A parent who has a child in Adonai Nursery and Primary School, Ado-Ekiti, Ekiti State has said young kids were locked up in the school by officials of the Ekiti State Interval Revenue Service.
This is in reaction to a statement issued by the state Commissioner for Information and Values Orientation, Akin Omole, denying that the state internal revenue service did not lock up pupils inside the school because the school allegedly defaulted on its tax payment.
A viral video said to have been posted by a parent had shown that the school was sealed with pupils inside on Wednesday.
However, Omole wrote, “At this material time, the referenced school has been visited and the state government can confirm that it is untrue that children are being held.”
The parent, who spoke with SaharaReporters on Friday, said the school was locked up on Wednesday at 8am and children were freed only when some parents took up the courage to break the padlock and chain on the gate several minutes past the school’s closing time.
But the mother who spoke to SaharaReporters, whose three children are enrolled in the school, insisted that her last son, who is just one year and seven months old, came home traumatised, and refused to take his meal.
She said, “The children were in the school well past closing time because the school was locked. The video is real. One of the parents who couldn’t take her child after closing hour made the video. Government officials are only trying to save their faces. The video was never doctored.
“My last son is just one year and seven months old; he was so traumatised that he couldn’t eat when he got home. He cried out his eyes. You know babies don’t understand the confusion. School closes by 3 pm but a male parent broke the padlock around 3:40 pm, that’s what my elder son told me.”
She added that the head of the school issued a statement stating that the lock was finally broken because one of the children needed medical attention.
“The head of school didn’t want them to break the lock but a pupil needed urgent medical attention, so the lock was broken after closing hour.”
According to her, after Wednesday’s incident, the school was again sealed by government officials on Thursday while pupils were revising for their first continuous assessment test, which was to commence that day.
She alleged that the task force locked up the school again on Thursday despite the government’s denial that nothing of such happened on Wednesday.
She, therefore, called on the government to stop peddling ridiculous stories about the incident.
She said, “They are in school today. The state revenue office denied locking the pedestrian gate but it was locked. Watch the video well, the seal is still on, yesterday the gate was locked again but unlocked precisely closing time.
“The government should repair the damage done and stop peddling ridiculous stories about school doctoring the video. We are concerned parents, not comedians.”
On its Twitter account, the Ekiti state government said the allegations were being investigated but stated explicitly that it was untrue the children were locked up.
The tweet read, “The attention of the Government of Ekiti State has been drawn to a viral video alleging that enforcement officers of the Ekiti State Internal Revenue Service sealed off a private school, with children inside.
“The circumstances surrounding this event are being investigated and a comprehensive statement will be issued once concluded. At this material time, the referenced school has been visited and the state government can confirm that it is untrue that children are being held.
“Without prejudice to the outcome of the investigation which will be made public very soon, the government assures the public that it is totally unacceptable for children to be maltreated in any way in Ekiti State, and the government would not condone such.
“Governor Fayemi’s @kfayemi administration has been consistent in the fight against discrimination of any kind, and remains committed to ensuring schools are safe spaces for learning & moral instruction.”