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Our attention has been drawn to a statement credited to one Dimeji Ogunjobi about a certain scholarship that was promised by the Chairman of Olusegun Okanlawon Foundation, Mr. Olusegun Okanlawon for the winners of Ibarapa Quiz Competition and Idere Community Debate 2021 organised by Idere Update.

Members of the public should be aware that Idere Update doesn’t promise, winners of our annual inter-community debate/quiz are paid instantly before the audience. This culture of not owing our winners a dime yesteryears has earned the outfit a good name home and abroad.

However, aside all the prizes given to the winners of Ibarapa Quiz Competition and Idere Community Debate 2021 by Idere Update, Mr. Olusegun Okanlawon promised winners of our 2021 competitions scholarship till the rest of their secondary school education.

9 students emerged winners of Ibarapa Quiz Competition and Idere Community Debate 2021 held on January 2nd, 2021: Aako-Bisi Ayomide, Junaid Aliat, Balogun Israel, Sangoleye Florence, Timothy Adeyemi and Okegbenro Feranmi emerged winners of the quiz competition, while Adekiitan Victor, Ogunjobi Precious and Oladokun Rafeal emerged winners in the debate category.

However, barely 2 days after the grand finale of Idere Update annual educative initiative was held in 2021, came the scholarship offers by Mr. Olusegun Okanlawon, the founder of Olusegun Okanlawon Foundation (OOF).

According to OOF in all the media reports of January 4, 2021: “I will be sponsoring winners of the Ibarapa Quiz Competition/Idere Community Debate till they finish their secondary school education.”

“Sponsorship of their education starts with immediate effect. I believe this will go a long way in making others know there is reward for hard-work in formal learning too.”

Mr. Olusegun Okanlawon’s decision to give scholarships to 9 students in Ibarapa was also featured in the Leadership Newspapers’ publication of January 11, 2021. Below is the copy of the publication.

Subsequently, the names of the 9 students promised to be given scholarship featured in all the reports of the national dailies and many blogs.

Barely 2 months after the announcement of scholarship was made, Mr. Olusegun Okanlawon requested for the names of the students which were submitted to him by the coordinator of Ibarapa Debate Competition, Ogbeni Tolu Oduola.

Prior this time, parents of the students that were promised scholarships by Okanlawon were already on the neck of Ogbeni Tolu Oduola in the region.

Oduola mistakenly submitted 6 names of 9 winners to Okanlawon, the same mistake was later discovered when he (Okanlawon) paid 4 students out of the 6 pupils whose names were initially submitted to him.

The sum of N20,000 was paid to the parents of 4 out of the 6 pupils whose names were submitted.

Okanlawon’s reason was that the organization could only pay for the 4 pupils while payment of the remaining 2 would be fixed for a week after the first batch of the payment was made.

It was at this juncture that Okanlawon was reminded that the pupils were 9 and not 6. As at the time the mistake was detected, only 4 pupils were settled yet and Okanlawon promised to add the 3 pupils that were not included initially to the remaining 2 outstanding payment. There are loads of evidence of Okanlawon’s confirmation of the error and his decision to pay the pupils together with the 2 outstanding pupils. One of such pieces of foolproof evidence is where Okanlawon requested for account details of the parents of these 3 pupils on March 20, 2021.

On March 11, 2021, there was a phone conversation between Okanlawon and the publisher of Idere Update where the former promised to pay the 3 pupils whose names were omitted in the list forwarded by Ogbeni Tolu Oduola together with the remaining 2 pupils billed to be paid a week later.

In the phone conversation, Okanlawon said: “The error is from Oduola, these kids are young and they cannot forget. Their names appeared in all the reports and they must be paid. I am adding them together with the remaining 2 pupils to be paid before, but that would be next week,” Okanlawon said on phone. There is evidence of this phone conversation between Okanlawon and the publisher of Idere Update on March 11, 2021.

Despite the fact that the list of all the 6 pupils that were early submitted by Ogbeni Tolu Oduola were not yet paid, several blogs carried it that Okanlawon had fulfilled his scholarship promise to indegenes of Ibarapa who won Idere Update quiz and debate competitions.

It was reported that all the pupils whose names appeared in the news had been paid but 3 out of the 9 students were not paid till date!

It was the news that the parents of the pupils that were yet to be paid saw, that they began to ask for their children’s share.

Since March 2021, this medium continued to remind Okanlawon on different occasions but he kept saying till next week. There are evidence of instances where OOF was reminded about this. The issue was also discussed with OOF in December 2021 but it was till promise as usual.

The major challenge that Idere Update is facing from the parents of these pupils is that, the promise was made because of Idere Update progamme not that Idere Update is owing anybody.

The parents are of the opinion that people thought their children are under Olusegun Okanlawon’s scholarship as reported in the news, and they have been threatening to take actions to debunk such rumour including announcing it before everyone at the just concluded Idere Update annual programme that their children are not under anyone’s scholarship.

It should be of note that ever since Okanlawon paid the 6 pupils N20,000 each, no payment had been made again since March 2021, two academic terms had passed since then but the scholarship was to cover the education of the said students till they finish their secondary school education. Worst still, some of these students are in private schools.

The general public should also be informed that Idere Update is owing nobody as this medium doesn’t promise what it cannot fulfil. Winners of our annual inter-community debate are always paid immediately with whatever prize we have for them.

Once again, Adekiitan Victor, Ogunjobi Precious and Oladokun Rafeal are yet to receive their money as promised by OOF 1 year after.

We also want to make it crystal clear that this rebuttal is not targetted at discrediting the good work that Okanlawon is doing in our region but to clarify the matter.