Government College, Ibadan is a popular school in Ibadan, the capital of Oyo State. It is a school with a deep sense of History and Culture.
Decades ago, GCI was the elite school that all the kids of many eminent Nigerians attended. Apart from having produced prominent jurists. Architects, Engineers, Lawyers, and Doctors, many of these old boys made sure many of their kids attended the school too to keep up the tradition. And it is one school where all the students are given registration numbers as you enter the school. You also belong to one of the 5 houses – Swanston, Grier, Field, Carr and Powell. So it is easy to keep a tab on who is your Senior, Classmate and Junior.
Founded on February 28, 1929 GCI, is an all boys’ Secondary School located on the hills of Apata Ganga, in Ibadan, Nigeria.
The expatriate founding fathers were Selwyn MacGregor Grier, who conceived the idea of setting up the school, and V. B. V. Powell, the first principal of the school. Government College, Ibadan was modelled on the British secondary boarding schools of the era, and the first set of students numbered 29. During the Second World War, the school temporarily moved to several sites before finally resettling back at its original site.
All students were required to complete a number of core courses in the Arts and Sciences. The courses were designed so that all students, no matter what their strengths were, obtained the basic skills of critical thinking, effective writing, effective oral communication, library literacy, laboratory competency, creative thinking and problem solving. The school was a Centre of Excellence for Cricket and Field Hockey. The school also had an Officer Cadet Corps that offered instruction camps in precision field drills, adventure training and the cadets were introduced to the principles of meritocracy.
In the period before the dissolution of Western Region, Nigeria, the school earned the enviable fame of being the best secondary school in Nigeria. It had well-resourced classrooms and laboratories. As the school grew in numbers, in reputation and in fame, its students constantly achieved high scores for exam results at O-level and A-level. In the decade of the sixties, over 78 distinctions were obtained by Government College students in the examinations, an unprecedented achievement in Nigeria. Suffice it to say that the school boldly summoned in the decade of the seventies by upholding its laurels, in both the academic and extracurricular fields. The school has produced over 80% of the presidents of the Nigerian Society of Engineers since its inception, and one of only 4 Africans to be awarded a Nobel Prize.
Who are the eminent Nigerians that GCI has produced? They belong to different generation and sets Some of the older old boys are in the 70s and 80s; some are in their 50s and 60s.
They include the HRH Omo N’Oba N’Edo, Erediauwa, the late Oba of Benin, HRH Oba J. A. Andu, first Hydrophilic engineer in Nigeria, Dr Akinola Aguda, first Chief Justice of Botswana, Chief Ajibola Ogunsola, first Actuarist in Nigeria, Professor Wole Soyinka, first African Literary Nobel Laureate, Chief Adegoke Adelabu, distinguished politician, Chief Ayo Rosiji, Industrialist, former Minister of Labour., Chief Feyide, former Secretary General of (OPEC), Chief E. L. Omitola, former Asst. Inspector General of Police, Chief Hope Harriman, the late reputable estate surveyor and valuer. Dr. Christopher Kolade, former Nigerian Ambassador to the United Kingdom, Chief Olu Ibukun, former Director (UNICEF), late Ambassador Leslie Harriman, (Diplomat), Ambassador Luke Osobase, Nigerian Ambassador to Romania, Bulgaria, Maj. General Olufemi Olutoye (rtd), former Federal Minister, Vice Admiral Michael Adelanwa (rtd), Chief of Naval Staff, Nigeria, Air Vice Marshal, Bayo Lawal (rtd), former State Governor, Dr Victor