Mr John Iloh is a retired regional manager of United Bank of Africa (UBA); he is also an ardent listener to our Word and Wisdom program every Wednesday by 10 a.m. on Quest FM 93.1.
He put up this meeting as his own contribution to stop the decay he had noticed in the secondary schools in Obiaruku. We had students from several secondary schools including private schools. The Divisional Police Officer (DPO), the Chief Inspector of Education (CIE), and several retired permanent secretaries of the Ministry of Education were invited. A retired professor of Chemistry and an indigene of Obiaruku was also present. My dear friend and president of Anioma Youths worldwide, Enudi Marcus, came quite early and I was very excited to see him grace the occasion.
What shocked me most was the question asked by a very young girl, not more than 15 years old. She said what would I advice her to do if her mother was pushing her into prostitution despite her desire to get education. I was deeply saddened.
When I got home, two members of the executive of an old students association visited, to invite me to speak during the 40th anniversary of the founding of their school. One of them narrated very sordid details of the degree of decay in their alma mater. He was informed that students have sex during school hours to the knowledge of their teachers. The students resist all attempts to stop them from such evil acts. He said that used condoms litter parts of the school. Several of the students don’t bother to enter the classrooms. Some of these classrooms have up to 80 students. A student in the same school threatened a female teacher that he would use her for rituals. Some students recently beat a principal to a state of coma. They threaten teachers. One outstanding case was when a male student made sexual advances to a female teacher; what he said is too terrible to be mentioned here.
Cultism has enveloped several of our secondary schools in the Niger Delta. A great percentage of our students are on tramadol, codeine, or rohypnol. Those who are smoking cannabis are considered to be at the preliminary stages of drug abuse.
Another issue is the level of participation of students in online gambling. From very early in the morning, you will see students queuing up to gamble online in front small kiosks round town.
I came to the conclusion that there is an emergency in the education sector and our students need help. Right from the moment I finished speaking at Obiaruku, I made up my mind to devote my 60th birthday year, 2019, to salvaging our youths and students.
I will be doing a broadcast on the subject on my radio program. I am asking for volunteers to join me in the mission to our schools. I am launching a program tagged SOS4.
- Save our students
- Save our schools
- Save our singles
- Save our souls
We plan to do vocational training for our youths. We shall set up a counseling office for those who need counsel. We already established 2 phone lines in Obiaruku they can call. We hope to do that in other towns. We need partners to join in this mission. We need old students associations, traditional rulers, president generals of communities to join in this great mission.
In the good old days in Nigeria, a child belongs to the whole community. He/She is trained by the whole community and celebrated by the whole community. Today, parents have abandoned children to housemaids and schools. The students have, subsequently, abandoned education, and they are running wild.
Prostitution among secondary school girls is alarming. Last weekend, police had to shut the gates of a hotel and chase these girls away. Men were just driving by to pick them like fallen oranges. My heart bleeds for our children.
Save our children.
God Bless You.