Suspected SS3 pupils from Government Secondary School (GSS) Tse-Agberagba in Benue State’s Konshisha Local Government Area set the school on fire.
The pupils were claimed to have carried out the action in protest at the school’s failure to register their WAEC exams for 2020/2021.
As a result, Dr. Frank Kyungun, Executive Secretary of the Benue State Teaching Service Board, has ordered the school principal, Mr Aliba Stephen, to be suspended immediately for financial malfeasance.
Mr. Iorja Agber Joseph was also named as a replacement during the Executive Secretary’s visit to the institution to report on the commencement of classes.
Mr. Agber was the Vice Principal Academics, GSS Wanune, until his appointment, and was noted for his hard work, dedication, and commitment to duty.
The Executive Secretary scowled at the extent of vandalism perpetrated by the angry pupils, blaming traditional rulers, the PTA, community leaders, and the school’s management for their failure to preserve government-provided infrastructure in their domain.
He asked school principals to delegate money management to school bursars while they (principals) just grant clearances.
He demanded complete cooperation from the school’s community and staff in order for the new principal to deliver effectively, and he asked the PTA to renovate the affected blocks, including the administrative block and library, while assuring that the affected candidates would be notified when their funds would be refunded.
In response, the suspended principal, Mr. Aliba, who is also under investigation, blamed the incident on a PTA (Casual) staff member in charge of ICT at the school, explaining that receipts were presented to him with the mistaken belief that the exams had been properly registered with WAEC, despite the fact that the receipts were fake.
About 75 candidates were reportedly affected, while property destroyed during the crisis included: uncollected WAEC and NECO certificates, school dossiers, sports equipment, chemistry and physics equipments, terminal exams results, MOCK and BECE results, furniture, school receipts, and library books, among other things.
Hon. James Jirgba, Chairman Konshisha LGA, was represented by Mr Kaseve Celestine, Council Protocol Officer, who congratulated the TSB boss for his proactive actions, saying that the decisions taken so far will undoubtedly provide hope to the upcoming children.
Ter IKyor, HRH, Chief Jam Gbinde, represented by District Head of Mbatem Tse-Agberagba, Zaki Uda, District Head of Mbakaaka/ Tse-Agberagba Township, Zaki Liambee Adi, Chairman PTA, Mr Anthony Ker Terhemba, all pleaded with the government not to withdraw the school from the community, promising to be vigilant and to call the suspected criminals to order.
The DPO, Konshisha LGA, SP, Markus Amos, stated that the investigation is still ongoing in order to bring the criminals to justice.