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The Dowen College tragedy

By Olu Adebayo
30 December 2021   |   2:25 am
I have followed the tragic incident at Dowen College with keen interest. I have also taken the time to read a number of comments on the development.

Closed Dowen College, Lekki, Lagos…

SIR: I have followed the tragic incident at Dowen College with keen interest. I have also taken the time to read a number of comments on the development. Emotions were justifiably high and nobody should be vilified for expressing such emotions. When tragic incidents like this happen, it’s normal that reason and logic will take flight. Who will not be emotional at the death of a young promising boy? Who will not throw caution to the wind reading the gruesome way Oromoni was allegedly killed.
 
As we mourn this young boy, it will be unfair to allow his death to go with the wind. There is a need to look at all the circumstances of his death and draw useful lessons that will help the nation as a whole and also help stakeholders in the education sector.
 
First, it is gratifying to note that when the incident happened, Dowen College reportedly took some steps in first shutting down the school by itself for two days before the Lagos State government came to the scene and closed it indefinitely pending investigation to the death of Oromoni. Oromoni Junior, according to reports was said to have died after allegedly being tortured by fellow students for refusing to join their cult group. Dowen College refuted the claim.

 
A statement on Wednesday, December 1, 2021 said that one of the school’s hostel officials had informed the management on November 21 that Oromoni Junior was injured while playing football with his colleagues.  The family, however, released videos and photos of the condition of the student before his death to prove that he was tortured. The late boy’s father also alleged that his son was constantly being bullied and was fed chemicals by his fellow students who tortured him. Those two accounts, the school, and the parents are parallel.
 
From all indications, the school has expressed willingness to get to the root of the death. It has continued to keep the public abreast with development. The school informed that five of its students: Two day-students, two students in the hostel and one weekly boarder student were taken into custody for further investigation.  
 
It is hoped that the autopsy would finally put an end to the “how” of the death of Oromoni junior. And it is also expected that there will be no sacred cow when the truth is finally revealed. But wherever the pendulum swings, the bottom line is that a life has been lost. The parents of the dead young boy will for life bear the pain and anguish.
 
The question is: Could the death of the young man have been averted? What immediate step did the school take? If the school’s early intervention did not yield fruit, what immediate step did the parents take?
• Olu Adebayo wrote in from Lagos.

 

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