Omololu Olunloyo, former Governor Oyo State, Air Commander Kola Falope, former Managing Director, Nigerian Airways, James Obi, Professor of Pediatric Neurosurgery, Professor M.A. Bankole, Pediatric Surgeon, Dr Afolabi Ogunlusi, distinguished Medical Doctor, Professor Oluwasanmi, distinguished Surgeon, Prince Abioye Abiodun Internet Protocol Engineer at Odua Telecommunication company,Ibadan., Mr Seni Ogunkola, Veteran Copywriter, Sir Abel Guobadia, Ambassador, former Chairman, Independent National Electoral Commission, Late Professor Saburi O. Biobaku, former Vice Chancellor, University of Lagos, Late Professor Ifedayo Oladapo, University Vice-Chancellor, Professor T. M. Aluko, eminent scholar and author, Professor Ayo Ogunye, University professor, Deji Sogbesan, Entrepreneur and Social Critic, Professor Samuel Ola, distinguished Professor of Civil Engineering, Professor Femi Osofisan, Professor of Theatre Arts, Dr M. O. E. Thompson, retired Permanent Secretary, Dr Lekan Are, pre-eminent agronomist, Dr T. S. B. Aribisala, pre-eminent agriculturalist, Mr. Joshua Adeniran Olarewaju, former Permanent Secretary, Abdul Umoru, former Pro Chancellor, Univ. of Lagos, late Mr Cyprian Ekwensi, distinguished author, Olumide Onakoya, Managing Director Mobil Oil Nig. Plc., Godman Akinlabi, Lead Pastor, The Elevation Church, Bunmi Oni, Managing Director, Cadbury, Nig. Plc., Dr Adesegun Oshinyimika, permanent Secretary, Gbolade Osibodu, Managing Director VIGEO, Nig. Plc., Adewale Sangowanwa, former Vice President, African Development Bank and Executive Director at Globacom Nig. Ltd, Sanjo Kanmi-Jones, first Nigerian to play Professional hockey in the world; Nigeria Ambassador to the London 2012 Olympic For Hockey., Dr Akin Olowofoyeku, university professor, Olanrewaju Bolarin, President, Majestic World of Business., Professor Victor Ngu, Physician and Researcher, former Minister of Health, Republic of Cameroon, Dr Richard Oni, orthopaedic spine surgeon, Professor Raphael A. Odihirin, Professor of Biological Science, University of Port Harcourt
Prof. Akinkugbe, Engineer Oyebolu (past president, Nigeria Society of Engineers, Olubunmi Oni, the former MD of Cadbury Nigeria; Prof Femi Bamiro, Chief Eniola Adesina, Prof. Bisi Afonja.
There are others like Otunba Oduntan, a politician and businessman; Chuka Momah, the Sports Guru and Femi Babalola, the owner of JOGOR Centre in Ibadan. He is the Chairman of the Ibadan branch. There is also Demola Odutola, the popular property merchant, Prof Fabanwo of LUTH, Lagos lawyer, Dr. Wale Babalakin (SAN) and his younger brother who is into Construction.
Many also don’t know that the current chairman of Punch newspaper, Aboderin is an old boy. Corporate player, Sola Adeeyo is an old boy, so also Vigeo boss.
Chief Jide Ayo, a retired federal permanent secretary is also an old boy, so also one of the sons of late Chief Rotimi Williams. He is into farming. There is also Lekan Adegbite, the current Ogun State, Works Commissioner.
There is also Biodun Jolaoso who is the National President of GCI Old Boys Association, Yomi Akinyeye who is the Chairman of the Lagos Branch of GCI Old Boys. Edward Akerele is the Vice Chairman of the Lagos Branch; Olufemi Adeyemo, a former Federal Civil Servant; Air Vice Marshal Olufemi Soewu (rtd); Adeoye Roluga, Wale Akinterinwa, Bola Akingbade; Dapo Sonola (an Architect), Engineer Segun Kehinde (who was honoured last week at the GCI Lagos branch Annual Luncheon), Adewale Sangowowa, Prof. Olugbenga Ben Ogunmoyela, a Professor of Food Technology at Bells University of Technology, Otta. Seye Fadahusi, an Oil and Gas professional with more than 30 years experience in the Oil industry. He is currently an Executive Director in Pillar Oil Limited, a Nigerian independent operating company. There is also Akin Osuntoki, an Accountant who is into Oil and Gas.