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…. Wash Toilets Or Forget Your Certificates – Victims Accuse School
The sins of the past have come to hunt Esther (not her real name), in a way she would remember, longer than she would have ever imagined. The youthful exuberant that beclouded her mind 20 years ago leading her to run a foul of secondary school rules has overstayed its welcome.
Having spent six years in the Federal Government Girls College, Sagamu, Ogun State, Secondary School, Esther had a simple requirement of getting her clearance form signed which she had nonchalantly avoided.
Her nonchalance in 2002, when she was a teenage secondary school girl, revisited her when she returned to the school for her certificate in 2022, two decades after she had hung her uniform.
Federal Government Girls College, Sagamu, is a unity school established for female pupils. It is a public school managed by the federal ministry of Education and is located in Sagamu, Ogun State.
How Broken Bottles of Past Sins Boomeranged
In 2020, when Mrs Muibat Olodo became the principal of the school, all but two students of the 2002 set had questions to answer as records of their offence lived within the school archives. Prior to her transfer as at the time, only two pupils among the 52 in that set were reported to have followed the rules, got their clearance forms signed and collected their certificates before they left the school.
Hence, the downturn of event that brought Esther to the black book had nothing to do with Mrs Muibat who happens to be an alumnus of the school in 1978, when Esther was probably still a figment of creativity to the maker, or an infant in her mother’s hands.
PLATFORM TIMES gathered that, between 2020 and 2002, the embattled principal had issued 65 certificates to the alumni, while it was also learnt that the two vice principals of the school had also issued about 200 certificates to the alumni.
However, attempts to enforce the law on the erring pupils recently boomeranged and the issue was escalated.
Consequently, the principal became an object of verbal attacks on social media platforms by some alumni especially those who were affected by the laws.
The one incident that triggered some bottled grievances of the former pupils took turns to narrate their experience both as the pupils of the school and as alumni when they went for the collection of the certificates.
Ex-Students Recount Disciplinary Experience
Recently, there was a brouhaha on the social media following the avalanche of complaints by some former pupils that the principal has been subjecting them to manual labour as a prerequisite for getting their school certificates.
Some of the students narrated how the principal allegedly subjected them and their colleagues to manual labour before granting them access to their certificates.
They claimed that those who went to collect their certificates were either asked to wash toilets or cut grass for days or hours.
One of the alumni of FGGC, Umuahia in Abia state who did not disclose her name, alleged that the principal, while she was in the school as principal, made her and her colleagues cut grasses and wash toilets before they got their certificates .
She said, “Hahahahaha…. fggc umuahia students, gather here for your testimonies. Some of us cut grass for 18 days before we got our certificates. Abi, what about washing toilets for 2 weeks ….. It’s not even funny.”
Another ex-student said, “This woman is a tyrant, an unnecessary show of power. I am not even surprised that someone told a pupil to crawl from the school gate to the main school area, you can imagine the distance. Or is it when she told students to pluck cane that she wanted to use it beating teachers.”
Another victim said, “She made me sweep from admin to the old store”
“Another former pupil said that, that is how the alumna of FGGC, Umuahia in Abia State are treated, “This is what graduates of some Federal schools suffer especially FGGC Umuahia”
Another alumni of the school also said, “She did this to me last month when I went to collect my WAEC certificate. I don’t know how you belittle and humiliate people like that.
“And on September 20th, 2022, the broom and dust packer were given to me to sweep the front passage of the admin block before Mrs Olodo of FGGCS can issue me my WAEC certificate.”
Another one said ,”the federal government should demote her to vice principal or send her back to the classroom to teach. She lacks morals.”
Another former pupil said “They really need to remove her, she has done a lot of damage in that school. Omo..even, teachers have no say in the school again.. everyone is scared of the yeye principal.”
Torrential comments were dropping like rains on their social media handles, claiming that they were humiliated.
Another former pupil claimed, “even, the current students of the school too and teachers are suffering.”
Similarly, one Judith Nwaokonkwo expressed her view on her verified handle, saying her friend was once a victim.
She stated, “Very true. My friend says she was told to sweep a long distance between the admin block and stores.”
Nneka Onuko also noted that the said ‘manual labour’ is regarded as a project, as such it is compulsory for every alumni, else, the victim pays a certain amount as bail to make the punishment slide.
She said, “You must do it yourself, you can get people to do it or pay a certain amount…..its called PROJECT”
Another lady simply identified as Muneerah shared her testimony, saying she was lucky to get her documents from the school without facing any form of manual labour because the principal was not on seat.
Muneerah tweeted, “I collected my documents recently and the staff were complaining, thank God she was not around when I went to school.”
However, another alumnus of FGGC, Oyo State where she once taught, noted that the principal is known for being strict but she cared about the interest of the students.
The comment read, “Omo she was our principal in fggc oyo in 2017 ..she stayed just one year but, we saw shege,(trouble) everyone was afraid of her. Imagine being a prefect under her, (steady insult). But still she was the only principal that genuinely cared about the students’ interest ever.”
