Kunle Adelabu & Wale Jagun
The exemplary dedication and excellence that characterized the 35 years of service by Alhaja Abiodun Sherifat Ogunniyi, the Principal of Oriwu College, Ikorodu, who will be calling time on her Civil service career on September 26, 2020, to Ikorodu Division, Lagos State, Nigeria and humanity in general, has continued to be noticed and appreciated as more commendations and tributes trooped in for her.
The latest of these tributes and commendations for the award winning Principal of Ikorodu premier College, are coming from traditional rulers and eminent personalities in Ikorodu Division, who are joining the former students of the College, admirers and other well-meaning individuals to wish her well on her retirement.
Ogunniyi was posted to Oriwu Senior Model College about eight years ago, precisely on December 20, 2012, as Principal. She was formerly a Classroom teacher and Tutor in the school.
She had also served as Vice Principal (January 15, 2007 to August 6, 2008) and Principal of Luwasa Senior High School, Ijede, and Vice Principal (Administration) of Yewa Senior Secondary School (August 8, 2008 to September 28, 2010).
She was later promoted as Principal and served at Reri Senior Secondary School, Reri, in Igbogbo/Bayeku LCDA between September 28, 2010 and December 20, 2012 and later transferred to Oriwu Senior Model College, Ikorodu, also as Principal between December 20, 2012 to September 28, 2020.
The Ayangbure of Ikorodu Kingdom, His Royal Majesty, Oba (Engr.) Kabir Adewale Shotobi, in his royal tribute, titled, ‘A dutiful personality’, described the retiring educationist as thorough bred professional and teacher of teachers who made giant strides through hard work.
“I write this tribute in honour of our own daughter, a dutiful personality, thorough bred professional Teacher, a disciplinarian of high standard, Teacher of Teachers and Principal of Principals, who by dint of hard work emerged as Principal of the year in Lagos State as well as Principal of the Year throughout the Country, our pride and our joy Alhaja Sherifat Abiodun Ogunniyi” Ayangbure wrote in his tribute.
“This patriotic, dedicated and elegant woman of substance has further placed the name of our premier post primary school — ORIWU COLLEGE not only on the Nigerian Educational trap, but also on the global platform as one of the best Secondary Schools around.
While congratulating Alhaja Ogunniyi on successful service, Oba Shotobi also charged the incoming Principal of the premier college to be ready to face the task ahead.
“At this juncture, I want to encourage her successor Mr. Akeem Bello who also is an energetic teacher and sports administrator to have it in mind that he has that herculean task of not only sustaining the standard already set by AlhajaAbiodunOgunniyi, but to put in place all necessary professional ethics and professional acumen that will surpass the standard of his predecessor in office.
“On behalf of my humble self, the royal family, Chiefs and indeed the generality of Ikorodu people, I congratulate you and wish you happy retirement life.
His Royal Majesty, Oba Semiudeen Orimadegun Kasali, the Adeboruwa of Igbogbo, also in his royal tribute, commended the outgoing Principal for taking the premier College in Ikorodu Division to a greater height .
“With a joyful heart, I reflect upon the due diligence generously deployed in office at the helm of our great institution, Oriwu Senior Model College, Ikorodu, and I appreciate the great growth and successes recorded by the school under your watch which meritoriously earned the school awards both locally and internationally.
“Undoubtedly, your sterling performance in the School is a continuation of no less worthy feats in other posts previously held in the Public Service of the Lagos State Government which, in retrospection, immensely helped the founding vision of the College.
“As you will graciously bow out of Service, I commend you with a heart full of gratitude for service well rendered for the entire community of Igbogbo Kingdom and beyond. Furthermore, I wish you joy in your future endeavors as you advance further”, Oba Kasali said.
Chief Kaoli Olatunji Olusanya, the Asipa of Ikorodu Kingdom and former Lagos State Commissioner for Agriculture and Cooperatives, in his own tribute, described Alhaja Ogunniyi’s tenure as the Principal of Oriwu Senior Model College, Ikorodu, as an enviable one.
“The tenure of Alhaja Abiodun Serifat Ogunniyi as Principal of Oriwu College, Ikorodu, was characterised by enviable achievements, both in morals and in character of the entire school community”, Asipa Kaoli said.
