A retired teacher, Mustapha Adebayo Najeem, has advised teachers and civil servants in the country to take punctuality very seriously.
Najeem gave the advice during a send-forth party held for three staff of Okesuna Secondary School, Ilọrin, Kwara State following their retirement.
The two others are Alhaja Afusat Nurudeen AbdulRahman and Mrs Grace Agbede, who retired as principal and vice principal (administration) respectively.
Speaking with City & Crime, Najeem who retired as the HOD of Commercial Studies, said, “I had never been late, not even once, during my 35 years of service. I made sure I got to school several minutes before time to serve as a role model to students and let them practically see that our ‘African Time’ syndrome, as disturbing and costly as it is, could be banished.”
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Narrating some of his sacrifices, Mr Najeem said, “There was a day when I was coming to school and there was traffic. I abandoned my car 10 minutes to time and took an Okada. I went back to the car after I was through.
“Also, there was a time Okesuna when a VIO arrested me for lack of papers, and I had a first period to teach. I pleaded with them to use their vehicle to take me to school to teach the children before I went back to complete my paperwork. My conscience didn’t allow it and I felt guilty if I denied the children because of my lateness.”
He further said, “I want teachers to take punctuality as their watchword, and it is doable despite the contrary by the bandwagon. But the government does not recognise such virtues and sacrifices. There are still many like that in the system and they should be found and celebrated.”