Public Schools Have More Qualified Teachers than Private Schools Says HRH Kayode

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His Royal Highness,Dr.Kayode Israel Okunlola(JP) Akeresebierin 11 is the Baale of  Ibafon community in Ajeromi-Ifelodun Local Government Area of Lagos State. He is one of the highflying traditional rulers in Nigeria that believes in quality leadership among his people without compromise. He has over the years stood his ground to continue to advocate for transparent and accountable grassroots leadership for his people. Many had tagged him as PDP or Igbo Baale for speaking out the truth for Ajegunle community over the years. He believes that as a recognized traditional ruler you must not sell out your traditional integrity or conscience to politicians for money. The multiple-award winning and renowned Yoruba cultural speaker believes that only quality education can take youths out of the street and be relevant to the society. He has been the Central Chairman of School Based Management Committee (SBMC) for the past 7years making sure that education is at the best in Ajeromi-Ifelodun LGA. In this exclusive interview with Gabriovoicemagazine, he speaks on why parents must put their children in public schools than the private schools; politicians must go beyond grassroots politicking and other traditional issues in Nigeria.


 Tell us about your traditional background as Akeresebierin 11, Baale of Ibafon community in Ajeromi-Ifelodun LGA


I’m Dr.Kayode Isreal Okunlola(JP),Akeresebierin 11,Baale of Ibafon community in Ajeromi-Ifelodun and I was coronated as the Baale of Ibafon community in 2004 after the death of the former Baale and my Baaleship was approved by the then Lagos State governor, Senator Ahmed Bola Tinubu in 2007.Other late Baales had held this very position before me. We migrated from Oyo State to Lagos State in 1895.I’ m the 5th Baale presently occupying Ibafon community now. I’m also the present Central Chairman of School Based Management Committee (SBMC) and a renowned Yoruba cultural speaker to the core. I have been invited abroad and to other Yoruba states in Nigeria to speak on cultural values of the Yoruba race over the years till date.


You have been involving in grassroots educational development and as one of the traditional stakeholders that values education in Nigeria, why the education sector still in quagmire despite all efforts to make every Nigerian child to be educated?

I want to first commend Lagos State Government for taken welfare of teachers very important at all levels. Lagos is one of the only states in Nigeria that is currently paying teachers’ salaries promptly. Also giving teachers re-training activities and seminars to upgrade their teaching methodology. There are different motivational drives being introduced by Lagos State government to make teachers enjoy their work and be ready to give their best to the students and pupils in their various classes. I’m a stakeholder in the grassroots educational sector for the past 7 years making sure that our children in Ajegunle go to school. No economy grows fast without its citizens being educated to harness the potentialities they acquired from schools. As a Central Chairman of School Based Management Committee, I know the value of quality education being obtained from the public schools. Public schools are far better than private schools in Nigeria. We have more qualified teachers in the public schools and corruption is limited in the former while the latter embraced high profile corruption to the core. Owners of these private schools take advantage of exploiting parents unnecessary and that is why I keep telling parents in Ajeromi-Ifelodun to send their children to public schools to get the best educational training in their lives. I was once a PTA chairman for 12 years; I know what it takes to give a child the best education in public schools. All my biological children passed through the public schools and some emerged as the best graduating students in their various universities in Nigeria.


Apart from being the Baale of Ibafon community in Ajeromi-Ifelodun LGA, what has been your source of sustainability in this traditional leadership for the past 10 years?


I’m a professional trained printer from Nigeria Security and Minting. I’m into real estate, car importation, land investment and others. You can’t run a successful traditional position as an idle person or waiting for one government to run your office for you. A traditional ruler means being responsible to community affairs. Anytime there is crisis in the community, the government calls you directly not the people. For anybody to assume traditional leadership position, you must have reliable source of income that sustains you than be a nuisance to any government in power. It is unfortunate that in this part of this world, we don’t place value on traditional rulers except few traditions in Nigeria. God has been faithful to me since I became Baale of Ibafon community.

You said sir that the mortality rate among pregnant women in Ajegunle is high, what is the cause?

I’m not a professional doctor but our pregnant women need to be enlightened on the safety of child delivery. Every day in Ajegunle, we record at least two deaths on mortality, that is, many women prefer to patronize quack hospitals or native places for their child delivery than using trained doctors and recognized hospitals. Only constant enlightenment programmes can save the situation in Ajegunle now. 


What is your stake on general political leadership in Ajeromi-Ifelodun?


It is sad that in Ajegunle, we don’t have leaders but elders that only see today not tomorrow.  You can imagine how  everybody wants to contest for House of Representatives, Lagos State House of Assembly, councillorship and chairmanship positions whereas there are better positions like ambassador,director-generals,special advisers, commissioners and other important positions they can go for. We must think beyond this political box and go for better professional positions.Ajegunle has qualified people to hold some of these vital positions in Nigeria but prefer to die in local politics and cause restiveness in the land.


Ever since Hon.Adewale Adeogun left as the Education Secretary of Ajeromi-Ifelodun, that position has gone oblivion despite a new education secretary in that position now, sir how can you rate the present ES?


Well, I’m not a politician but a traditional ruler that speaks within the ambit of a constituted traditional authority. At present the economy is bad and no corporate organization wants to spend money on any organization now, During Hon.Adeogun’s time, things were better off and with his charismatic nature, he did well to bring all the community stakeholders together to build quality education in Ajegunle.In his time, Ajegunle emerged as the best school in Nigeria and Lagos State. We achieved a lot and teachers were punctual in their schools then.

What is your advice for Ajegunle youths and politicians generally?

Ajegunle youths should embrace education and fight for their future and politicians must look beyond grassroots politics and go for better positions in life






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