Oyo State Governor, Senator Abiola Ajimobi, has said that the country’s youth will continue to revel in moral decadence and brigandage if the society decides to gloss over their delinquent behaviours and excesses.
He disclosed this in an interview with journalists after a truce meeting with the principals of seventeen secondary schools in Ibadan, who were led to his office, on Thursday, to apologise to him upon the involvement of their students in the June 6 violent protest that rocked the city.
The governor said he had forgiven the principals, teachers and students of the affected schools, whose students were indicted for destroying public property during the protest that trailed the new initiative of the government on participatory management of public secondary schools.
Members of the Ibadan Progressives Union, led by the President, Pastor Johnson Adeniji and Chairman, All Nigeria Confederation of Principals of Secondary Schools (ANCOPSS), Oyo State Branch, Pastor Ranti Obafunso, championed the conciliatory meeting.
Ajimobi said, “The principals of the seventeen affected schools have come to apologise for the misdemeanor perpetrated by their students, I have forgiven them because to err is man and to forgive is divine.
“The government or I stood to gain nothing from the apology by the principals and students. But it’s our responsibility as parents and grandparents to make them realise the negative trend the actions would have caused if not nipped in the bud.
“If we choose to remain silent over the delinquent behaviours and excesses of our youths today, the grave repercussion will come back to haunt us tomorrow. The children are still in their formative years and we need to let them know when they cross the line of decency and good behavior.”
The governor expressed gratitude to the IPU for what he called their elderly and praiseworthy intervention, which, he said, facilitated the reconciliation.
On his part, the ANCOPSS boss assured the governor and the mediators that such ugly incident would not happen again and promised the support of his members to government in its drive to revamp education in the state.
The IPU president also thanked the governor for accepting the apology tendered by the affected principals, which he said was a demonstration of his forgiving spirit.
He added that the governor’s gesture would further strengthen the relationship between government and the players in the education sector.