Yesterday July 18, 2018 was meant to be a joyous day for students of Government Girls Secondary School, Sarkin-Noma in Lokoja and LGEA Primary School Lokogoma, also in Lokoja, Kogi state but it turned out to be a sad day. The senator representing Kogi state senatorial district, Senator Dino Melaye had constructed new blocks of classrooms for their schools and was billed to be commissioned on the said date. However, some arsonists torched the school at Sarkin Noma and while the one at LGEA was vandalized, rendering the two projects useless for the beneficiaries.
The rationale behind this shameful and retrogressive act is not known but it can’t be disconnected from the political crisis between the state Governor and the Senator. The two individuals have been at each other’s throats for a long period of time, but to allow their grievances degenerate to this level is a huge shame. An unnamed group released a statement last week threatening the Senator. It seemed a particularly potent threat, considering the senator was due to commission both school projects in the weeks after.
The damaged and the burnt school building have robbed the students the desired learning facilities and Kogi will pay for a long time to come. Those interested in taking their pound of flesh from the senator chose a wrong medium by inflicting pains on themselves. It is a known fact that none of Dino Melaye’s children will attend the school as a result he is not at loss but the arsonists and their sponsors.
It is shameful that several hours after the dastardly act, the Kogi state government has not released a statement to condemn this act of arson and vandalism. The school buildings are properties of the state that should be protected by the government, its destruction speaks volumes about the state of insecurity in Kogi state. For Kogi Education, it’s thousands of miles backward.