“There was no one incident of scandal during her tenure, which is an indication of high standards of moral leadership and discipline.
“The students who are the core of the College recorded phenomenal successes, both in academic and in inter-schools competitions. Within the Education District II and indeed state-wide, Oriwu College, Ikorodu, has cut a niche as first among the best administered educational institutions”.
Asipa, who is equally an educationist of note and the Chief Learning Officer of Kith and Kins Educational School, also commended the retiring Principal for creating good relationships with many critical stakeholders in the community which, according to him, has been working positively for Oriwu College.
“Another enviable attribute of Alhaja Ogunniyi is her ability to cultivate a mutually beneficial relationship between the college community and the larger Ikorodu Community. Her tenure witnessed wonderful support from the Alumni Association and likewise the Parents Forum of the school”.
He described her as a humble person who possesses good character and sterling leadership qualities.
“Alhaja Ogunniyi is humble, diligent, unassuming, goal-driven, and she’s caring to all around her, both the students and staff.
“Her success in office was largely due to her excellent leadership attributes in carrying her subordinates and colleagues along.
“She also succeeded because she was accountable to all stakeholders and operated her office with a high sense of responsibility.
“As Alhaja Abiodun Serifat Ogunniyi takes her bow from the service after a meritorious tenure, I wish her divine health and sound mind in her continued service to Allah and humanity.
“For starting small and ending as a celebrated public officer without any blemish, I congratulate you. Please accept the assurances of my esteem regards”, Asipa Kaoli concluded.
Sir (Otunba) Ayodele O. Elesho, KJW, the Agbaakin of Ikorodu Kingdom and former Lagos State Commissioner for Information, in his own tribute titled, ‘An exceptional and Selfless Professional’, stated :
“I have known Alhaja Serifat Abiodun Ogunniyi for over two decades now as a committed, dedicated, amazing and innovational professional teacher who has consistently been moulding the lives of other people’s children and making them to become professionals in several fields and potential leaders of tomorrow.
“No wonder she has attained the status of a School Principal of note, culminating in her feat as the ‘Principal of the Year’ in Lagos State, as well as the ‘Principal of the Year’ in the whole of Nigeria”.
The former Labour leader in the state, also made a passionate appeal to the government to re-engage the retiring teacher and put her in a position where her wealth of experience will serve the state and humanity further.
“As she retires today from the active teaching profession, I want to passionately appeal to the powers that be in our dear State not to allow the wealth of experience of this amiable teacher to waste away. She should be offered higher appointment and responsibilities in the field of Education Administration in the State and possibly nationally.
“Serifat Abiodun is a Pride of Ikorodu kingdom and we are proud of you.
“On behalf of the Ayodele Elesho family and indeed my daughter, Miss Anuoluwapo Omolola Elesho who also passed through this Goal-Getter Teacher to become a graduate of History and Strategic Studies from the University of Lagos, just five years after leaving Oriwu College, this indeed is my personal testimony of her excellent career, I wish you all the best in your future endeavours, robust health and continued peace of mind”, a proud father said.
The Representative of Ikorodu Federal Constituency at the Lower Chamber of the National Assembly in Abuja, Hon. Babajimi Adegoke Benson, while also joining eminent personalities to identify with Alhaja Ogunniyi on her retirement, described her as an epitome of service, sacrifice and selflessness.
“Alhaja Abiodun Serifat Ogunniyi is an epitome of service, sacrifice and selflessness. Under her watch as Principal of the premier College in Ikorodu Division, Oriwu Model College, the school improved tremendously, both in infrastructure and human capital development, thereby, bringing the College to national reckoning and recognition.
“Within the four years of her tenure as the principal of the school, she was invited to Abuja twice to collect an award for herself and Oriwu College, a feat I presume she may be the first to be so honoured in Ikorodu and Lagos State if not Nigeria as a whole.
“As she retires, no doubt, we will be missed for her valuable service to our education sector but we are confident in the structure she has endeavoured to put in place. I wish her a restful retirement as we continue to celebrate her service and dedication to Ikorodu Division”, Hon. Benson said.
