Christower - Start-off

The bible says there is time for everything in heaven; a right time, God’s time and opportune time. For Christower the right time came when I went on a visit to a friend who was on a sick bed in early 2003. He was with a friend by the time I got there. It was during our discussion that he told me, “ get a school, get a Ghanian and start making money”. This statement unsettled me because it was contrary to the vision God gave me on bringing up children academically in the ways and knowledge of God. But I kept the vision in mind. Luckily, I have a senior friend and a cousin who were running schools then. One in Agege while the other in Ketu. I discussed the idea with them and both agreed it is worthwhile if I have property. Coincidentally, we have an uncompleted project site in Ibafo. I took the two of them to the site and they agreed it is suitable to start the school. I brought an Engineer, Mr. Sunday Adeyanju to redesign the property to suit a school. We were at the second level plastering when I look through the window and I had an inner voice whispering to me ‘Get a bigger land in anticipation for future expansion’. This is strange to me, the building is yet to be completed, no student, no staff, yet the voice kept telling me to look for a bigger land. This is another uphill task because the means was not there. But as divinely directed, while working on the building to prepare students for takeoff, I started looking for another bigger land. This effort paid off and we got a parcel of land very close to the school where we have the secondary school presently.

With the grace of God, the land was acquired with the plan to keep it for gradual development from the income from the school. However, within few months of purchase, the land became an object of strife; this means it was not safe to keep the land undeveloped.

Building the structure

Another challenge we faced was the fact that though, student’s intake was still very low, there was the need to develop the newly acquired land. On November 4, 2004, my wife and I summoned courage and decided to start the building of the school. The Holy Spirit directed me to dig the foundation for the entire school with a chapel for worship. This I faithfully did. On the day of laying the foundation, we brought in Rev. S.O. Olowoyo from Methodist church, Ile- Ife to conduct the laying of the foundation; we also invited few of our family friends. During the foundation laying ceremony, Mr. Allen Ilesanmi observed and said ‘Remi, eyi o wa po ju? (That is, Remi, is this not too much?) But I replied, ‘mo da sile fun Olorun’ (I commit it to God).

To God be the glory, the foundation of the present secondary school was laid on the 4th of November, 2004 and by January 2006, it was completed for the use of the students. During the second term of 2007, we moved all our students into the new building. The building contained about 48 classrooms.

The New Primary School

Our motive for constructing 48 classrooms is to have all our students (both the primary and secondary) in one school complex. After completion, we moved all the students into the new building. The secondary students occupying the right wing while primary pupils the left. We were then pursuing the approval of the school by West African Examination Council (WAEC). In order to secure the approval, we were informed that we needed to move the primary pupils away from the building, this posed another challenge.

In compliance with the directives, we commenced a frantic search for another landed property. Our efforts paid off, we got a property, however there was a court case on the land. But with the help of the present Baale of Sefu-Otta (Chief Ogungboye) we resolved the case and started building a modern 24 classrooms with a befitting hostel for our students on December 7, 2007 and to the glory of God, we moved into the building in September, 2009 less than two years after commencement. You can see the finger of God on the project..

The Staff Quarters

After ensuring that the two schools have provision for about 1,500 students, with the hostel facilities that can conveniently take care of 600 Students, we decided to embark on possibility of housing some of members of staff in our premises. To this end, late last year, we commenced the building of six two- bedroom flats and hopefully, this will be completed in this academic session.

Getting the Name ‘Christower’

It was not an easy task getting a name for the school. We do not want to settle for just any name, we searched for a name, with deep meaning, a name to glorify and honour God. The search for the name took six months of prayers, brainstorming and searching of the Bible and the hymnal books. At the end of the day, we settled for CHRIST and TOWER, which we joined together to form CHRISTOWER- an abode of the Almighty God and Christ is our Tower. The name has been doing wonders in our midst.

Challenges

No doubt, there are challenges, so many but our faith is in Corinthians 4:8 ‘we are troubled on every side, yet not distressed, we are perplexed, but not in despair: persecuted, but not forsaken, cast down, but not destroyed’.

The challenges are numerous, the deplorable state of the roads, lack of infrastructure and so many more. However, the grace of God is sufficient for us in Christower. To God be the glory.

Our Joy

Every time I think about why I am in school business, the spirit keeps on telling me that it is a calling, a selfless venture. Seeing the students do well in their examinations and external competitions give me joy and the fact that students are catered for under the merciful hand of Our Lord God gives us hope that the future is secured.

Our Strength

On our own, we can do nothing, however, we rely on God who is continually our help in all circumstances. He is also the pillar upon whom we rest. He is a father to these students and he cares for them. The Proprietress, Head of Schools, Principal, Headmistress and other management staff are all wonderful, always trying to get the best out of the students. They made Christower a school to be, for a student who wants to succeed. I cherish and appreciate you all.

Our Future

Future is to be left to God; however, the Lord said He would grant our desire. Our desire is to ensure that all students graduating from the school have excellent results that will enable them proceed to universities the same year they graduate. To this end, we are working to ensure that we keep all our Senior Secondary School students in our hostel for constant monitoring. We are improving our hostel facilities, classrooms, and clinic. We are also planning to install water treatment plant for our use and provide alternative power supply to aid our teaching. Our target is to go e-education within the next five years.

We are also planning to go into partnership with some schools abroad for exchange programmes. We plan to send at least two of our members of staff abroad for a month work- study with a school in USA within the next three years.

The school has assembled a strong Governing Board members made up of respected Nigerians from all facets of life. The board was inaugurated on August 16, 2012 and has started work. We will soon start to appreciate their efforts.

Our plan also includes getting a parcel of two acres of land for our sports- centre. We are determined and believe God will help us to achieve this soonest.

Our beginning may be small and slow, but I have the assurance that our latter end would be greater than the former. Christower is going places, we are almost there. Our strength is in the Lord who creates Heaven and Earth. Christower is not an accident, but a creation of God.

In Christower we regard education as a total thing, an all-encompassing process. A process that refines a raw individual to the point of finishing strong and successful.

Come, Christower awaits you!

Remi Oyekola Bsc, Msc, FCA, FCTI, CFA

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