By AYO ALONGE
for people who witnessed the debauchery put on display by students of Ireti Grammar School, Falomo, Lagos and Falomo Senior High School, Lagos recently, when they made vicious attempts to rape female students along the streets within the vicinity of their school, goose pimples still break out on their skins.
Like roving packs of ravenous wolves, the students, who seemed to have been pumped full with narcotics, threw all caution, decorum and decency away after the final paper of the Senior Secondary School Certificate Examination.
It took the intervention of a woman whose office is on the adjoining street, who also called on the assistance of the security men guarding her office complex to rescue one of the hapless victims whose school skirt had been ripped apart with scissors. Two of the seemingly demented boys, had already pulled down their boxer shorts and tried to force themselves on her, from behind and front. It was a most bizarre spectacle. The girl’s brave effort to break free, unfortunately did not move some other people to rescue her, rather they whipped out their camera phones to record the beastly display.
It beats the imagination that those students chose that way to celebrate the completion of their examination. Celebrations in other climes are done in decorous manner with sane merriment and razzmatazz, but for some youths in secondary schools and tertiary institutions, sexual harassment is synonymous with celebration and other eyesores adopted as the “tradition.”
Special days like matriculation, convocations, valedictory services, birthdays, which are supposed to be marked decorously are greeted with reprehensible scenes where some of their colleagues form rings to cheer their assailants.
Investigations by Sunday Sun reveal that juvenile delinquency among secondary school students is growing at an alarming rate. The students of Ireti Grammar School, amply demonstrated this worrisome development when they chose sexual harassment and the attempt to gang rape female students as best way to mark the completion of their final exams.
Reportedly, four of the students of Ireti Grammar School, Falomo, Lagos, alleged to have perpetrated the dastardly act were later arrested by the police and have been arraigned in court.
According to an eyewitness narrative shared by one Michale Matthew, female students of Falomo Senior High School, who had just written their final examinations were targeted by their male counterparts who sexually harassed them in broad daylight.
Narrating what happened, Matthew, who works in the neighbourhood, said: “Their shouting drowned any other sound and looking closely, I saw the most incredible sight. It was actually a boy trying to force himself on a girl with his trousers partly down and the boys were cheering him on.
“People were looking and some persons, the security guards in the office near us were recording it. I opened my car in disbelief and shouted at the boys to break it up, while shouting at my security and the second driver to assist me.
“I walked towards them and as I made my way towards them, I saw another group and this time, they had cornered one of the girls who fell while running from them.
“I saw her kicked down, and she bravely pushed herself up and another guy tried to clear her legs as she lunged at him and then a guy took a pair of scissors in his hands and with one swoop, tore her skirt from the bottom and also a part of the black spandex shorts she had on underneath.
“All this happened really in a few minutes and the major assailant pushed himself into the victim through her back. His pair of trousers was open too and another one tried to do same from the front. As this was going on, the crowd of boys were wild with frenzy, cheering the two boys on, while grabbing at her hair and breasts as she kept fighting for her dear life.”
In other instances of bizarre celebrations, some would pour water and beat up their counterparts on their special occasions like birthdays, matriculation, convocations, and the rest.
Another way of celebrating, commonly noticed is what can be termed as “ragging” where youths wear all manner of rags and pretend to be mentally deranged. Similarly, there is a day also set aside by students in tertiary institutions called Rag Day. On rag days, students are expected to be dressed in full ‘regalia’ of rags while they go off into town to beg for alms, ostensibly for the purpose of donating the money collected to the less privileged, primarily motherless babies homes.
Some students take more ‘honourable’ and memorable options having their treasured clothing painted with the signatures and messages of their classmates after bagging a degree from tertiary institutions. Sometimes, students go ahead tearing one another’s clothes in the frenzy of celebration.
A girl who would rather prefer not to be named told Sunday Sun that in her school, some students celebrate what they term “toko-tobo day” (as a celebration of the male and female private parts in display).
The source said: “Of course there are different strange celebrations on campus. Of all, the one that would interest you the most in my school is ‘toko-tobo’ day. That’s such a crazy one where students go stark naked; although it is celebrated in the hostels. You don’t see them go in the streets.”
Painting on one another’s bodies is yet another mode some youths take to celebrate. Here, youths paint one another in colours predominantly white, black and red.
Samson Egbums, a student of the Department of Statistics, Moshood Abiola Polytechnic, Abeokuta, takes a swipe at participants of such tradition. To him, such weird ways of celebration are needless as there are better ways to go.
“The thirst to create a buzz and get noticed has driven people to any length to make that happen. I have been ranting because of this young Nigerians, who let the rush to go viral or whatever mission enter into them and kill their senses. If you ever want fame so badly and dream of one million people checking you out, go do something positive no one has ever done before. But, this can cause a ripple effect of stupidity, if there is no brake system in our ways. These ones have disgraced themselves.
“We don’t want more of dramas that will drag our nation to dust. France just had a 39-year old president. It’s not bad, if we enter into the phase of greatness as a nation too, it starts with the youths,” said Egbums.
Curiously, the Permanent Secretary of the Lagos Ministry of Education, Adesina Odeyemi, while reacting, on a television programme, to the incidence of bizarre celebration by students in the state school system denied knowledge of it.
“We, in the Ministry of Education, have never heard such strange way of celebration among secondary students before. Lagos State is a very responsible state and if we are spending so much money to have an effective teaching environment, such anomaly would have been combated, if we knew,” Odeyemi said.
To nip such weird conduct in the bud, Odeyemi opined that parents and should not leave the task to the teachers alone.
His words: “We are targeting steps to combat that but don’t forget that the students spend over 16 hours at home and just about eight hours in school. Government is bent on playing its part but parents too must do their part. When students do things wrong, they are either suspended or even expelled. It all depends on the gravity of the offence.”