Chief Olatunde Onakoya National President BAOSA

BAOSA AND BAPTIST ACADEMY 

By

Chief Olatunde Onakoya

National President

 

Baptist Academy Old Students Association (BAOSA) is inextricably tied to Baptist Academy. Without Baptist, there could be no BAOSA.

It is indubitable that Baptist Academy as an educational establishment was founded in 1855, although it did not start off as a secondary school which it is today. Whatever might be the case, imagine how many distinguished and respectable personalities the institution has produced since over a century and a half ago.

 

The undersigned was enrolled into the institution in January 1964 some 48 years ago. Virtually all our teachers then are now late, including our revered principal, late Dr. Adejumobi Adegbite, a titan amongst principals of the comity of schools in then Lagos, then vice principal, late. Mr. Banjoko, Papa Okoko, Papa Adeleke “Tudor”, Papa Akanji Smart, Late Mr. Olalude (himself an old boy of 1946) and Late Papa Adedipe.

 

Baptist Academy was situated in Broad Street, Lagos, alongside other Broad Street brother schools – CMS Grammar School, Methodist Boys High School and Kings College (Close by at Race Course).

 

The surge in student population and the need for greater space for science laboratories and sporting facility dictated the need for movement to the mainland of Lagos, thus the Obanikoro, Ikorodu Rd. Location which was inaugurated in 1959. Some of the students who finished at the new site in 1959 included Senator Dr. Wahab Dosunmu and Professor Abisogun Leigh, ex VC, LASU, Prof. Alfred Susu – Professor of Chemical Engineering and Mr. Adeyemo, legal practitioner and ex VP BAOSA still extant.

 

The 1960 – 64 set was the first – set of students that pioneered the Obanikoro location Incidentally that set was in form 5 when I enrolled into the school in 1964.

 

Of this 1960 – 64 set were Prof.Idowu Shobowale formerly of the faculty of Mass Communication, Lagos State University (LASU) and a former Honourable Commissioner in Lagos State Government.

 

A prominent member of the class set 1960 – 64 was Nelson Idowu Daniel, later Dr. Idowu Daniel, a medical practitioner, and the Senior Prefect of the school in his final year.

 

Also in the 60 – 64 set was Snr. Bode Lawal, the school boy soccer maestro. Bode Lawal actually was called to camp to play for the Nigerian National soccer team, even as a school boy. We also had Sunny Ineh, centre – forward for BAPTACAD soccer team who became a top Green Eagles international and prolific scorer for the stationery Stores team “The flaming flamingoes”.

 

I remember a host of that set - Senior Panaki, Oluremi Beckly, Akinwande, Balogun, Segun Staveley, our Chapel prefect and Javelin / Discus thrower, Snr. Loveth Hollist, (of blessed memory) Stanley Robin and others.

 

Baptist Academy has amongst its reats – late chief Bisi Onabanjo, the first civilian Governor of Ogun State, the Rhodes brothers Yinka and Shola (both of blessed memory), Chief Nelson Horatio Agedah, the famous broadcaster and late of NNPC, Hon Justice Adewale Thompson, late Chief Judge of the Western Region, Engr. Ademola Thomas, former Federal Minister under Alhaji Sheu Shagari Administration (1979 – 1983), Chief Moses Makinde, a 1950 graduate and first Nigeria Vice Chairman and managing Director of Nigerian Breweries, Iganmu, professor Alfred Akpoveta Susu, 1959 class set and past Dean, Faculty of Engineering and head of Chemical Engineering of the University of Lagos (UNILAG), 1991 – 1995, late J. Akin George, an Insurance magnate who ws of the 1953 set, a professor of Law, former Dean of the Law Faculty of Unilag and ex Attorney – General and Commissioner for Justice, Lagos State’ Professor EKundayo Balogun, 1957 class set and a professor of Geophysical Sciences of the University of Ife.

 

And impossible to forget is Chief (Dr.) Molade Okoya – Thomas, a business magnate of repute. Chief Okoya Thomas is of the 1957 set, a Sportsman and sport philanthropist and administrator. He was a member of the Baptist Academy relay quarter that set a National record in the 4x220yards relay in 1955.

 

Not to be forgotten also is Professor Abisogun Leigh, a member of the 1959 class – set and past Vice Chancellor of Lagos State University, (LASU).

 

In the military, we have Maj./Gen. MAT Ajao who was head of the Nigerian Military Medical Services Maj./Gen. Biodun Opaleye of the 1964 class – set, and a former Military Governor of Ondo State. And a host of others.

 

Of more recent is Mr. John Momoh of 1974 class set and Chairman of Channels Televisions, Mr. Dan Isiekpe former Marketing Director of Nigeria Breweries and now Group Managing Director of Integrated Marketing Solutions Company (IMS), Mr. Idorenyen Enang, Managing Director of Samsung Nig. Ltd, Engr. Shayo Holloway, Group Managing Director of Lagos State Water Corporation, Ijora Lagos, Mr. Tokunbo Martins, Chairman, Interchem Nigeria Ltd, Honourable Commissioners, Serving and retired and so many more!

 

BAOSA is for their alma-mater, Baptist Academy, a school of which we are justifiably proud.

 

By the grace of our leader and mentor, Jesus Christ, we shall never let our school down.

 

Forward ever, backward never!

 

Deo Duce; God Leads!!

 

 

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