Bayelsa Times

One died, two jailed for vandalising school building in A’ Ibom

Nationwide News Niger Delta

Two persons have been committed to prison while one lost his life for destruction and stealing of school building and property belonging to Government Primary School, Aka Offot in Obio Imo in Uyo Metropolis in Akwa Ibom State.

Speaking to our Correspondent in Uyo on Wednesday,  the Village Head of Aka Offot, Etteidung Francis Morgan said rampant destruction of the school in his domain led total dilapidation of infrastructure in the school.

Udo described the vandalism and stealing of property belonging to the school as alarming and which had been persistent for a long time now.

Consequently, he said that two suspects caught in the act were now cooling off  in prison custody, while one was discovered dead in the school ceiling suffocating while trying to escape.

The traditional ruler said though some of the suspects escaped by scaling through the school fence, the long arms of the law would one day catch up with them.

“The stealing and wanton destruction of school property at Government Primary School, Aka Offot in Obio Imo is very pathetic and has continued for a long time now, despite government intervention to serve the situation. Those responsible will be apprehended and made to face the wrath of the law.

“I appeal to the relevant authorities to come to our assistance. We have tried our best. Two have been jailed as a result of the vandalism, while one has also died as he tried to escape,” Udo said.

Udo appealed to the State Government  as matter of urgency construct  High Rise perimeter fence to reduce, if not eradicate future occurrence.

An officer  of the school, who pleaded anonymity  said the vandalism started in year 2020 during the COVID-19 pandemic lockdown.

He said before the lockdown, the school was quite in order, as desks provided for the pupils were intact and the roofs were not removed.

She, however, said before they could resumed after the lockdown almost all the desks, tables and chairs  including roofing sheets were removed.

“This room was full of windows and doors, but when we vacated around 2020 during the COVID-19 pandemic lockdown, before we resumed we did not see any window, door and the roofs were vandalised.

“Since then, they continue to cut the roofing sheet every weekend, when we closed on Friday before we returned on Monday. During weekends they continue cutting the roofing sheets. The Headmistress has to report the incident to the Ministry of Education, with pictures.

“The Headmistress office was not spared, they climbed through the ceiling and packed all desks, that is why you see pupils sitting on the floor.

“When we reported to the ministry, the Commissioner for Education and the Permanent Secretary visited the school and promised to intervene,” she said.

She said construction work has commenced in one of the classrooms blocks to alleviate the plight of the pupils.

She lamented the extent of vandalism as pupils were allowed to sit on the floor with leaked roofs to write their examinations during raining season.

“Last year during raining season, the pupils sat on the wet floor to write their examinations, there was no desk for them as all have been carted away by hoodlums.

“Now, we thank God for government intervention has it come to renovate one of the blocks. The Village Head of Aka Offot and the community are aware of this vandalism,” she said.

She appealed to the State Government to come to their rescue by building high perimeter fence around the school to prevent criminals and improved the security network around  the school premises .

The state Commissioner for Education, Mrs Idongesit Etiebet, when contacted promised that the ministry would get the attention of State Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB) to intervene and see what could be done to remedy the situation.

Pupils of Government Primary School, Aka Offot , Obio Imo, Uyo Metropolis sitting on the floor to learn as the school classroom blocks are vandalized by hoodlums. photo: Isaac Job, Uyo.

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