ikorodu.
“Alhaja Oguniyi, in 2017, won the best principal in the whole of Nigeria and today again, we have the best teacher”, he recalled.
Comrade Fakolade appreciated the APC women, party leaders and guests for honouring two of their own.
He pledged the commitment of the entire teachers in Ikorodu to ensure that students and teachers in the division continue to discharge their duties and bring more laurels while also seeking for support for the teachers.
Other important guests at the ceremony were Sen. Bayo Osinowo represented by Primate Charles Odugbesi, Yeye Fausat Gbadebo, Women Leader, APC Lagos East, Mr Oluwatoyin Gafaar, Director-General, Lagos State Sports Commission, Olori Kafayat Kasali, wife of Adeboruwa of Igbogbo, Olori Ogunsanya, wife of Olubeshe of Ibeshe, Olori Sotonwa, wife of Sekumade of Ipakodo and Olori Titilayo Oyebo, wife of the Obateru of Egbin, Hon. Wasiu Agoro, Chairman, Imota LCDA, Alhaji Taiwo Longe, Chairman, APC Ikorodu, Alhaja Funmi Basorun Osinowo, APC leader and Alhaji Badru Enifeni, Apex Secretary, APC Ikorodu.