A neglected school in a Delta State community has been turned to a toilet by residents who have seen no other use for it.
According to a Vanguard report, the Indigens of Ododegho community, Ughelli North Local Government Area, Delta State, have grumbled about alleged neglect of the area by the State Government.
They told NDV that roofs of the existing structures at the community’s primary school were all in bad shape, while members of the public have turned one of the abandoned and inaccessible buildings to toilet. Vice- president general of the community, Victor Obirhe, who confirmed the pitiable affair, disclosed, “The only effect of the government we have felt are the non-functional boreholes that are moribund.”
He said, “The last time the community felt the impact of government was about 10 to 15 years ago,” adding, “As a community, we are not happy about the state of the primary school. The little repairs you are seeing here are community efforts for the pupils to learn in conducive environment.
“The crack on one of the buildings is a deathtrap for pupils and teachers learning under the building because it can collapse at any time without any further warning. We have asked them never go behind the building because it can fall down at any moment.
“As community, we are trying the little we can to help, but that is not enough, we have written a series of letters to the government to come and support us,” he stated.
Also speaking, senior spokesman of Odedegho, Mr. Emmanuel Poyo, stated, “We are begging government to help us to rebuild our primary school, as you can see the whole building have broken down, even as far as to the chairs, some of the pupils sit on bare floor to learn. The roofs of the existing building are all in a bad shape and also one of the buildings at the back is deserted as it now serves as toilet to the public. You cannot access it, our children are learning under life threatening environment, which is not good at all.
“The community has tried but we need the presence of the government in our primary school, if you look at the top of the building you can see that the community bought some new zinc to patch some areas so that our children will not learn under the rain and sun,” he added.
Poyo appealed, “Government should come and help us because we used to go outside and we do see how other primary schools look like, but our primary school situation is horrible. We have written series of letters of assistance to the government , but there has been no response for the past three years and it looks like the government has abandoned the school for us to maintain and we cannot do it alone.”
Assistant secretary, Odedegho Youth, Robinson Omenuvwoma, said, “We have complained severally but the government has turned deaf ears to our pleas and the only power now is God, we are looking unto Him for divine help. This primary school has never been renovated since it was founded in 1955.”
An indigene of the community, Mr. Felix Ogheneovo, said, “If you look at the primary school, there is no toilet, teachers and the pupils have to go inside the bush to defecate and you know the risk involved in that; they could either be injured by snakes or other wild animals.
“So I am begging the government to look into that and we also need pipe borne water in the school. Government can help to drill a borehole in the school to prevent the pupils from going home to drink water when classes are going on.
“Like the cracked building where the pupils are learning under, we do not know when there will be heavy wind and you cannot pass the corner of the building because of the threat it poses to human life.
‘We are begging the state government to come our aid by renovating the school to meet up the standard in the country,” Ogheneovo pleaded.
Contacted, the Secretary to the Local Government, Mr Eugene Ighofose, decried the poor financial state in the council, occasioned by the economic crunch in the country.
He said the council spent over N148 million on primary school teachers’ salary monthly and had contacted the state Universal Basic Education Board through the local government Education Authority to intervene in the repairs of some dilapidated primary schools in the area, including Ododegho Primary School. Ighofose appealed to Ododegho community to be patient with government, saying that in no distant time, the school would get a facelift.