Time there was in this country that public schools were centres of academic and moral excellence. They were few and far flung but rich in quality. Tuition fees were pocket friendly and they were predictable meeting points for children of both the rich and poor!
Equally worthy of recall here is the fact that some of these schools were owned by missionaries but never restricted their access to only members of their faith. Then Schools had unique traditions that went beyond uniforms and infrastructure. Discipline was the watchword and academic excellence a passion. They had school anthems that were both inspiring and pregnant with meanings.
One readily recalls here the school anthem of Methodist Boys High school, Oron, in present Akwa Ibom state. Though not an alumnus of this great school, am always excited each time I hear them render their timeless school anthem: WILL YOUR ANCHOR HOLD?
Apart from its tune, the anthem is fraught with spiritual and philosophical hook lines. Will your anchor hold when the storms of life come calling? Will your anchor hold when friends become friendly enemies? And success becomes a fore runner for scandals, trials, betrayals and serial misfortunes?
Today, this classic school anthem of Methodist Boys High school, Oron, strikes a responsive chord in my conscience when I see what a politician called Senator Elisha Abbo is going through ever since he became the Senator in the 9th Senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. He first captured national attention for an alleged assault he committed when he was only a Senator elect. He remorsefully and profusely apologised but that never stopped his arraignment in a law court for criminal assault. Now on bail, Senator Abbo is not given a respite by the Senate as he is currently facing a special Senate panel still on the same assault case which may slam a suspension on him! For Senator Abbo, success has opened a floodgate of distress, stress and strain. Even his health condition has become a public discourse. One Senator, many troubles!
Not yet done with misfortune, the latest report is that some unknown gunmen stormed his family home in Adamawa state, shot dead his uncle and abducted his step mother. For Senator Abbo, it’s winter in summer! His sun is making unpretentious attempts to set at noon! I know in a clime that poverty, bigotry and jealousy have enveloped menacingly, this may be the ample time to vilify him and hoist our sanctimonious flag of righteousness and impeccable morality.
But for those who still believe in frailties of mortals and forgiveness, I urge them to remember Senator Abbo in their thoughts and prayers. Like that school anthem of Methodist Boys High School admonishes; may his ANCHOR HOLD in this stormy season of his life .
Scripted By: Innocent Okon Snr