Ben Ezechime, Enugu
A Civil Society Organisation (CSO), Civil Rights Realisation and Advancement Network (CRRAN), has demanded N2 billion compensation from the Enugu State Government for Pupils and teacher of a Primary School in Nkanu West Local Government Area brutalised for violating sit-at-home.
The organisation made the demand in a statement signed by it’s President, Olu Omotayo Esq and made available to Journalists in Enugu.
Omotayo blamed the state government for not providing enough security to protect public schools for the safety of pupils/students and their teachers.
He said the children and their teacher were obeying the directive of the state government that all schools must open on sit-at-home days when hoodlums purportedly enforcing the sit-at-home swooped on then and brutalised them.
He regretted that 24 hours after the incident reportedly went viral on social media, the government was yet to reach out to the victims or make any public statement on the matter.
“It is unfortunate to note that 24 hours after the reported brutalisation of pupils of a primary school in Nkanu West Local Government, Enugu State, and the state government has not reacted to the viral video.
“In the video the children and their teacher were asked to lie down on the ground by armed militants for violating the sit-at-home order.
“It would be recalled that the state government had inter alia been threatening that owners of schools that refused to open on sit-at-home days will be closed down, which forced many school proprietors to be begging parents to bring their children to school,” he stated.
The CSO, therefore, demanded that: “The government should immediately take over the immediate medical needs of these brutalised children and their teachers.
“Payment of the sum of N2 Billion Naira to the families of the affected children and their teachers for the physical, emotional and psychological torture they suffered.
“The state government should conduct another Primary Six First School Leaving Certificate Examination for all the children who could not partake in Wednesday’s exam due to insecurity.”
Omotayo further advised the state government to stop further threat of compulsory opening of schools on sit-at-home days until the state is ready to provide security to all the schools in the state.
The CSO reminded the government that governance was more than just grandstanding, adding “you don’t play politics with lives of children who are the future of this country.”
“We submit that it is reckless on the part of government not to have postponed the Primary Six First School Leaving Certificate Examinations which was held in the state on Wednesday because many children missed the exam and others suffered similar fate,” Omotayo said.