BY TUNDE OGUNTOLA
It is called One Man Village in Koroduma community of Nasarawa State which exists one school with many troubles. TUNDE OGUNTOLA recently visited the area and reports on the challenges faced by residents.
Situated in Koroduma area at the popular One Man Village, located along the Abuja-Keffi road in Nasarawa State, the school is found less than 20 kilometers to the Federal Capital territory. It is a government owned secondary school without boarding facilities. The school, not same sex, is well populated with an average of 80 students congested in each classroom, with lack of instructional materials.
Being densely populated with students from varied backgrounds, the wards are seen roaming the premises freely, just as others stroll around the streets like a herd without shepherd. It seems that the students are left by the school management to decide their fate, either to attend classes regularly or not.
Apart from few classrooms in the school that are barely completed, the entire infrastructure of the institution is decayed and seriously begging for urgent attention. The classrooms are shattered, existing without modern doors and windows as the buildings have become unwinding spots of hooligans, whenever the school closed.
When LEADERSHIP visited the school, it was learnt that students receive lessons in the uncompleted classrooms that are made with wood planks and corrugated roofing sheets.The heat is intense whenever the weather is sunny while the floor is flooded during the rain.There is no perimeter fence to enhance security.
The teachers are seemingly helpless due to terrifying attacks of the students. It was gathered that cultism thrive here, just as gang rape in uncompleted building and other social vices including drugs and alcoholism is on the rise and used during initiation of young students into cultism.
Another thing that is beyond expectation is the security of traders who operate shops and stalls around the vicinity. Their wares and goods are not safe especially for those that deal in soft drinks and mopping sticks. The students convert bottles and the cleaning implements into weapons to fight their fellow students whenever there is serious disagreement between the suspected cult groups.
According to reports, a suspected leader of a notorious cult group was allegedly killed very close to the school premises by a boy believed to be a student of the school. Aside clashes over girlfriends, the students disagree over sharing formula of stolen funds.
“A student who was on his way to ease himself was called upon by this cultist group close to the school premises and asked to give N20. The boy said he did not have any cash left with him. He was searched thoroughly by this cultists and when they discovered that he was not with any cash, they stabbed him with a bottle. The junior student cried
to the school premises in his pool of blood, which drew the attention of a senior student who quickly rushed to the scene and later reported the matter to the authorities.
When the senior student arrived the scene to inquire what went wrong, he was chased out by the gang. In order to protect himself, the senior student also removed a jack knife from his pocket and stabbed the leader of the gang who was chasing him and the victim died immediately,” one of the students narrated.
Perhaps, most of the students especially the junior ones have been robbed of their school fees due to persistent criminal activities of the gangsters who operate in the school.
Commenting on the situation, the village head of Koroduma, Alhaji Ahmadu Bako who confirmed the death of the boy lamented the ugly trend and said one of the students had died during a clash between the rival cult groups.
According to him, although the federal government is doing the best to ensure security in the community, there is urgent need for the government to help in building the school fence and general renovation of the school.
“This school has no fence, students are always outside hanging around and these bad boys do come and attack some of the students too. The social vices are many and there is insecurity. So we are calling on the government to help build a fence around the school and add more classrooms,
I wish to call on parents and guardians to help inculcate discipline amongst their children because the family is the first agent of socialization. Each time I meet with the principal of the school, my advice to him is to ensure that the students are disciplined,’’ he added.
However, investigations have revealed that most of the students in the school are being initiated into one cult group or another.The girls are also not left out in the initiation process and as such, they are often raped in the uncompleted buildings.
A senior civil servant who gave his name as Abdullahi Garba is a resident of Koroduma. He said within five months, a teenage girl who was brought from the village had being impregnated twice by the students, who he said always have sex with her each time she went to ease herself in the school restroom, and would threaten her not to tell anyone or else they would kill her.
The principal of the school, Mr. Philip Liman when contacted did not deny or accept the allegations, saying due to civil service rules and bureaucracy, he was not allowed to speak further. Although he lamented the decay of infrastructure and called for urgent assistance.
Also, the Chief Inspector of Education in Nasarawa State, Mado Bulus could not comment on the matter when contacted by our reporter. He however, referred further clarification to the commissioner of education for official reaction.
At the moment, the Government Secondary School Korodoma is in dire need of infrastructural development. Although a major school in a developing village, the social vices hampering the standard quality of education in the institution is worrisome and it is left to be seen whether it will be quickly addressed.