sad realization that the voice of the majority may no longer always represent
the voice of God nor truth. That many people, various media, and diverse
interest groups lend voice to an issue may not necessarily make it the truth,
especially in a country like Nigeria.
quite a lot of conspiracies and wickedness in my few years on earth. But among
alumni, A SECTION of the Queens College Old Girls Association (QCOGA) must be
the vilest, most brutal I have ever seen or even heard of.
with trepidation, the increasingly horrific levels of attack against the person
of the immediate past Principal, Queens College, Dr Lami Amodu. I have read a
lot of obviously padded stories and manipulative inferences aimed at directing
the tide of public perception and action.
means well for the school, are their methods right? Could the former principal
be guilty of all accusations levelled against her? Why would the Federal
Ministry of Education send such an ‘incompetent’ woman to lead one of Nigeria’s
best schools? Before Queens College, what were the antecedents of Dr Amodu?
persons who investigated the sexual harassment drama in the college last year,
I know a little bit about how some sections of the alumnus work. Unable to
understand the story padding any longer, I have taken yet another look into the
saga. Consider this write-up the first of a three-part narrative of my
examination into the matter.
2011/2012 when Mrs Modupe Ladipo (RIP) was Principal, Queens College, the good
woman was allegedly hounded by the QCOGA over a 100 million naira donation by a
philanthropist. That money was for the construction of a world class kitchen
and dining facility in the college. Mrs Ladipo wanted the project to be handled
by qualified contractors but this section of the QCOGA would have none of it.
They demanded to have sub-aspects of the project handled by them. And the good
administrator in the late principal would not let it happen.
that money remained stuck in the special account. It also set off a chain of
events that led Mrs Ladipo, who was said to be suffering a kidney issue at the
time, to be removed from the college. She was posted to Federal Government
College Ugwolawo, Kogi state. She later died.
with a woman who was not easily malleable, the association misled the new
principal, Mrs Osime, into building substandard structures and equipment. By
the time Dr Lami Amodu assumed duties as the PQC in August 2015, she inspected
the new facilities as the alumnus was said to be pushing for an official
commissioning of the project. What Dr Lami met on ground was an eyesore and she
was said to be very sad about it. The new principal set up an adhoc committee
to look into the issue. That committee was headed by Olaseni Osifala, the
Biology teacher and former Maintenance officer who was removed because he had
stood up to the group over the shoddy quality of work done.
later roped into some funny sexual harassment allegation that further showed how
far this section of the body would go, to remove any obstacle. I investigated
that case. A lot of lies were woven into the narrative. I lost a lot of
‘friends’ who would rather assess a case based on the personality of those
pushing the narrative, than the facts of the matter. One incident stands out
for me. A certain high profile woman, one of the leaders of this section of the
QCOGA, had claimed that she visited the school on the day the students
protested in the school premises, and that Dr Lami Amodu embarrassed her. A lot
of people called me and I noticed something; they believed it ONLY because it
was this particular lady. One person even said to me, “Mike it is Mrs………………..o.
How can she lie?”
laughed because I was there that day. The principal was not in the college. She
was at the Police headquarters along with the accused Biology teacher, on the
invitation of the police commissioner. She did not return until around 8pm. How
could the principal be at two locations simultaneously when she was not a
ghost? In any case, till date, there was nothing in the log in register at the
gate that shows the presence of this very visible, easy to recognise lady.
Later that day, sponsored stories emerged all over the internet claiming that
students from the college had been unleashed on the streets of Lagos to protest
in the rain. The narrative targeted the emotions of many. It painted a gory
image of irresponsibility against the person of Dr Amodu.
was, that event never happened. The students protested. They were led by their
head girl. But they never got to the gate not to talk of crossing into the
streets. Why do I say so? I was there! Standing right in front of the protest.
Along with other journalists. Till date, nobody has shown a video of those
students “…..OUTSIDE the school premises, protesting in the rain”.
Why would anyone need to pad a story with lies if they wanted to tell the
federal government investigated that sexual harassment story and found it to be
mere fabrications by a group who were out for no good.
therefore, that when such a group continues to sponsor malicious allegations and
stories against the same principal, we must take more than just their word for
College has always had water issues. A very prominent parent of an old student revealed
to me that nine years ago, when his daughter was a student there, they had to
bring water from home because the issue was recurrent.
now, the recently rehabilitated industrial borehole is still NOT really safe
for drinking. It is not news that the soil in Sabo/Iwaya/Onike areas has very
high iron contents that affect water safety. Often, the water has red-brown
particles that look like rust from a metal water tank.
is why, despite the revamped borehole, students have been advised to bring
branded water from home.
show that Dr Lami Amodu facilitated the provision of a borehole project as PQC.
