The late Agbo Abegunde was certainly one of the most charismatic principals we had in my years; he ensured that academic standards were high while similarly placing sports at the very top of the school system.
He was the Nigerian Team Manager to the 1972 Munich Olympic Games. He wore the jacket emblazoned with the Nigerian crest proudly to the school assembly when he returned to the delight and spontaneous applause of students. It was testimony to the high standards of those years that the school’s relay team (BRAVO, ALL-AFRO, ROCHESTER and AWALU ALIYU) won several invitation relays around the state and in states near and far. Awalu Aliyu was my college brother, and together with my cousin, Hameed Adio (ADIQUE), from Offa Grammar School, would run for Nigeria. Hameed Adio was in fact the captain of Nigeria to the 1980 Olympic Games in Moscow.
They were all athletes from the well-structured schools’ sports programme that has gradually died in our country. Young people got a good education and also combined that with an active life in sports. No more! In 2013, I took my children to visit my alma mater, GSS Ilorin.
The state of rot shocked me and I couldn’t stop the tears that dropped from my eyes. My children couldn’t wrap their heads around what they saw of the school I had romantically described to them so many times before their visit. Things have deteriorated badly, but GSS Ilorin remains central to the human being I became. It is 100 years old this year.