After Tinubu Niger State Gets Another Jagaba: Rev. Father O’Connell

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By; BALA B. BITRUS, Minna.

Veteran educationist, school teacher and Principal, Rev. Father Jeremiah D. O’Connell was Tuesday conferred with the traditional title of Jagaban Minna by the Emir of Minna, Alhaji Umar Farouk Bahago.
Rev. Father O’Connell, an Irish national, retired from the services of the Niger state government after he had put in over fifty years as school Principal at the famous Government Secondary School, Minna, (GSS Minna).
A Catholic Priest, Rev. Father O’Connell has tutored and mentored several thousands of students into top notched technocrats, professionals, Military and para Military personnel in his over fifty years as tracher/principal.
The Niger state government last week honoured the retiring school principal and immortalized him by naming the school after him.
Rev. Father who is 85 years is returning to his home country after his years of meritorious service to Nigeria.
He had arrived Nigeria in the late fifties and worked briefly in Calabar before he relocated to Niger state. He served as Principal at the Government Secondary School, Minna since 1967 until his retirement late last month.
A recipient of the national honour of the Member of the Federal Republic, MFR, Rev. Father O’Connell is also recipient of several other national and international awards.
The Emir of Minna, Alhaji Umar Farouk Bahago said the veteran school principal is by all rights a Nigerian and an indigene of Niger state.
The monarch spoke emotionally of the retiring school principal and described him as a household personality in many homes across the state and beyond having helped in nurturing thousands of students in his career as school principal.
The Emir commended the Irish Catholic Priest for his selfless services and for being a mentor to many.
He said the entire state would miss the fatherly presence of the man who many students and parents have accepted as part of family because of the way he, Father O’Connell related with his students and their parents.

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