Management and staff of Federal Government Girls College, Calabar, who were last week, allegedly subjected to various degrees of inhuman treatment by operatives of the Departments of State Services (DSS), are demanding a N10M compensation, a written public apology to be broadcast on the Nigerian Television Authority(NTA) and the Federal Radio Corporation of Nigeria (FRCN) and published in four national dailies as well as the “outright dismissal and prosecution of the operatives involved in the act,” from the DSS.
This is according to a statement issued by counsel to the institution, Mr. First Baba Issa. The statement with the title: “DSS invasion of Federal Government Girls College Calabar and why we should all lift up our voices and wail, the school is also asking that the security agency,” listed further demands to include” an oral apology given at the assembly ground before staff and students ; taking responsibility for the hospital bills of all staff who sustained injuries during the assault; return/pay for all lost or damaged items like phones, monies, glasses; and replace the damaged school gate.
Baba Issa, who called on all Nigerians to unite in the denunciation of the invasion of an academic institution by agents of a security outfit funded by tax payers recounted the alleged incident as follows:
Mr Owai Owai, a Civic Education teacher of over 17 years standing came to class that fateful Thursday morning and found a junior student sweeping the class of the SS3 students when classes was going on in the class of the junior, against the school rules that junior students should not be found sweeping the classes of seniors during school periods.
Mr Owai was able to fish out about 10 seniors who asked the juniors to sweep their class during school period contrary to school regulations. He punished the seniors by flogging them on their palms, 2 strokes of the cane each.
One of the the seniors, Grace Loveth Asuquo, grabbed the teacher by the collar of his shirt, protesting her flogging. The teacher was shocked and gave her more strokes for her action. She told the teacher in front of the students that her parents will burn down the school today and stormed out of the class.
Mr Owai continued teaching, unknown to him that Grace has called her mum, who called her sister that is a DSS operative. Half way through the class, the student’s mum, her aunt who is a DSS operative and another man, stormed the class, gestapo-style, took the teacher’s canes and flogged him mercilessly before his alarmed students.
When the canes broke from the trashing of hapless Mr Owai, they descended on his frail frame and rained torrents of blows and kicks on him. The screams of the students alerted the teachers who came to the rescue.
Grace’s DSS operative aunt called for reinforcement and before you can say “poor education funding”, 3 Hilux load of DSS operatives stormed the school.
The operatives went berserk and started shooting sporadically and hitting teachers with anything they could find: blows, kicks, stones, gun butts! Several teachers sustained injuries from the assault and battery.
Some ran into adjoining bushes and farms to save their lives. Some of the teachers started taking pictures and videoing. When the DSS operatives found out, they went after them, forcefully collecting their phones and further brutalising them. Phones, monies, glasses and other valuables were taken away by the operatives.
When they were driving out, they found the gate locked. They beat up the security men and shut the padlock open! They abducted the student, Grace Loveth Asuquo and left the school premises.
The entire staff and students of Federal Government Girls College community are traumatized and frightened. Classes didn’t hold on Friday, February 3rd because of this
Although reports on Thursday indicated that five DSS officers were already in custody in connection with the unfortunate event, Baba Issa who hinted that he would be meeting with officials of the Federal Ministry of Education, which supervises the institution on Thursday. This is coming after the submission of his report to the ministry on Wednesday