A Chieftain of the All Progressives Congress (APC), ‘Senator’ (Alhaja) Olufunmi Oshinowo-Bashorun, who said that she has known Alhaja Ogunniyi for 25 years, which her a happy retirement.
“I wish Alhaja Ogunniyi a happy and eventful retirement. I have known her for more than 25 years.
“She is resourceful, humble and very focused.
“My dear sister, as you will be starting a new life after retirement, I wish you all the best that life can offer in retirement”.
A former Member, Lagos State House of Assembly and former Commissioner in the Assembly Commission, Hon. (Barr.) Sunmi Odesanya, in his own tribute to the retiring educationist, wished that she continue in service to the teaching profession because of her contributions.
“I honestly wish I could turn the hands of the clock to enable Alhaja Oguniyi continue her selfless service to this noble sector. Her immeasurable contributions towards the upliftment of secondary school education in the division would be evergreen.
“I heartily congratulate her and pray for a BLISSFUL RETIREMENT for her….” Hon. Sunmi said.
Dr Wole Ajifowoke, Member, Governing Council of the Adeniran Ogunsanya College of Education (AOECOED) and an Instructor with the Government Technical College, Ikorodu, said he feels sad that the woman everyone has described as a committed teacher and seasoned administrator, is retiring from the service.
“I feel a little sadness that a rare gem like you is leaving the civil service…not only because of your laudable achievements but because of your charms. I consider your life and personage as an ideal and shining example of a positive role model and exemplary pathway for this generation and beyond to understudy and emulate… but I find solace and profound joy in the thought that you are still fit, of sound healthy condition and will still be available in the community of our collective interest and responsibility…our beloved Ikorodu division!”, Dr Ajifowoke penned.
“Some are born to be great and seasoned professionals, while others achieve greatness through dint of hard work and just rise through civil service levels.
“To retire from public service and still look younger than the age is in itself a soothing source of comfort. It is noteworthy that you have strived and have never wavered; neither did you shrink in the face of scary challenges.
“As a charitable and grassroots person, you exhibited selflessness in communal service, which you utilized as a veritable tool for social change and development…Oriwu College will not complete its quintessential history without adding your selfless contributions…this has made you a rare specie amongst your equals. You have shown exemplary qualities that have attracted youths and adults’ commendations”, Ajifowoke further wrote about Alhaja Ogunniyi.
“I, therefore, join the numerous and endless list of your well wishers to celebrate your glorious exit from the Civil Service…as a Silent Achiever!”.
Alhaji Sikiru O. Amure, a former student of the premier College in Ikorodu, Oriwu College, and former Vice Principal, of the school, in his own tribute, recalled how he and Alhaja Ogunniyi had known each other since early 60s.
Amure, who is equally a retired educator and former Principal, Government Senior College, Ikorodu, also described the outgoing Principal who will soon be joining him as a retiree, with glowing words.
” ‘Hadja mi’, as I fondly call my darling sister, Alhaja Abiodun Serifat Ogunniyi, is an indefatigable terrestrial Angel from another planet, sent as a blessing to the Lagos State education sector in general and Ikorodu town in particular.
“We have known each other since the mid-60s when we both attended Alafia Afternoon Lesson at Arigbodo Compound, Itun-Meko, Ikorodu.
“She, ever since, has been highly organized and systematic with perfection in whatever she does, all of which have contributed to her innumerable successes.
“She is a passionate teacher, seasoned Principal and Administrator per Excellence. She is a humble and astute leader, a cheerful giver, a God fearing individual, a great mentor and lover of children with divine connections wherever she finds herself”, Alhaji Amure said.
“Alhaja Abiodun Ogunniyi is humility personified and has impacted positively on many lives. Her type exists in any community only once in a millennium”.
While congratulating Ogunniyi for the meritorious service she had rendered, Amure said that he feels proud that their paths crossed in many ways.
“I am so happy for her beautiful life and for having a glorious exist from the Lagos State Public Service and I feel proud that our paths crossed in many ways and for her efforts in bringing my Alma mater to global limelight.
“l wish her long life with sound health to reap and eat the fruits of her labour with abundant blessings, prosperity and divine favour.
“Congratulations on your retirement”.