Government College Katsina Ala, Benue State on Saturday, the 7th of May 2016, marked one hundred years of its existence.
Apart from being the third in the then Northern Nigeria, Government college Katsina Ala has churned out prominent personalities who have contributed positively in various fields of human endeavour.
Some reached the pinnacle of their carriers and have retired while others are captains of industries and technocrats and others are public servants that are still rendering services to this great country, Nigeria.
It is on this premise that Katsina Ala Old Boys Association KAOBA, came together by pooling their resources and invited friends and well-wishers to give the school a new lease of life by holistically looking at things the school desires most with a view to rejuvenating and make learning more conducive for the present day generation.
Government College Katsina Ala has passed through successive administrative setups, which included the colonial administration, the Northern Government administration, the Benue Plateau and the present day Benue State which was created in 1976.
Since then, the school has remained under the control of Benue state Government and worthy of note is the fact that the school has maintained its educational standard.
Similarly, because of the standard set by the school in terms of quality of education and high moral standard, it became a rallying point in the middle Belt, comprised of Benue, Kogi, Nasarawa, Plateau and Taraba states.
These five states benefited maximally from Government College Katsina Ala and today the graduates of this noble academic citadel of learning and in collaboration with some Governors made commitments that will further improve and transform the school for the best.
First to speak was the Governor of Taraba State, Darius Dickson Ishaku who dwelt on the need for the middle belt to work collectively towards re-positioning the school which will serve as a melting point for the diverse culture found within the zone.
Darius Ishaku reiterated the need for the school to be a converging point for all the divergent tribes found in the middle belt so that it will help promote peaceful coexistence, established cordial relationship as well as being our brothers keepers aimed at encouraging and sustaining mutual fraternity as a means of ending the intolerance that has become prevalent in our societies.
Governor Darius Ishaku used retired General TY Danjuma and the Emir of Lafiya, Dr. Isa Mustapha Aqwai the First, as typical examples of what the country needed most at this period of distrust, explaining that the two prominent personalities schooled together and up to this present moment they are still best of friends and asserted that the relationship was made possible because of Government College Katsina Ala, and both have remained the rallying point of KAOBA.
On his part, the Governor of Nasarawa state, Tanko Almakura said those that were opportune to pass through Government College Katsina Ala should see it as a privilege and a feeling of nostalgia and with sense of urgency answer the call of supporting the school so that students of the present generation will have the opportunity of being imparted with high moral and educational standard or even surpassing what was obtained in the past.
Tanko Almakura told the gathering that though he belongs to the Keffi Old Boys Association, maintained that Government College Katsina Ala also occupies a special place in his heart and assured that he will contribute maximally in the re-positioning of the school and posited that what the country needs now is qualitative education and not crisis.
In his testament, the Governor of Benue state, Samuel Ortom who is the host Governor said, though he is not a member of KAOBA but said he has become a member because his son graduated from the school and attested to the fact that his son got the best from Government College Katsina Ala in terms sound morals and quality education.
Samuel Ortom maintained that as one of the famous learning institutions in the North that contributed greatly in the molding of good character and sound knowledge, such foundation of human development resulted in the school producing men who have contributed measurably to the development of the country in various fields of human endeavours.
He informed KAOBA members that he has already constituted a committee to ascertain the damages done to the school with a view to addressing them and assured that the issues of encroachments and property seizures will be laid to rest.
The Governor said education is top on his priority lists and revealed that he intends to make tertiary education strong, secondary education stronger and the primary sector the strongest.
Ortom lamented that the biggest industry in the middle belt is farming and with a voice laddered with sadness pointed out that farmers are not getting the desired benefit of their labour occasioned by the dwindling resources and vowed to prioritize education and farming in the state.
That of Theophilus Yakubu Danjuma who is the Patron of KAOBA was a passionate appeal to all members to be proactive and committed in injecting positive change to the institution that made them who and what they stand today in the society.
TY Danjuma maintained that time has come for them to contribute to further uplift the standard of learning in the school and commended the Emir of Lafiya, Dr. Isa Mustapha Aqwai the First for his role in making KAOBA what it is today and used the forum to challenge other members of the Association to sit up and move Katsina Ala Government College to an enviable height and pointed out that, KAOBA members from Nasarawa state have always shown commitment to the development of the school more than other members states in the middle belt.
He also called on fellow members of the old boys to redeem all the pledges made to the school, stressing that by doing so it will go along way in solving some problems of the institution and stated that though the country is passing through tough times but it should not be a reason for not helping the school to wax more stronger.
The national president of Katsina Ala Old Boys Association KAOBA, Dr. Haron Adamu said they were gathered to celebrate 100 years of Government College Katsina Ala, saying that, it is period of sober reflection and reminiscences of the past and most importantly to chat a way they can give back meaningfully to the institution that made them people in life.
Dr. Haron Adamu lamented that Government College Katsina Ala is in a sorry state and needs the urgent intervention of KAOBA to restore it to its former glory.
He enumerated some of the challenges which included the school land has been grabbed, houses of staff including that of the principal have been sold leaving the students un-supervised, library not conducive for learning and said such does not auger well for the development of good character which the school is known for.
Speaking further, the KAOBA President revealed that at the later part of the year a five hundred million naira book will be launched and the money will be channeled towards re-positioning the school so as to rescue it from collapse.
The president call on federal government, state government to partner with KAOBA towards resuscitating one of the oldest institution of learning in northern Nigeria and also pleaded with Benue state government to as a matter of urgency provide a parameter fence round the school to safeguard it from further encroachment.
Dr. Haron Adamu pleaded with the entire alumnus to contribute significantly towards the success of the project, urging them to take a leap from their patron, TY Danjuma who has done so much for the school.