She used her contacts, particularly Mr Ladi Lawanson, an old boy of Kings
College Lagos, and got the Australian High Commission to donate the solar
powered water work at no cost to the school. That borehole is NOT situated
close to the sewage. It is by the hostels. Of the two functional boreholes
close to the sewage, one was sunk by the same QCOGA while the other was done by
another former principal, Mrs Osime. How can a group sink a borehole by the
sewage and blame someone else for their lack of foresight? But I digress.
2017, during a meeting of the alumnus on the college premises, some members
sneaked into the hostels area. They were allegedly seen around the boreholes by
the sewage, in company of the water man, one Mr Alex Amadi. Note that nobody is
permitted to be in that vicinity without the consent of the college management,
and even then, it is usually under strict supervision. Why did the QCOGA
members break protocol when they knew the rules? It remains a mystery for now.
When the PQC heard of this breach, she is said to have called the president of
the body, Francess Ajose, who later apologised for the incident. Still, no
reason was given for that suspicious move.
students began to stool and vomit. Then the first death occurred on February
15. Take note that the deaths all happened days after the students were taken
away from school by their parents. Many were sick but those who were treated by
the school ALL recovered and returned to class.
died, one was said to have occurred at LUTH and the other at LASUTH. Initially,
according to sources, when the PQC sent a delegation to commiserate with the
family (Dr Amodu was in Abuja when the sad incident occurred), the parents told
the delegation that their daughter died of cerebral malaria. What later changed
that narrative? Why did all other students who received treatment within the
school make quick recoveries? Why were the fatalities recorded many days later,
away from the supervision and influence of the school?
a sequence of events as they occurred. Dr Lami Amodu was the 23rd
PQC. The college itself is about 90 years old. The premises is over populated;
more than four thousand people, if you consider the staff and their family
members living within, as well as a student population of roughly 3,300. The
student population was even a reduction from the previous session when they
were three thousand, six hundred. Dr Lami had written to the Permanent
Secretary at the Federal Ministry of Education, Dr Folashade Yemi-Esan, about
the issue. The Perm Sec not only promised to help take care of the matter, but
she actually ensured that the school was depopulated by reducing intake into
people, including the principal herself, drank from the same water sources.
Sodipo Praise. A very brilliant girl. She was just 14 and she died a very
avoidable death. I can write about her case for the fact that a very close
friend of mine raised funds to pay for treatment of little Praise early in
March. The major drug needed was MEROPENEM and it was said to cost N18,500:00
(eighteen thousand, five hundred naira) daily. This friend of mine, working through
a social worker at LASUTH, gave out that sum every day for about a week. Then
QCOGA went berserk over the matter. They demanded that my friend stop making
payments and claimed that the Lagos state government had taken over the
treatment of Miss Sodipe Praise. A France-based member of the alumnus harassed
my friend on her Facebook wall. When I tried to defend my friend, she insulted
me in very foul language, their usual style.
Lami had long left Queens College when this particular case was ongoing. As
such, it was the administration of the new PQC, Mrs Biola Are that was in
charge. Mrs Are is an old girl of the school as well.
twist; they stopped a kind Nigerian from taking care of the orphan’s
medication, but they failed to treat the girl. They claimed that processing
money from government took a minimum of 72 hours. Even the idiot in France who
insulted us on Facebook did not donate a dime towards the treatment of that
very brilliant girl. From Tuesday to the Thursday that Praise died, nobody
administered the drug, MEROPENEM, to her.
ego battle, even where nobody was competing with the OGA, they let an orphaned
14yr old die. But I am shocked to read that the former PQC is being blamed for
an incident that happened 34 days after she had left the college!
conversation, an uncle to the deceased, Lawrence Otun, revealed that the girl
had first reported to the school clinic on the 20th of February with
fever symptoms. She was placed on anti-malaria drugs until the 23rd
of same month, when the school went on mid-term break. At home, she was said to
have been diagnosed of liver enlargement and perforated intestines. She was
referred to LASUTH where she fell into a coma.
sources in the school clinic claimed that the young girl was never treated for
stooling and vomiting. Still, it could
have been the water. It could have been coincidence. It could have been
understand is how the present PQC is not being mentioned in this case. Why is
nobody holding the QCOGA to account for the death of this precious orphan girl?
