Some teachers at the Federal Government Girls’ College (FGGC), Calabar, on Thursday February 2 got the beating of their lives when men, claiming to be officials of the Department of State Service (DSS) invaded the school because a student was flogged.
The said student, who is in senior secondary class, reportedly told some junior students to sweep her class, an act that did not go down well with a teacher, Mr. Owai Owai, who decided to punish the entire senior students of the class for flouting his instructions not to force junior students to sweep their class.
Mr. Owai, the Civic Education Teacher, said:
One of the students, grabbed the collar of my shirt, which prompted me to flog her more But she went outside and made a phone call to her mother, who is said to be a DSS official. I was in the SS 2 class, teaching, when a woman and a man walked in, wrestled the cane I was holding from me and began to flog me in front of the students. When some of my colleagues rushed to rescue me, they were also attacked.
The teacher added that as soon as he could, he ran into his office for refuge from where he observed the woman making several phone calls.
He said three vans then drove into the school compound from which some men got down.
According to Owai:
They jumped out of the vans and started shouting ‘where is the teacher’. The woman, who did not know I had escaped, mistakenly pointed at another teacher, Mr. Ndarake, and they went after him.
One of them brought out a rifle, pointed it at Ndarake, while another shouted ‘shoot him’. But the man with the rifle fired into the air, grabbed Ndarake and tried to force him into one of the vans.
He wrestled him to the ground and began using the butt of his rifle on his head and neck.”
Another teacher, Mr. Mbeson Emmanuel, the Fine Arts teacher, said some of the men that invaded their school shot sporadically into the air, while the pandemonium lasted and any teacher who tried to take pictures was attacked and his or her phone seized. Emmanuel said:
Over six of us were attacked for trying to take pictures of the incident and I had my phone and binoculars confiscated and another teacher, Mrs Anne Agba, had her phone and N80,000, which was in her handbag, confiscated. She was severely manhandled.
He said the security man, James Asuquo, who locked the gate to stop the invaders’ vans from leaving the school was hit several times on the head and neck with the butt of a rifle, causing him to bleed profusely.
Asuquo has been taken to the hospital because he was hit on the head and neck with the butt of a rifle for locking the gate to stop the vans from leaving the school premises. The men shot open the lock on the gate and drove out.
When interviewed, Mr. Fubara Duke, the State Director of DSS, informed Vanguard that the incident was a case of mistaken identity, explaining that on Wednesday some hoodlums went to the school to beat up a teacher who flogged one of the students, but did not see the teacher, so they returned yesterday morning.
Duke added that when the teachers saw the DSS operative, they thought she was one of the hoodlums and pounced on her, beat her up and tore her clothes.
There were no gunshots and my men only went there on the invitation of the school authorities and the teachers mistook my personnel for hoodlums. They went there to sort out an issue, where the DSS operative’s daughter was beaten by a teacher, leaving her body with lacerations. But she was mistaken for one of the hoodlums, who went there to beat up a teacher on Wednesday.
He said he has asked the school administration to fish out the teachers who attacked the DSS lady to face the appropriate punishment.