James Sowole in Abeokuta
In spite of efforts by the Ogun State Government to curb truancy and attacks on teachers in secondary schools, a student of Toyon High School, Ere, Ado-Odo, in Ado Odo/Ota Local Government Area, Joshua Joseph, and his mother, Elizabeth on Tuesday, reportedly hired thugs and brutalised three teachers in the school.
The attackers also vandalised the rear windscreen of a Toyota Corolla car belonging to one of the teachers.
The attack on the teachers came barely two weeks after students of secondary schools in the state signed undertaking to be of good behaviour while their parents also countersigned the form.
However, the Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), Abimbola Oyeyemi, confirmed the arrest of the boy’s father, Oyedele Joseph and his wife, Elizabeth.
It was gathered that the attack on the teachers was sequel to the barring of the student from entering the school premises by a teacher, Kabir Azeez, due to his hairstyle.
Rather than heeding the directive of the teacher and cut his hair, the student was said to have returned to the school with his mum and thugs, who descended on the teachers.
A reliable source said: “Three teachers were beaten – Messrs Abel Thomas, Kabir Azeez and Adegun Adekunle. The car that was destroyed belongs to Mr. Jolayemi Jeromu.
One of the thugs, Posu Baale, was the one who smashed the car’s rear windscreen.”
Narrating the incident, the Vice Principal of the school, Mrs. Mariam Onilogbo, said: “On Monday, we asked the student to go and cut his hair because the style was not acceptable in the school.
Yesterday, he came again with that same hairstyle. We told him to go and cut the hair. I collected his bag and told him to come back after cutting the hair. Coming back to school, he came with two men and two women to challenge us for asking him to go and cut his hair.
“I now told them that if we cannot tell him to cut his hair, all of them should leave my office. I gave them his bag and told them to go and be teaching him at home.
“They went out and started beating the teachers. They smashed the windscreen of a car parked within the school.
“Yesterday evening, they came to our quarters again, claiming that we stole their phone. They almost attacked us. We told them their phone is not with us. They came to meet us again this morning, but we thank God no one was attacked.”
Explaining the arrest of the couple on the attack, the PPRO, in a statement, said the suspects were arrested following a distress call received by the policemen at Ado Odo Divisional Headquarters from the school that parents of one of their students were in the school with thugs and have beaten and injured one of the teachers.
He said: “Upon the distress call, the DPO, Ado Odo, Arowojeun Michael, quickly led his men to the school where the couple was arrested while their other accomplices escaped.
“Preliminary investigation revealed that the teacher, Abel Thomas, moderately corrected a SS3 student of the school by name Joshua Joseph who then went home to inform his parents that he was beaten by the teacher.
“Having heard from their son, the parents who felt that the teacher has no right to beat their son for any reason mobilised some thugs and stormed the school.
“On getting to the school, they descended heavily on the teacher, beat and injured him. They also damaged the back screen of a Toyota Corolla with registration number LSD 395 FV belonging to another teacher of the school, Jolayemi Sunday.
“The injured teacher had been taken to hospital for medical treatment.”
Oyeyemi said the Commissioner of Police for the State Command, Mr. Lanre Bankole, has ordered that the escaped thugs who accompanied the couple to attack the school should be hunted for and brought to justice.
He also directed that the arrested couple should be charged to court without delay.