The KIA Lakeside Academy, a crèche, nursery, primary and secondary school, Abuja, was at the weekend officially dedicated to God and formally unveiled to the public by the Primate, the Church of Nigeria, His Grace, Archbishop Nicholas Okoh, who prayed for God to use the school to raise God fearing children to the glory of his name.
Speaking at the occasion, the Chairman, Governing Council of the School, Prof. Oladapo Afolabi stated that the KIA Lakeside Academy which was established in 2008 in Jabi, Abuja, has grown from seven pupils at inception to 200 students now. According to him, the school was established in memory of late Kunbi Irene Adebiyi (KIA), who lost her life in the unfortunate 2013 Dana air crash. “Kunbi was a prodigious child in whom the parents, friends, family members and well-wishers were well pleased. Kunbi was someone who cared for others, especially the less privileged. She graduated BSc in Economics and obtained a Master’s degree in Development Economics. She also had a Post-Graduate Diploma in Development Studies from the Harvard University”.
“In pursuit of his love to care for others, she established, quite early in life, a Non-Governmental Organisation, NGO, through which she sponsored and provided succor to the less privileged persons in Nigeria and Ghana. Her major goal was to give them a chance to survive and grow to become their best in life. She spent most part of her time in the rural communities interacting with rural dwellers, in a bid to seek for avenues to uplift their lives and give them a chance to actualize their dreams, even in the face of their prevailing circumstances. She was like a shoulder for the poor to lean on. She did not like to see people suffer. So, all through her life, she fought to lift less privileged out of their poverty”.
Prof. Afolabi revealed that, “This school is established in her memory. She will live forever in our hearts and in the hearts of all those she sought to give a wing to fly their dreams. The goal of this school is to continue from where Kunbi stopped. KIA Lakeside Academy is designed to give all Nigerians and every other people the opportunity to access quality and affordable education. The school is not established for profit making. The goal is to offer world class education to all who are opportune to apply and gain admission here. The facilities in this school can compare with the best anywhere in the world. The teachers and administrators are carefully selected and recruited based on high standards. He encouraged parents and guardians to seize the opportunity offered by KIA Lakeside Academy to access quality education for their children and wards. That is what Kunbi stands for”.
In his speech, the Special Guest, the Executive Secretary of the Federal Capital Development Authority, FCDA, Eng. Umar Gambo Jibrin commended the Proprietress, Mrs. Titilayo Adebiyi and her husband Prof. Dan Adebiyi for establishing such a quality and impressive educational institution. For him, “Education is key to development. We encourage people and institutions to partner and collaborate with government in establishing great institutions like KIA Lakeside Academy that promotes development both for the individual and for the society”. The government, he said, is willing, at all times, to support endeavors like this. “We will support KIA Lakeside Academy and any other private institution that seeks our support to enable our children receive the best educational training possible for the development of our country, Nigeria.
The children demonstrated the strength of character on which the school is established as they recited poems, danced and dramatized the core values of the school. In one of the drama skits, the students showcased their desire for a united Nigeria. While as in the dance which encapsulated the message ‘the future is here’ weaved in the same concept of the unity of Nigeria they performed different dance forms representing the six geo-political regions of Nigeria. It was interesting and instructive watching students from mostly the South-East and South-South regions perform excellently Fulani dance steps, just as students from the Northern Region performed the atilogwu or the Yoruba dance to the admiration of the audience.
In his closing remarks, Prof. Adebiyi expressed gratitude to the guests comprising among others the former Minister for Education, Prof. Tunde Adeniran, Diplomats, Parents, the Media and others. He said that he was surprised that so many people could attend the event including His Grace, Archbishop Nicholas Okoh at a very short notice. He thanked all the teachers and Administrators of the school for keeping faith with them even in the face of challenges. He also thanked all persons who have stood with them at a time like this. “God will use this school to glorify himself as we train these children to greatness for the development of Nigeria”, he concluded.