It was gathered that the principal had it rough in 2019, before she was posted out of office as the principal of the Federal Science and Technical College, Ikare Akoko in Ondo State, she reportedly denied the staff of the school their entitlements, engaged in nepotism and the allegation of collection of illegal fees from the students.
A media report had revealed that the incident in Akoko was escalated, prompting the chairman of the school’s alumni association, Olutoye Akinlabi, to accuse Olodo of denying the staff their entitlements, making it difficult for them to discharge their duties.
Akinlabi had been quoted to have said “ the principal would force the staff to work until late at night, even though she has reduced staff Duty Tour Allowance from N12,000 to N5,000”.
FGGC Alumni reacts
The Association of the Federal Government Girls’ College, Sagamu Alumni in her reaction to the controversies confirmed that it had held a meeting at the school but, saying, the erring pupil was yet to speak with them. The association disclosed this in a statement issued by the publicity team.
The statement read: “Dear Sisters. Good morning and thank you for your prayers and support.
“The emergency meeting held at the school yesterday with our Principal Mrs. Muyibat Olodo went very well.
“We have heard the story of last week’s incident from the 2002 set and the Principal. While we try to get the aggrieved party (she has yet to speak with anyone outside her set), we ask that you please exercise a little more patience so we can present the truth once this fact finding process is concluded.
“Thank you for your encouragement and have a blessed day. The Publicity Team.”
She Is Unremorseful, Says Parent
The mother of an ex-student of Federal Government Girls’ College, Sagamu, Ogun State, Kehinde Obasa explained how the principal subjected her daughter to unfriendly punishments.
She said, “Before my child left the school, the woman was so tough that no one can say anything good about her.
“My experience is, my child had been beaten at the hostel where she flogged my child unduly.
“In respect to the children’s punishment, she called a meeting with the parents which was scheduled for 11:00 am, but she didn’t show up until 3:00 pm in the afternoon. And she even came boasting that she has been a principal for years, what is our business with that ?
“She has never been a good teacher. They (other parents) said they have reported her. That’s why people posted it online. The woman has never been a good woman from the beginning.
“At least you will be lenient about how you punish the students but the punishment you give them even affects the students.
“She wants to lead by example and she has never even shown any good example and she does not show remorse about what she did.
“She engages students in manual labour. Even every term, we take provisions to school, but they don’t give those students. They don’t take care of them and they shouldn’t continue that on other students.
“The government knows what to do but they don’t want to do it.”
Federal Ministry Of Education Reacts
One of the Assistant Directors at the Federal Ministry of Education in Abeokuta, Ogun State who spoke on condition of anonymity due to the civil service rule blamed the pupils.
The source said the principal should not be blamed for the action, explaining that investigations have revealed that many students disregarded the rules and regulations of their schools while leaving the schools.
According to him, their belief is that they have no business with the schools and the officials of the schools.
The source hinted “the affected pupils might have been marked for some punishment while they were in the school .
The Assistant Director however warned the pupils against escalating the matter.
“Even when I graduated, we were asked to carry 10 blocks each. If anyone refuses to carry the block as of that time, it would be written in a log book, so, it is stated that he / she has a pending punishment. No matter who he / she is, she has to serve the punishment, even when she comes back years later. They cannot unjustly ask a student to come and sweep.
“I am not defending the principal but, if the student had not done something wrong before she left the school, she would not be asked to face any manual labour.
“I would advise that such an alumnus goes back and settles the matter she has in the school. She must have had a pending case before leaving the school, thinking that she is now mature.
“The victim should also be asked if she does not have a pending case,” the official said.
Who Is Mrs Muyibat Olodo
Mrs Muyibat Olodo studied Chemistry with Education at the Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Osun state. She later bagged her PhD in institutional Administration at the University of Ibadan, Ibadan, Nigeria. She is currently the principal of the Federal Government Girls College, Sagamu.
Findings by our correspondent revealed that Olodo had taught in different schools across the country.
It was reported that Olodo was a former Vice Principal at Federal Science and Technical College Ijebu-Imushin, Ogun State and a former Vice Principal at the Federal Science and Technical College.
She was also a former principal, at the federal Technical Secondary School, Ikare Akoko, Ondo State where staff in the school protested her removal from the school.
She also taught at the Federal Government College, Ikot Ekpene, Akwa Ibom State.
… Dr Muyibat Olodo must be celerated and not condemned -Aide
The principal spoke through her Personal Assistant , James Owolabani , saying, the issue was exagerated.
Owolabani who spoke with our correspondent on phone confirmed that there were allegations against his boss by the students .
The Personal Assistant who had been a staff member of the school before the principal joined the school in 2020 , said was not frequent as was being portrayed.
He said “the principal is an alumnus of the school, she was part of the first set. She finished in 1978, the school was founded in 1978.
