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Thursday, April 18, 2024

Abuja electrocuted student: HURIWA advocates better safety measures in schools

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Civil Rights Advocacy Group:- HUMAN RIGHTS WRITERS ASSOCIATION OF NIGERIA (HURIWA) has described as appalling, despicable and pathetic the negligent conducts of the government Science Secondary School, Maitama, Abuja that resulted in the death by electrocution of the 16-year-old boy identified as Meshack Agaba.

HURIWA stated that from empirical evidence it generated through human intelligence and constant interfaces with students of public schools in the Federal capital territory, a majority of these schools are lacking the relevant social amenities and workable infrastructures necessary for learning just as the Rights group has asked the FCT Administration to state of infrastructural emergency in public schools in the FCT with the immediate rehabilitation of these ill-equipped schools.

HURIWA alleged that: “Even schools located in the Metropolis such as the government Secondary school next to the offices of the Nigerian Customs Service abd the Federal Road Safety Commission in Zone 3, are in very terrible state with most of these buildings having cracks in their walls showing that if prompt maintenance works aren’t carried out, we might just be sitting on a keg of gunpowder which might implode soon”.

HURIWA which decried the alleged absence of quality control and lack of a quick, decisive, efficient and effective maintenance culture in that specific school as the cumulative causes of the avoidable death of the young student, has therefore advocated the establishment of a centre for monitoring workings of infrastructures within school environments to stave off this kind of fatality as a result of the pervasive state of negligence in the school system.

HURIWA condemned the absence of first aid clinic in that Government science Secondary school, Maitama as well as in many public schools in Abuja and other parts of Nigeria and is asking the relevant authorities to take steps to safeguard the learning environment of our young generation.

Besides, HURIWA has appealed to the minister of FCT Mr. Nyesom Wike as a parent, to institute a transparent investigative panel to uncover exactly the circumstances of the death of the 16-year-old student Meshack Agada. HURIWA has also advocated that political office holders should enrol their children in public schools as that will compel them to stamp out the pervasive culture of negligence that comes from institutional corruption.

“We hereby appeal to the Abuja Minister to set up an Independent Coroner, post-mortems and panel of inquest to ascertain what exactly led to the death of this student of Government Secondary School in Maitama Abuja. Part of this investigative inquest should capture why electrical power infrastructure in that school couldn’t be maintained after a part of it collapsed.

HURIWA recalled that a tragedy struck Government Science Secondary School in the Maitama area of the Federal Capital Territory when a 16-year-old boy identified as Meshack Agaba died of electrocution inside the school premises. The incident happened last Wednesday.

One of the parents who was privy to the incident but spoke on condition of anonymity, on Monday, disclosed that the deceased student was on his way to fetch water from a tap when he unknowingly stepped on an electric cable that had tripped off an electric pole inside the school compound.

The source said, “The electric pole and the cable had been lying in the area before the incident. The school management didn’t do anything about it. However, Agaba was trying to fetch water last Wednesday morning because they normally wake up at 5am to fetch water.

“The boy is in the same hostel as my child. The place was slippery, and as he was trying to regain balance, he mistakenly stepped on the conductor, and he was electrocuted instantly. I’m surprised that even after the incident, that pole has not been fixed by the school management. The only thing the management did was post the picture of the boy on a wall with the ‘Gone too soon’ inscription.”

The concerned parent also lamented that despite the incident, the school management had been trying to change the narrative after the police were involved, claiming that the boy had wanted to jump the fence when the cable fell on him.

The source added, “They didn’t say the thing that led to the boy’s death. They pretended as if it were just a normal thing. Nothing was said about the incident. Since the incident happened, the Parent-Teacher Association’s social media platform has been locked. Parents are not allowed to speak about the incident on that platform. The school is one of the top secondary schools in the FCT.

“The police even came to pick up the principal. The school management lied, saying that the boy was trying to jump through the fence when the cable fell on him. How can someone who was only wearing a towel attempt to jump the fence at that time of the day?

HURIWA is therefore tasking the FCT Administration not to overlook this red-flag that has emerged by this unfortunate incident in the Government Science Secondary School in Maitama but to pursue this matter to its logical conclusion and put measures in place to ensure that no such a calamity is allowed to occur in another school again.

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