Why is everybody focused on the ex-PQC as a diversionary tactic? Why did they
stop us from taking care of the girl’s bills? Why did they stop a kind,
Nigerian citizen from paying for the drug she desperately needed to survive?
What sort of wickedness leads a group of human beings to play politics with the
life of a child? To prove what point exactly? And above all, why are they lying
QCOGA President why, as a professional doctor, she did not write a plan of
action to assist the PQC, immediately she noticed the inherent danger after she
said she administered oral rehydration therapy to an ailing student. Instead,
she ran to social media.” ………..sources
school had a water man. There was a chain of command. He never reported any
anomaly to the authorities. The OGA did not copy the PQC in any such letter as
they claimed. Where is a copy of the acknowledged letter?
strange how this section of the QCOGA, with a rogue group of so called
CONCERNED PARENTS who operate with total disregard for the constituted PARENTS
TEACHERS ASSOCIATION (PTA) of the college, resort to indiscriminate use of
social media to push their vendetta against any perceived enemy. Like many
things Nigerian, these people have become accustomed to this abuse and, left
unrestrained, ruthlessly blackmail, attack, and smear an administrator whose
record is otherwise impeccable.
ask, since the accused principal is said to be so incompetent and evil, how
many of these concerned parents and QCOGA members withdrew their kids from the
school in the last one year?
as gullible and stupid as this group will have Nigerians believe. When they
came up with that fabricated sex scandal last year, a lot of parents spoke
intimately with their kids. They knew the truth and so, did not withdraw their
wards from the college. All that talk about the students, all 3,300 of them,
being afraid to say the truth is hogwash. Many of these kids are from affluent
homes. With the permission of the PTA, I spoke with the brightest, most
independent ones among them. They were very convincing.
Dr Lami Amodu is a hypnotist who has held the entire population spellbound.
picture of the psychotic position of these accusers became very clear to me
last night (Tuesday, June 27, 2017). One of the rogue ‘concerned parents’
members spoke to me. She launched into a tirade, claiming rather blasphemously,
that BEFORE this year’s water issue, 6 other students had died in the college
under the administration of Dr Lami Amodu! Haba! What amount of hatred will
push anyone to lie about a matter they know can easily be verified by clear and
the only student who died had kidney complications. It was common knowledge at
caller for the names and causes of death of the other 5 students she
her daughter is still a student of the college. Affirmative.
further, “Why would you still let your daughter return to a school where you
allege that 9 students have died within 18 months of one evil principal’s
kids to continue schooling in QC if it is half as demonic as they would have
the rest of us believe. Does that not make them culpable for negligence as
well? How can you send your beloved baby back into the same lion’s den from
which you just rescued her?
point occurred on my Facebook wall. I had dropped a hint that I was looking
into this case. A lady who claims to be a parent dropped the following comment:
agree with you. My niece was the very first victim but the bacteria infested
water revived an underlying UNTREATED illness she had so we never thought about
it until other students started dying. I know that the principal is NOT
ENTIRELY TO BE BLAMED but she also had her faults……”
this comment? If you confess that your child had a previous illness which you
DID NOT TREAT, what negligence could be greater? Let me not even ask how come
the child did not manifest direct symptoms of the water-borne ‘epidemic’ but
only revived a previous illness. I leave you to make draw your conclusions.
admits that “…the principal is not entirely to be blamed”. But it is only the
principal she and others have chosen to bring down via malicious, inciting
propaganda. So who/where are the other guilty parties? This mother told me,
categorically, that no truth matters to her, except the narrative that they
have put out there (see her comment below)
obvious how these people operate? They would disrespect the memory of the late
students by using their unfortunate passing away as a tool of blackmail and
have they spread so many false stories about the crisis despite the fact that
the matter is being handled by the NATIONAL ASSEMBLY? Why are they so desperate
to influence public opinion rather than allow facts to guide the relevant
handling authorities to come to a logical understanding and conclusion on the
case? It is like having a case in court yet running to the media always.
that by the time of these deaths, Dr Amodu had officially been transferred from
the College? Insider information revealed that her letter of redeployment from
QC reads 10th of February, 2017. The first death occurred on the 15th
of the same month. The second death occurred 7 days later, while the third
fatality happened on the 30th of March, 2017, more than a month
after she left the College. She left the school officially on the 24th
deaths are regrettable. They all happened OUTSIDE the school premises and
outside their direct control, given the circumstances.
Chairman is a Knight. Chief Sir John Oforbike. He is not a man to be easily
intimidated by any principal, yet he expressed his dismay at what he terms a
deliberate attempt to “destroy an innocent woman who has been a good mother to
our children”. Sources close to him also revealed that a member of the alumnus
told the PTA Chairman that they will bring “bring that woman down”.
