The umbrella youth body for Ijaws across the country, Ijaw Youth Council (IYC), has called on the Lagos State Government to suspend the operating licence of the Dowen College over alleged bullying of one of its students, Sylvester Oromoni Jnr, to death.
Oromoni Jnr, a 12-year-old student of the school, from the Ogbeh-Ijoh area of Warri South-West Local Government Area of Delta State was allegedly bullied by some senior students to death, according to the parents.
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The school’s management also claimed that the student complained of hip pains after playing football and died in the hospital later.
But the National spokesman for IYC, Comrade Ebilade Ekerefe, in a statement on Saturday in Yenagoa, Bayelsa State, also called on the Lagos State Government to launch a detailed and meticulous investigation into the death of the boy.
He said the circumstances that led to the death of Sylvester Oromoni Jnr were indeed irksome to all Nigerians of good conscience who have displayed tremendous solidarity in the condemnation of evil.
He said: “The umbrella body of Ijaw Youths worldwide, the Ijaw Youths Council (IYC) has watched with awe and shock the reported circumstances surrounding the death of a 12-year-old student of Dowen College in Lagos, Sylvester Oromoni Jnr.
“We have read to our chagrin that the late Oromoni was indeed the latest victim of bully and harrowing assaults by fellow students.
“The supposed injuries from the beatings led to his death, according to a Twitter user with the handle @perrisonoromoni, the boy’s cousin.
“To our utter consternation, the school denied all allegations, stating that Oromoni was neither bullied nor beaten but only complained of hip pain after playing football.
“However, contrary to the school’s statement, the victim’s cousin rolled out photos and video evidence, which tended to corroborate the fact that the child was bullied and beaten which had led to this avoidable untimely death.
“The justice we demand is the holistic type that will bring to book the killers of this boy and members of the school management, who instead of speaking the truth, soiled their souls by trying desperately to cover up the evil deeds.
“While we thank and commend the Lagos State Government for its speedy initiative towards shutting down the Dowen College, the Ijaw Youths worldwide wants to call on the Lagos Commissioner of Police to launch a detailed and meticulous investigation into the death of Sylvester Oromoni Jnr.
“We also call for the arrest of the Principal of the school, students mentioned and staff involved in the alleged attempt to change the narrative that led to the death.
“They have shown evidence of a deliberate attempt to conceal the murder. The fake story about the hip injury from a game of football shows in clear language that they are complicit in the crime.
“We want to appeal to the police and other security agencies to be professional and not to be deterred by the massive influence behind the school. The school is a business concern of powerful people.
“We also demand from the Lagos State Government and the Ministry of Education that the operating licence of the school be suspended to send a clear signal to careless institutions who place emphasis on their businesses to the utter exclusion of the lives of the future leaders in their care.”
Lagos state government has since shut down Dowen college.