The Kizitians

“In the beginning was the word…”so goes the wise word of the Holy Book. Known as the St Kizito Old Students Association  (KOSA for a short while) the association and congregation of the ‘small boys’ that went through the walls and the grilling of the old Our Lady & St Kizito Catholic Minor Seminary Ede started in July 1975. This was exactly one month after the celebration of the 10th anniversary of the establishment of the establishment of the Minor Seminary. The association was yet to find its sound footing when the authorities began the gradual closure of the seminary in 1980 and the final closure in 1982.

The closure could not bring a setback to the growth of the association in all ramifications. It should, however, be pointed out that within the short period of its existence it achieved far grater than many similar institutions that existed before it and are still existing today. This is probably one of the motivations these ‘old boys’ had in celebrating some of their distinguished members.
The primary motive of a seminary is to train future priests out of the 14 pioneer boys only Joseph Oladejo Amiola Faniran made it to the Priesthood. Ordained a Catholic Priest in his home town Modakeke Ife on boxing day 26th December 1976, he has held several Pastoral and administrative posts in the Catholic Church within and outside the country. A social Communication guru, Very Revd Fr. Joe Dejo Amiola Faniran who holds a Ph. D. in Social Communication is presently a senior Lecturer and pioneer Director, Centre of Social Communication and Culture, Catholic Institute of West Africa Porth – Harcourt. He receives The Distinguished Kizitian award.  

Another Distinguished Kizitian awardee is the first Bishop to be produced by the Institution Most Revd Dr.  Gabriel Leke Abegunrin the Catholic Bishop of Osogbo Diocese. He holds Ph.D. in the prestigious field of Canon Law. Ordained a Catholic Priest in his home town, Iwere-Ile headquarters of Iwajowa Local Government area of Oyo State in April, 1979. He held several ecclesiastical positions before he was appointed, ordained and installed the first Bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Osogbo on 13th May 1995. Bishop Abegunrin belongs to the 3rd set of the school.
Dr Peter Bayo Aborisade of the Federal University of Technology Akure (FUTA) was the first Kizitian to hold a Ph.D. degree hence distinguished himself. The first senior prefect of the school Chief Gabriel Falaye will also receive an award.

Dr   ‘Bayo Faforiji the incumbent Commissioner for Works & Transport in Osun State is another Old boy to receive the distinguished award. In his class is another awardee the Co-Adjutor Bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Oyo Most Revd Dr. Emmanuel Adetoyese Badejo. The two of them in their tender ages have distinguished themselves in their chosen career. Both of them are epitome of talents who have impacted positively on any one around them.
One of the longest serving teachers Chief Marcus Eluwande Bello who taught the first and indeed the last set will also receive the distinguished award.

These old boys may not have been able to achieve their lofty goals if the founding Fathers of the school had not placed them on a sound footing. It is in the light of this that the old boys had planned a posthumous award for the founding Bishop and Rector The  Late Rt Revd Dr Owen Mac Coy WF and Revd  Fr. A.G. Gerry  WF respectively.  The doggedness with which the duo and their collaborating staff started the school had gone a long way at influencing the students in all ramifications of life these young men find themselves later in life. Meeting any Kizitian is meeting; hardworking, frank, sincere, honest and God – fearing gentle man. The representative of the White Fathers in Nigeria will be on ground to receive this award in honour of these grates Missionary and worthy men of God who proclaimed the gospel message with their entire life.
Another Posthumous award goes to one of the youngest Kizitians who bagged his Ph. D. in Law at a tender age of 30 and became a Professor of Law at 35 thus becoming the first Kizitian to rise to this academic peak. He was one time Attorney-General & Commissioner for Justice in Oyo state, former Dean of Law of the University of Ibadan The Late Prof. John Ademola Yakubu. He submitted to the cold hands of death in October, 2007 after a futile wrestling with kidney failure. May perpetual light shine on their souls. Amen.
Although the seminary of Our Lady & St. Kizito no longer exist, the award is presented not only to give recognition and honour to whom it is due but to serve as an encouragement to the younger generation especially the new St Kizito’s  Catholic College now located in Ikirun. All old boys, friends of the awardees, invited guests and well wishers will gather in Leisure Spring Hotel Iwo Road Osogbo this Saturday 5th July 2008 to honour these men of God. The Association will also utilize the occasion to raise fund for various developmental projects especially the new St Kizito. The programme kicks off by 11:00am.
This piece was written by ‘Tunde Oyebiyi Sponsored by The Kizitian Association under the leadership of Mr Paul ‘Femi Adetunji National President.