By Stella Williams
The Coalition of Civil Societies on Human Rights and Anti-Corruption in Nigeria has described the closure of Queen College Lagos by the school management over water shortage as shocking.
It would be recalled that the college’s management had on August 3, 2017 ordered students to vacate the school on account of the water shortage.
The water crisis and subsequent closure came barely two weeks after an assemblage of six non-governmental and civil society organisations under the aegis of the Coalition of Civil Societies on Human Rights and Anti-Corruption in Nigeria wrote to the Senate Committee on Basic and Secondary Education exonerating the former Director/Principal of Queen College Lagos, Dr (Mrs) Lami Amodu, over deaths of some students.
Addressing journalists in Abuja yesterday, the group’s Director of Public Affairs, Comrade James Ezema, said the coalition carried out another fact finding mission after the water shortage crisis and discovered what he described as “worrisome events” at the college.
“We are shocked that because of water problems in Queens Collage Lagos, examinations were aborted, all students promoted to the next class and school closed indefinitely.
“Besides pumping machine, the girls have alerted us of persisting coloured water, shortage water flow and inability to bath.
“It is time to face the facts in Nigeria’s unity schools and confront the challenges rather than resorting to blackmail to bring down patriotic individuals.
“From our investigations we found out that the only source of clean water which is safe for drinking and now the saving grace of the institution is the solar powered water system donated by the Australian High Commission and Hermitage consults in 2016 when Dr. Mrs Lami Amodu was principal”.
“For us in the Coalition of Civil Societies on Human Rights and Anti-Corruption in Nigeria, citizens should rise and face the facts, the Federal Ministry of Education should up to its responsibility and not being political about issues.
“From our findings, the water problem in the college dated back to the time of Kumbi Ogunaike and the Ministry of Education is still silent on it till date.
“We also learnt that in recent occurrence in a northern unity school, lives were lost as a result of Lassa Fever and how maturely it was handled without indicting the school principal.
“We therefore call on the Queens College Lagos Old Girls Association to sort out their personal differences, bury their faces in shame because their so called new borehole is worse than the old ones and stop diverting attention in the face of daunting challenges.
The old girls should be part of the solution, not a complication to an already bad situation.
“The ministry of education should for once rise up to their duties and stop giving in to cheap propaganda.
“Is it not becoming obvious that an untouchable cabals are instigating the petitions and allegations against the former principal just to get back at her for daring to resist them?
“How long will the education ministry give in to this cheap game at the detriment of innocent girls entrusted in their care?
“Now that water has become an issue again in the college, who is to be blamed this time?”, the coalition queried.