Kogi East Senator Remodels Alma Mater Old Structures


The Senator representing Kogi East, Jibrin Isah Echocho has revealed plans to remodel Our Lady of Schools (OLS Anyigba), his Alma Mater in Kogi State.

The remodelling which he said would be done in phases, kicked off with the recent renovation of blocks of classrooms.

Explaining reasons for the overhaul, the lawmaker said that he is only giving back to an institution that shaped his life.

He added that the school has also produced other important personalities in Nigeria.

“I feel fulfilled because, in the first place, that is the school where I was groomed in character and learning. I am happy that I am alive and that I have the opportunity to bring the school back to its glorious days.

“In terms of infrastructure, the classrooms, and hostels were built a long time ago, the structures were strong, and they stood the test of time. However, I feel like overhauling the structures. We have removed the roof, worked on the wall, replaced the ceiling, and then I want to do everything over a period but in phases.

“OLS Anyigba, a missionary school, was established in 1965. It has produced very important personalities in Nigeria. I graduated from that school in 1977. The school modelled me in terms of character and learning, and so I feel like giving back to the school.

“The first thing I did some years ago was the donation of a brand new 32-seater coaster, and it is serving them to date.

“But, during a recent visit to the school, I realised that most of the structures are dilapidated, especially the classrooms. So, I now think that the best thing is to start renovating the classrooms.

So, I started with the first block of classrooms which we finished about a month or so, ago, then we started with the second phase which has also been completed and we are going into the third stage now. I intend to overhaul the entire school but in phases,” he said.

On the issue of his faith as a Muslim, a missionary school where he passed through and why he is so passionate about giving back, Senator Echocho said the message is very clear, adding that he tolerates all irrespective of the faith.

“I also tolerate all faiths. By way of background, even though it is a missionary school, when we were students, a portion of the school was carved out for us as Mosque, even when it is a Catholic school.

During the month of Ramadan, they used to cook for us early in the morning, and in the evening they cooked specially for us to break our fast. So, that has cultivated in me the consciousness for me to be tolerant of other faiths.

“Many years ago, the Principal then was a Canadian. He did all these without any bias, especially as he was not of our faith. We used to call Salat for morning prayers as if we were in a Muslim school – in the morning, afternoon, and evening.

The cooks would come out that early and in the evening they gave us a special diet to break the fast.

“Whatever I have become today, that school has contributed majorly to it. By the grace of God Almighty, now that he has given me this opportunity to be in the Senate for the second term, I will overhaul the school, but it will be done in phases.”

Speaking on the projects, the Principal of the school, Awadi Roberts Yusuf, expressed gratitude to Senator Echocho.

“As a Muslim, he was impressed by what the school did for them. I am so impressed by the quality of the job that is ongoing. Because it is of standard, and we want to appreciate him for giving back to the school for what the school has contributed to his upbringing.

“I want to thank the senator for remembering his roots. I know many have come through these stages and have not remembered where they come from. This is not the first, neither is it the second.

He had provided us with an equipped computer laboratory, dual desks for our students, solar light, text and exercise books for our students, instructional materials and of course payment of school fees for some of our indigent students.

“These are laudable achievements, and the most critical one is the donation of a brand new 32-seater Toyota Coaster Bus. The 32-seater bus is not only serving the school but the community. We are grateful to him on behalf of the parents.

“For the new project, God will be with him. We know he has a lot of interest in us

“The school is more of a secular school than a religious school because each religion is accorded its respect and it allows for every student to practice their religion.

The school was founded in 1965, and the government took over in conjunction with the mission in 1992.


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