One person has reportedly died while vandalizing school property and two others arrested by the operatives of the Akwa Ibom State Police Command.
The village head of Aka community, Chief Francis Morgan Udo, reasoned that the deceased vandal might have died in the school ceiling of suffocation while trying to escape.
Udo decried the incessant vandalism of property belonging to Government Primary School, Aka Offot in Uyo metropolis by hoodlums.
The traditional ruler said though some of the suspects escaped by scaling through the school fence, the long arms of the law would one day catch on to all of them.
Udo said this while speaking with newsmen in Uyo on Tuesday on the dilapidated state of the school in his domain.
He described the vandalism and rampant stealing of property belonging to the school as alarming and had been persistent for a long time.
“The stealing and wanton destruction of school property at Government Primary School, Aka Offot in Obio Imo is very pathetic and has continued for a long time now, despite government intervention to serve the situation. Those responsible will be apprehended and made to face the wrath of the law.
“I appeal to the relevant authorities to come to our assistance. We have tried our best. Two have been jailed as a result of the vandalism, while one has also died as he tried to escape,” Udo said.
Udo called on the state government to as a matter of urgency erect a high-rise perimeter fence to reduce, if not eradicate future occurrences.
An official in the Government Primary School, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said the vandalism started in the year 2020 during the COVID-19 pandemic lockdown.
According to her, before the lockdown, the school was quite an in order, as desks provided for the pupils were intact and the roofs were not removed.
She, however, said before they could resume after the lockdown almost all the desks, tables, and chairs including roofing sheets were removed.
“This room was full of windows and doors, but when we vacated around 2020 during the COVID-19 pandemic lockdown, before we resumed, we did not see any windows, door, and the roofs were vandalised.
“Since then, they continue to cut the roofing sheet every weekend, when we closed on Friday before we returned on Monday. During weekends they continue cutting the roofing sheets. The Headmistress has to report the incident to the Ministry of Education, with pictures.
“The Headmistress’s office was not spared, they climbed through the ceiling and packed all desks, that is why you see pupils sitting on the floor.
“When we reported to the ministry, the Commissioner for Education and the Permanent Secretary visited the school and promised to intervene,” she said.
She said construction work has commenced in one of the classrooms block to alleviate the plight of the innocent pupils.
She decried the extent of vandalism as pupils were allowed to sit on the floor with leaking roofs to sit for their examinations during raining season.
“Last year during raining season, the pupils sat on the wet floor to write their examinations, there was no desk for them as all have been carted away by hoodlums.
“Now, we thank God inter-ministerial government intervention has come to renovate one of the blocks. The Village Head of Aka Offot and the community are aware of this vandalism,” she said.
She appealed to the State Government to come to their rescue by building a high perimeter fence around the school to scare criminals and improved the security network in the school.
The Commissioner for Education, Mrs Idongesit Etiebet, when contacted promised that the ministry would get the attention of the State Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB) to intervene and see what could be done to remedy the situation.