From Geoffrey Anyanwu, Enugu
The management of Providence High School, Enugu, has cried appealed to the Federal Government on behalf of about 344 female students of the school, saying their lives are under serious threat following the actions of the Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON).
It described as unfortunate the attempt by AMCON to discredit the reports of national dailies of their (AMCON) storming of the all-female boarding school with over 40 armed security men, the manhandling of some staff and the locking of the gates of the school to prevent students and teachers from exiting, stating that the Corporation had lied in their defence.
AMCON had in their statement published in the dailies described news reports of the activities at the school premises last Thursday as fake news, insisting that it did not detain the students nor lock the gates.
But as at 5 pm on Monday, when the Proprietor of the School, Chief Mrs Elizabeth Onwuagha, addressed newsmen on AMCON’s denial of her school evasion, the gates of the school were still under lock and keys of AMCON.
Onwuagha said: ‘I want to thank you all who were here on Thursday, 21st of January when Barrister Nick Omeya of AMCON invaded our school compound with more than 40 policemen, there were some who were not in uniform and I was inside here. The young man there, Mr Matthew Ezekiel, they beat the hell out of him, and the students who saw when they were beating him were crying and we had to rush him to hospital.
‘See all these phones belonging to my staff, they destroyed them, they were smashed. I asked you to come because of the publication we read today in most of the newspapers where AMCON is denying that they did not lock our gates, you can see the gate yourselves gentlemen that the gate is still under lock and key of AMCON.
‘We have been apprehensive since Thursday the 21st of January they came here, should anything happen, fire outbreak or any other danger, how can these children escape? I cannot understand how anybody can say he did not luck us in here. Uncle Anueyiagu you were here that day and you saw what happened. Mr Oyibo wanted to intervene when they were beating Mr Matthew and they slapped him and pushed him away. Please, gentlemen, make your confirmation and tell the world what you saw because as I am talking to you the gate is still shut five days after, there is no how we can combat any emergency.’
Narrating his ordeal in the hands of the AMCON officials and security personnel, one of the staff, Ezekiel, confirmed that he was beaten and manhandled because he appealed to them that students were in the school and that their violent approach may cause much harm.
The school’s proprietor has called on the authorities to call AMCON to order. ‘This is very important, there is rampant kidnapping and raping, they are now telling the teachers everybody should leave, they will take care of the children, only God knows what they have up their sleeves, they will take care of which children, 344 children you don’t know?,’ she said.