By Stanley Onyekwere
For alleged involvement in the molestation of some female students of the FCT School for the Blind, Jabi, two teachers of the school were yesterday suspended till further notice.
Following reports of incidences of molestations of some female students by teachers, FCT Administration directed the immediate suspension of Mr. Ilo Chukwuma and Ebenezer Olateju pending the conclusion of investigations on the matter.
Announcing the suspension during an unscheduled visit to the school, Permanent Secretary of the FCTA, Sir Chinyeaka Ohaa, warned both teachers to stay clear of the school premises as investigations continue.
Ohaa, who was visibly angry also directed that Mr. Chukwuma, who was accommodated inthe school residential quarters, vacate the school within the week.
He further directed the Director of Security Services in the FCTA, Mr. Adamu Gwary to ensure full compliance and implementation of the directive.
Ohaa expressed disgust over the actions of the accused teachers as he listened to victims narrate their ordeals, adding that teachers who are supposed to be protectors are now the students’ nightmare.
“We cannot allow this kind of behavior to continue. These children more or less arehelpless and they depend on teachers here.
“They have confidence and trust inyou, that you will protect them from immorality and even outside invasion andyou turn now to be the person they are now afraid of. As a government we cannotjust fold our arms”, he said.
While addressing the issue of alleged rape of a student against Mr. Ebenezer Olateju, Sir Ohaa stressedthat the image of the country and the FCTA was at stake.
“While we are workinground the clock to give every physically challenged student the best ofeducation, we cannot have incidences as this mar our progress and achievements.”
Explaining why the teachers were suspended instead of being dismissed immediately, the Permanent Secretary said; “We want to be fair and follow due process.
“So, we will allow the committee do its work and report by next week. But let me assure parents that,anyone found culpable in any of these incidences, not only in this school, willbe dismissed and prosecuted.Our teachers, like Caesars wife must be aboveboard.”
One of theVictims disclosed that the accused, Mr. Chukwuma had touched her inappropriately while they were in the school bus on an excursion to Kwali two weeks ago.
Another victim also claimed the accused had always singled her outto berate after she had indicated that she would not condone his inappropriateaction.
However, the school’s HeadTeacher, Abdulrazaq Suraju Ademola had earlier explained that already a committee has been setup to investigate the issue and the reports have been forwarded to the Secretaryof the Local Education Authority (LEA) for onward report to the FCT Universal Basic Education Board (UBEB).
Also speaking, the Chairman, FCT UBEB, Dr Kabir Matazu said the directives of the Permanent Secretary were already being implemented.
He also revealed that a note of warning has been sounded to all school heads that such behaviours will not be condoned in their schools and they will henceforth also be held liable if such incidences occurred.