How teachers stole money for students’ food at Blind Centre, govt wields the big stick, dismissal looms, anti-graft agency wades in

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Yinka ADETUNJI

Man’s cruelty against man is always grievous. But when the physically whole figuratively inflicts insufferable cruelty against the physically challenged especially those visually impaired, it is unconscionable. The perpetrators can best be described as unscrupulous villain.
The revelations at the Nigerian Training Centre for the Blind, Ogbomoso, Oyo state in recent weeks perfectly fit the above narrative.
The perpetrators never thought their alleged nefarious activities would be exposed and in that manner and when the cat got let out of the bag they got caught napping, losing their civility and decency in the process, as instead of being sober and reflecting they vented their anger on an individual (a private person) leading a campaign to unearth the truth and whip the teachers into line for the good of the about 90 students/pupils of the school.
The teachers of the school in the presence of the headmistress pounced on Rev’d Peter Olaleye, president of Ogbomoso Community Youth Forum, OCYF, raining curses on the reverend gentleman and tearing his clothes in a manner berating the integrity and dignity of a teacher.
OCYF had intervened when it got wind of the matter and in its own little way had assisted in grading roads within the centre. It was also trying to investigate the allegation of food diversion and inhuman treatment when its president, Olaleye, who had gone on his own that day came under furious molestation.
The Oyo state government which also shared in the indictment as the proprietor of the school similarly swung into action to investigate the allegations. Two commissioners in the state hurriedly came to the school to interrogate the authorities. This is as three blind teachers were accused of raping a blind female student of the school.

Some of the students
Sample beans meal


While all this was going on, the executive assistant to Oyo state governor, Engr. Seyi Makinde on persons with disability, Barrister Ayodele Adekanmbi, spoke on a popular radio station in Ibadan, in which he disclosed that the Oyo state government actually makes a provision of N600 (six hundred naira) per student per day in the centre.
However, the students have disputed this claim revealing rather that what was mentioned as allocated to them by their teachers per student per day is N300 (three hundred naira) and not N600.

Barrister Adekanmbi
Rev’d Peter Olaleye, after the brutal attack on him


The students insisted in separate chats with ogbomosoinsightonline.com that what their ogas claimed is allocated per student per day is N300.
The student/pupil population of the centre is said to be 90. The import is that a sum of N300 minimum is ripped off each student per day. Thus in a day, N27, 000 (twenty seven thousand) is made off the (90) students. In 30 days, N810, 000 (eight hundred and ten thousand naira) fraud is perpetrated. And in a year it amounts to N9, 720, 000 (nine million seven hundred and hundred and twenty thousand naira.).
It sounds unbelievable but the students insisted so. Meanwhile, efforts to speak with the authorities of the school to comment on the allegations have yielded no fruits as the headmistress, Rachael Adebiyi begged not to be interviewed.
To lend credence to their claim, the students during a protest recently displayed sample of the meal served them – beans, which is obviously very watery and apparently lacking the required ingredients as well as being scanty.
“The meal they give us is tasteless, it is inadequate, we will hear them saying in the kitchen that water should be added to our soup to augment the quantity. We are made to suffer hunger,” the students lamented.
In the meantime, the Oyo state government has wielded the big stick, meting out “sanction” against the erring teachers in the form of transfers and suspensions.
“The headmistress has been transferred, 13 other staff or so too have been transferred, the welfare officer (dubbed the principal) is transferred, while the three blind teachers alleged of rape are handed suspension. For the suspected rapists, prosecution and outright dismissal await them as the allegation against them is still being investigated by the police,” ogbomosoinsightonline authoritatively was informed.
Furthermore, a committee had been set up to be headed by Barrister Adekanmbi and include the local inspector of education (LIE), which will for the next six months supervise the management of the school particularly as it relates to the welfare of the students. This will be with a view to ascertaining the veracity of the claim of hanky-panky in the meal provided the students.
“The new management of the school can’t be allowed to derail again,” it was posited.
Students spoken to expressed appreciation to Governor Makinde praying their fortune will witness significant improvement this time, “after all we were not born blind and we never wished to be blind.”
In another development, the Oyo State Anti-Corruption Agency (OYACA) has waded in, it is learnt and has begun indiscrete investigations into the matter as well.




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