A school ought to be an institution designed to inculcate values, morals and mould the character of pupils/students under the direction of teachers. But this is not the case with Government Secondary School, Koroduma, One Man Village, a school notorious for crime and cultism. TUNDE OGUNTOLA writes
Government Secondary School, Koroduma is situated in Koroduma, a densely populated Nasarawa community, located 20 kilometres to the Federal Capital Territory (FCT). The school, a mixed school, accommodates both primary and secondary school students. It is a government owned secondary school without boarding facilities.
Regarded and tagged as ‘’one school with many troubles’’ by residents in the community, the school accommodates an average of 80 students in each classroom that lack instructional materials. Being densely populated with students from varied backgrounds, mostly not biological children of the guardians, the wards are seen roaming the premises freely, just as others stroll around the streets like a herd without shepherd. It seems that the school management has left the students to decide their fate themselves, either to attend classes regularly or not.
LEADERSHIP Weekend gathered that rather than be in the class, most of the students are seen in uncompleted buildings close to the school smoking marijuana, drinking sachet gin and having sex with the female students at will.
It is also not an uncommon scene to see the students looking frail, hungry and exhausted in the morning while going to school and looking for any means to get what to eat even if it takes ripping others of their pocket money before going to classroom.
Few weeks ago, a student of the school, Auwal Salisu was killed in the school premises for alleged cult activities. According to a reliable source, the Principal of the school earlier summoned all the students to the assembly ground and dismissed them to go home after he noticed that hoodlums surrounded the school. But, shortly after all the students went home, Salisu was killed.
LEADERSHIP Weekend gathered that the incident makes it the second reported death case within 11 months. According to reports, a boy believed to be a student of the school allegedly killed a suspected leader of a notorious cult group very close to the school premises.
Aside clashes over girlfriends, the students disagree over sharing formula of stolen funds.
Confirming the incident, the Divisional Police Officer, New Nyanya Police Station, Sunday Obi, said that Salisu died as a result of multiple injuries inflicted on him. However, the case has been transferred to the State’s Criminal Investigation Department in Lafia.
Eleven months ago, a student, who was on his way to ease himself in the school premises, was summoned by a cult group close to the school premises and demanded that he gives them N20.
‘’The boy said he did not have any cash left with him. He was searched thoroughly by these cultists and when they discovered that he was not with any cash, stabbed him with a bottle,” one of the students told our correspondent.
“The junior student cried to the school premises in the pool of his own blood, which drew the attention of some senior student who quickly rushed to the scene while some reported the matter to the school authorities. When the senior student arrived the scene to inquire what went wrong, the gang chased him out. 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.”
The gangsters who operate in the school have robbed most of the students of their school fees, especially the junior ones.
The teachers are seemingly helpless due to terrifying attacks by the students. One of the teachers, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to our correspondent said, some students whom he punished for an act of indiscipline waylaid him while he was on his way home recently. He said he was asked to kneel down by the students to be flogged, but he quickly asked them, if he was not a teacher in the school, would he be asked to do such?
They then asked the student who was punished to show his back, while the teacher was asked to give the said student a pat on his back and he was asked to go. He, however, said that after the incident, the student did not come to school again.
The teacher also reported that one of the school prefects called Yusuf, was recently attacked at home because he disciplined a student while in school. He said he was threatened by some of the students with knives and other dangerous weapons and asked never to discipline any member of the gang again.
It was gathered that cultism thrives here, just as gang rape in uncompleted building and other social vices, including drugs and alcoholism are commonplace things and used during initiation of young students into cultism.
Another thing of concern 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 mop 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.
Commenting on the situation, the village head of Koroduma, Alhaji Ahmadu Bako, who confirmed the death of the boy, lamented the ugly trend, saying one of the students had died during a clash between the rival cult groups.
According to him, although the federal government is doing its best to ensure security in the community, there is urgent need for the government to help in building the school fence to provide security for the students.
He also sought for the deployment of security operatives to help teachers who are now helpless to inculcate discipline in the students.
“This school has no fence, students are always outside hanging around and these bad boys do come to attack some of the students too. The social vices are many and there is insecurity. So, we are calling on the state government to help build a fence around the school and add more classrooms.”
He also called on parents and guardians to help discipline their children noting that family is the first agent of socialisation.
However, investigations have revealed that most of the students in the school are being initiated into cult groups under duress. They are most times, threatened to join the group and assured of protection afterwards.
The girls are also not left out in the initiation process, as they are often raped in uncompleted buildings.
Narrating his ordeal, a senior civil servant, who gave his name as Abdullahi Garba, a resident of Koroduma, said within five months, the students had impregnated a teenage girl who was brought from the village twice.
The Principal of the school, Mr. Ali Ahmed, when contacted, did not deny or accept the allegations, saying due to civil service rules and bureaucracy, he was not allowed to speak further.
When visited by our correspondent, the Chief Inspector of Education, Karu Local Government, Nuhu Usman Bunu acknowledged that a student was recently killed in the school but declined to comment further.