It was indeed a scene today at Igbobi Junior High School in Somolu when some investigating Rights Monitors crew were detained within the school premises for allegedly taking pictures of students sitting on classroom floors, during class periods due to lack of enough chairs and tables.
The team from the office of the Human Rights Monitoring Agenda (HURMA), a registered N.G.O with the name HURMA Global Resources Initiatives, led by the Executive Director, Comrade Buna Olaitan Isiak, decided to visit the school unannounced, to investigate complaints to the office from some parents in Somolu, who reported that their children are made to sit on the floor due to lack of Chairs and Tables. Moreso, it was reported that the children are always sent to inform their parents that unless they bring those furnitures, they will remain in that condition through their complete academic periods.
While the leader of the team, Comrade Buna Olaitan was requesting to meet with the school principal, after official signing in at the gate, a member of the investigating team, Abolaji Adeyemi, was alleged to have entered one of the classrooms and took some pictures. This was however reported to and he was deuly cautioned by Comrade Buna, the team leader.
One of the school teachers led the team to the Principal’s office but he was not on sit and they were later attended to by 2 vice Principals, admin, Mrs. Sofoluwe and Mr. Ogunshakin.
The two Vice Principals before attending the reason for the unscheduled visitation, insisted that photograph allegedly taken, if any, must be deleted. On this, the phone was searched and all schools related photos deleted. They later addressed the reason for the visit but denied the alleged sitting on floors and insist that Lagos State government supplies all needed furnitures to school without delay.
“Our government provide furniture for students. Infact, we are always asked for numbers of newly admitted students and needed furniture, and all these are well taken care of”.
When asked if there was any challenge presently faced by the school, Mr. Ogunshakin replied that only the Parents Forum discuss that and the Chairman of the Parents Forum may be contacted.
Things were actually going smoothly and discussion about to end when one woman, who simply identified herself as Vice Principal on Academic came and began all sorts of attitude and ultrances to attack the Human Rights Monitoring team. All efforts to explain that all issues were already addressed by the two Vice Principals fell into deaf hear.
She insisted that the phone should be rechecked and this was also done. She despite that, said she did not regard the intervention of the 2 Vice Principals on admin, and proceeded to insist that the entire team be detained in the compound.
While trying to leave the premises peacefully she rushed to the gate to instruct that the gate be locked.
Some students were also encouraged to hooligantly challenge the team but got persuaded when explained to that the exercise was for the good of futures.
After some minutes of detention, the investigating team were released on the intervention of the good mannered Vice Principals.
A request to enter the classrooms to officially confirmed the alleged lack of Chairs was made before leaving the premises, but this was denied.
The Vice Principals insist that a letter from government most be presented before such request would be granted.