Some students at the Special Education Centre, Jada, Adamawa State, are lamenting over acute hunger and crying out for help. A section of the students who spoke on condition of anonymity told Daily Trust Saturday that sometimes they would spend two weeks without getting a meal from the school. They also claimed that even when they get, most times the food is not nutritious.
A blind student, who urged Governor Ahmadu Umaru Fintiri to come to their rescue said, “There was a day dinner was not cooked and they gave the excuse that there was no water. Also there was a time students contributed foodstuff like processed maize and Maggi cubes to the cooks before they cooked and gave to only those who contributed. This means that students cannot eat until they contribute. However, this is not every day.
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“Many students beg on the streets. They often go to a nearby place called Marraba, near the school, where businesses take place, to beg. Lack of food is a factor, but I can’t say it is the only reason for that. Someone may choose to beg if that person has not gotten enough food to satisfy him.
“When I came, things were okay, but now, two weeks may pass without any food given to us and there won’t be any genuine reason. I have spent up to three years here. Students are suffering.
“If people get to know what is happening in this school they won’t send their children here. But people are trying to bring children who are living with disabilities from different villages.
“We bathe in an open space; you can come and see. And there are women and healthy people here who watch us. You would be bathing and passersby would be watching you because there is no place to hide and bath.
“We want Governor Fintiri to intervene in our situation. Let him cater for our school very well.”
An anonymous source said about N1.3million was earmarked monthly to feed the students.
Speaking to our correspondent, the principal of the special education centre, Adamu Alhaji Umaru, said they received assistance from the government, nongovernmental organisations, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), philanthropists, religious groups and others.
The commissioner for education in Adamawa State, Mrs Wilbina Jackson, admitted that there were some problems at the special education centre and vowed to investigate the matter. She said she must see things for herself before commenting on the allegations.
“I have not been there, but I have been hearing about it. If I see the situation I will talk to them. I heard that they were suffering. They have to be given food,” she said.