“And since her resumption into the school, there have been massive changes in the school towards different things, students’ welfare, staff welfare, construction and so on.
“The issue of students raising alarm of being forced to wash the toilets and others is not like that, there is nothing like that.
“You know that bad things spread more than the good things. What actually happened was that, the girl, being a set of 2002 in the school did not finish her clearance and it is an offence for a student not to finish her clearance that is done in the school.
“So, when she came for her certificate, she was asked to go and finish her clearance which she complied and after she finished signing the clearance.
“The principal then, asked her what made her not to finish her clearance before she left, what was the reason.
“She was trying to bring up some excuses, so, the principal said something must have happened that made her not to finish her clearance.
“The girl in question actually swept, not like how people are putting it, but, the principal was trying to let the girl understand that all the wrong things they did when they were in school and it looks as if nobody will punish them for those offences, will surely backfire
” That students are coming to sweep or wash the toilet. To be sincere, the total number of certificates the present principal has released since she came is about 65.
“The VP admin has released about 105, the VP academic has released about 127.
“Are they now saying that about 65 certificates the principal released, that the 65 students were made to sweep and wash the toilets? ”
Owolabani also confirmed that the Alumni association held a meeting with the principal over the issue .
He said members of the executive went to the school and met with the principal and resolved the issue .
According to him, they all came and the issue was discussed generally and they expressed themselves and asked the principal to explain what actually transpired between her and the student.
” The principal had to apologise to the alumni executives and told them, it will never happen again since the issue generated to something else, where she meant no harm.
“The principal only used that medium to teach others that any offence anyone committee and thinks ,he has gone free, they will definitely get the punishment at any time of their life.”
He however insisted that contrary to the claims by some former pupils that most of them were made to do about work as a prerequisite for collection of certificates , Owolabani said, it was only one pupil that was asked to sweep before collecting her certificate .
He said “The issue was just about one person, and that was why the executive members of alumni association were invited, when the issue escalated to another thing. The whole thing was not as people were saying it.
“Students have been coming to collect their certificates in the school. So, the principal knew that the students are meant to do their clearance before leaving school but, since she did not do her own and left the school, that means she must have defaulted in some departments. So, when they were coming back, the persons that knew them must have left the school. So, the clearance should be done before the students leave the school and they put it in their files.
“They were about 52 students but it was found out that, it was only two students that did their clearance in that whole class. Many of the students have not yet come for their certificates.
“I cannot actually say, it is only the principal that knows how she is handling it. For me, I cannot say what I don’t know.
“To be sincere, it depends on the offence committed, for instance, we have this students that finished last set, it is an offence to bring phone to the school, but they actually came with phones and guess what was seen in the phone, pornography and other things, so considering the punishment that will be given to them according to federal ministry of education, they are to seize those phones and ask them to destroy the phones themselves and invite their parents to let them know what their children have actually done and the level of punishment that should be given to them.
“The students were not expelled because they were writing WAEC .They were about seven of them. Some of them complied and their phones were destroyed but a particular student told the principal that she cannot do that, that the principal was invading her privacy.
“So, you see, such girl’s file, the clearance will not be signed, the letter given to her for the offence she committed and the punishment she needs to serve will be put in the file, so, if this principal is not there, any principal on seat will see what this girl has done and make her to serve the punishment of the offence she committed, by then she would have forgotten all that she did but the file will be a book of remembrance. By then she will now carry false information and propaganda about.”
He however said the form of punishment such as washing toilet or cutting grass were never recommended in the file .
He said , the management saw it as a bad image for the pupils in the future .
He explained that the offence of the erring pupils will be noted in the file .
He said “So, nobody will be wicked to write on her report, if this girl comes, make her to cut grass or wash the toilet, nobody will write such thing in their files, because this girls will go to places and by the time they write letter to us from wherever they want to give them jobs and we cannot be writing bad comment about them that will destroy their future and we use these things to talk to those of them that are here.
“The principal joined the school in 2020. She is about two years in the school now.
“Every disciplinarian on the part of students, they are seen to be mean people, before you can be able to straighten somebody that has already been bent, it used to be a serious issue. People will think that person is doing the wrong thing but if you go according to the law, you will know this person is doing the right thing. It is not every body that loves to follow that law.
“They gave us this information before she came from that place but when she came, we saw a different thing from what we have been hearing from those places she came from.
“This is a woman that fought to regain acres of lands for the school and that particular land, people have invaded it already, even some members of the staff bought part of that land, it was the king in that community was selling the land, but it was this woman that fought and collected that land for the school and fenced it.
That one alone brought hatred to her especially from the members of the staff.
” So, people will always want to say what will tarnish ones image. So, no social media carried any information about the woman.
” Since two years she came, the school has commissioned about 16 projects, the woman brought 33 KVA transformer to the school and so many things I cannot begin to mention. Anybody that does not embrace the truth will never walk with her because she is an open person.”
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