The Director Public Affairs, Coalition of Civil Societies on Human Rights and Anti-Corruption Comrade James Ezema has expressed dismay over what he described as media blackmail by Queens College Old Girls to tarnish the image and reputation of the former Queens College Principal, Dr Lami Amodu.
Reacting to a news report in the media on the Public hearing by the Joint Senate Committee on Education and Health regarding the poor living condition of Queens College and circumstances that led to the death of some students, Comrade Ezema said the account as published in some online media is false and lacking integrity.
He said himself, The National Youth Parliament and other Civil Society Leaders were at the public hearing from 12noon to the end, and no such presentation as published was ever made before the senate and queried why reputable people in the society such as the old girls would resort so low to the level of telling lies that are obvious.
The Senate Joint Committee on Basic Education and Health had on Monday began a public inquiry into the living conditions of Queens College students and the death of three secondary students in the college last year.
At the hearing, stakeholders in the educational sector, including members of the civil society, presented memoranda at the public hearing at the Senate. Emotions rose as the rot in the educational sector, particularly at Federal Government owned unity schools, dominated the presentations without Dr. Mrs Lami Amodu been blamed for negligence.
In her presentation, Dr Lami Amodu revealed the rot she inherited at the College and efforts made to salvage the situation. She observed that on assumption of duty at the college she quickly assessed the situation and drew up a “shopping list” containing urgently needed items and rehabilitation of the decayed infrastructure she inherited.
According to her, the shopping list was shared with relevant stakeholders, including the old girls of the college and the ministry of education.
She also recalled how she formally informed the Federal Ministry of Education on the level of decay of the facilities in the college shortly after her deployment to the school.
Comrade Ezema said, from the investigations of the civil society Dr Lami Amodu on assumption of duty as Principal Queens College met a responsible Old Girls exco and they never had issues till the assumption of office of the Mrs Ajose led exco. “All these issues are because Dr. Amodu implemented a government circular evicting the old girls secretariat from the Queens College premises and because she could not meet with the admission requests of the old girls because the facility of the school was overstretched. We are also surprised the rape case is still coming up when two investigative Panels set by the Federal ministry of Education had exonerated Mr. Olaseni Osifala and the case long buried.
The actions of the old girls are not only cruel and malicious but it shows their extent of the organised conspiracy and gang-ups against Mrs Amodu and we wonder why they are still desperately trying to push the blame on her. This however lays credence to the fact that the old girls always want to have their way in the control of the school which Dr Lami opposed.
He said, the reports in the media was totally false, as there was nowhere at the public hearing issues of suspected spiritual attacks was brought.
In a separate reaction, a former Principal of Kings College, Lagos, Mr. Sylvester Onoja observed that from his personal experience, old boys and girls in the unity schools were known in some cases to resist positive change and stressed that no principal in a government college is an employee of Old Students or PTA.
He recalled how some old boys ganged up against him to frustrate him when he resumed as principal of Kings College Lagos but latter had a cordial and good working relationship with them, urging the government to ensure improvement to check over population in the unity colleges.
“In most cases when directors are posted to schools that is not their place of origin they face challenges of acceptability”, Mr Onoja said,
He added that in a lot of cases PTA and Old students association try to control school administrators. He also disclosed that there have been a long decay of infrastructure in schools.
Comrade Ezema said that based on the advice of Senator Wammako and other members of the joint Senate Committee on Education and Health, Dr Amodu have been vindicated from all false allegations and their blackmail have hit the brick wall.
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