Lagos State Governor, Mr Babatunde Fashola accompanied by his wife, Dame Emmanuella Abimbola Fashola on Saturday commemorated his 51st birthday with a visit to the School for the Blind Oshodi, saying the visit represents very sobering moments for him and an opportunity to say thank you by adding value to their lives.
The Governor who has kept faith with the tradition of commemorating his birthday since assumption of office with the less privileged said his experience last year with some of the students was a constant reminder of how unappreciative fully sighted people can be.
He recalled his experience with two of the students he met last year, one was a law graduate who had to defer her admission to Law School because she suddenly lost her sight and the other a young business entrepreneur who had to learn adaptive ways to run his business without his sight.
He added that the experience of those two people also speak of how easily the fully sighted people often take their their ability to see for-granted.
He stressed that in the business of those who cannot see no one could be described as a customer as anyone can lose his or her sight, adding that for him the birth day was an opportunity for him to say thank you by adding value to their lives.
Fashola maintained that last year when he visited, he made some promises and that his visit this year was to check on what he considers an unfinished business which he has at the School for the Blind.
He said though he sent money to the school, the funds would not have achieved its purpose if good use had not been made of it by the good men and women who are administering the school.
He said he was always in touch with the school while the construction process was on-going and that going by what he has heard from the Board of Trustees, the management and the students, he is satisfied and believes it is a mission accomplished.
He said the decision to provide services through the school was done through government in order to institutionalize it so that such a hand of fellowship does not end with the term of the government.
He explained that it was not just about providing the money but about providing an opportunity to make use of the money for the school and commended the leadership provided by the Ministry of Education under the Special Adviser to the Governor and the Scholarship Board for the various projects in the school.
On how the school could still benefit from the funds, the Governor urged the school management to always apply every year to the Scholarship Board even when he is no more in office.
He emphasized that the ruling party in Lagos, the All Progressives Congress (APC) supports free education while some parties may not, but that the choice lies before the people to make in helping to keep the free education policy going.
Earlier while welcoming the Governor, Chairman of the Management Committee of the Nigeria Society for the Blind which manages the school, Asiwaju Osibo Afolabi thanked the Governor immensely for the support which the school has been enjoying from him.
He also expressed appreciation for the new workshop which the Governor has equipped as well as the scholarships offered to students of the school and called for a gazetting of the support so that it can continue after the tenure of office of the Governor.
Asiwaju Afolabi said the school also boasts of a music room, a recording facility, craft, tie and dye, gymnasium and all facilities to ensure that the children are well trained and happy.
He added that the School has passed out about 35 students and some of them have gained admission into tertiary institutions, some have returned to their states and are all doing very well in their various fields.
The Governor who was accompanied on the trip by the Special Adviser on Education, Otunba Fatai Olukoga was later presented with a birthday card and a cake by the management of the school before he inspected the state of the art facilities at the workshop and was also entertained by the students who rendered various evergreen tunes at the new State of the art digital music studio.