Tunbosun Ogundare – Lagos
The principal of Odomola Junior Secondary School, Epe, Lagos, has reportedly sent one of the female students of the school, Marvelous Barinada, home for allegedly campaigning for Peter Obi, the Labour Party Presidential candidate in the last general election.
The mother of the teenage girl made this known in a viral WhatsApp Message on Wednesday alongside the written notice by the principal directing the student to go back home.
The notice signed by the principal read, thus: “Miss Barinada Marvelous of JSS 2R is hereby permitted to go home for campaigning for Peter Obi against the wish of Lagosians”.
Marvelous’s mother explained what transpired in her WhatsApp Message, saying “This is to inform you all, that my Daughter Marvelous Barinaadaa, was Exit from Odomola Secondary school today 14th March 2023 by the school Principal, just because my daughter use Peter Obi poster paper to Rap her note Book for school, and this girl is just Ten years old, she didn’t know anything about Politics, but she was sent away from school without informing the parent because they say we support Peter Obi and Labour.
“Please, is this act by the school Principal good, see what the school Principal wrote on that letter? And after we will say we are one Nigerian (sic).”
Reacting to the incident, the state’s Commissioner for Education, Mrs Folasade Adefisayo, in a statement made available to Nigerian Tribune by the head of public affairs unit of the ministry, Mr Ganiu Lawal, on Wednesday, said the ministry is investigating the matter.
According to the commissioner, the Ministry has recalled the principal, who will be asked to explain the incident.
She said neither the Lagos State Government nor the Ministry of Education nor any of its agencies will ever instruct any school principal, personnel, or teacher to act in such a manner.
She assured the public to get to the root of the matter and sanction the principal if truly sent the student back home as alleged, saying such action if really true is unacceptable.
Mrs Adefisayo also explained that another school principal at Odonguyan in Ikorodu, who was caught on camera, as shared on social media, promoting her political choice to the students on the school assembly ground has been subjected to appropriate disciplinary measures.
She said the ministry promotes and runs a public school system devoid of politics and political insinuations.
However, Nigerian Tribune contacted the state chairman of the Nigeria Union of Teachers(NUT), Mr Hassan Akintoye, for reaction over the matter and if that is the standing rule in Lagos schools, he said even though he had not confirmed whether such incident happened or not, no teacher or principal in the state is directed by anybody or institution to compel anybody to vote for any particular candidate in the coming governorship election.
He said any principal who takes such action does so at his or her peril as it is an action that is condemnable in its entirety.
“But I will find out first the incident if truly happened or not and then get back to you once I have done that,” the NUT boss said.
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