2016, the Federal Ministry of Education reacted firmly to the quick-fire
dissemination of false news by these disgruntled elements which is always aimed
at inciting parents and members of the public against any ‘enemy’. Find attached
a circular to that effect. Dated 10th
October 2016 with Ref.
ADF/ABJ/281/II/2 and addressed to principals of all FUCs.
condemned, strongly, the antics of this rogue group.
the indictment of the QCOGA in the case of the Biology teacher in 2016, a
matter in which government investigated and released a White Paper, the
education ministry felt deeply about the gross misconduct displayed by the
body. It was actually a show of shame and an embarrassment to all stakeholders.
The ministry took a firm decision.
circular from the federal ministry of education refers. Dated 10th October, 2016. To all principals of FUCs. In
it, the ministry places a ban on the siting of Old Students Association
secretariats in the premises of the Federal Unity Colleges. It noted its worry
over the unfiltered access that alumni had, and how they were interfering with
day to day activities in the schools. It warned principals NOT to provide
offices to the Old Students Associations or face sanctions.
Lami Amodu implemented the directive from Abuja. Despite being aware that the
instruction was from the ministry, this section of the body still felt slighted
and threatened to deal with the principal.
been bruised. But seriously, who is a principal to disobey a circular from her
concerned parent based her grouse on the fact that, while her daughter was ill
and in hospital, the PTA Chairman sent text messages to parents, urging them to
disregard rumours of an epidemic. She called it an attempt to cover up. To me,
it shows a gross misunderstanding of administrative reasoning. As at the time
of this incident, says a PTA member who pleaded anonymity, there were no sick
students in the college sick bay, nor were there any on admission at Mint
hospital, a private institution where the school sends serious cases. How would
anybody report that scenario as an EPIDEMIC? Is that the way it works? Even
when the Minister for Health visited the school a couple of days later, he
could not confirm an epidemic. He asked his team to take water samples and
urged all parties to wait for the result of tests.
qualify as a cover up? In any case, if there is an epidemic and the school has
the capacity to handle it, why must the principal be forced to make infantile
noise on social media? Are illnesses treated on Facebook and blogs? In most
official quarters, information can be managed to prevent panic. This is not
testing was conducted, it was said that the water did contain faecal matter.
That is, water from the boreholes close to the sewage. The borehole NOT sank by
the then PQC. The borehole that Alex the water man did not inform about any
possible challenges. Little wonder, the House of Representatives recommended
that he be transferred from the college. He has since been transferred as
clutching at straws with this one. An aide to Dr Amodu alleged that the bigger
picture in all of the avoidable drama is to push for the sale of Unity Colleges
to individuals. It is said that a certain Electric Rufai (I don’t know him)
openly said this in Kings College back in 2015. A section of the QCOGA is said
to be asking that government hand over the college to them to run. This seems
like a long shot.
Lagos has had water issues in the past. You want to know what the Old Boys did.
They united and spent millions to solve the problem. They did not run off to
sponsor reckless, inciting stories on social media. They did not attack the
principal and they did not secretly loiter around the water source in
connivance with the water man. Alex has a history of corruption, negligence, and
greed. I will highlight that in the next instalment of this story.
head boy of Ochaja Boys Secondary School in 1974. That glorious institution.
Till date, the ‘74’ set of Ochaja Old Boys is the best illustration of
camaraderie and responsible ‘alumnus-ing’ I ever came across. So strong is
their bond, they are like a band of brothers. They are not all on the same
level financially and status-wise but they are strengthened by their diversity.
They help the school FIX issues. They do not engage in flimsy controversies.
Corruption and embezzlement of funds is not their focus. This is because they
love their school. That school shaped their lives and they give back to the
school, what the school imparted in them.
successfully caused the removal of Dr Lami Amodu from Queens College, the OGA
president allegedly went on air to celebrate the ‘victory’. Among other rather
amusing things she said, the most curious was, “We have taken over our school.
We are now in charge.”
said to have engaged in selling mattresses to returning students of the school
exorbitant rates. The aim, of course, is self-aggrandizement. The issue created so much bad blood amongst
members, the QCOGA secretary resigned her position. It is with such
high-handedness that the body seeks to continue running the affairs of the
easily malleable puppet to do their selfish, corrupt bidding. They put out
inciting narratives to poison the hearts of parents and stakeholders. They will
put the college to the sword to achieve their agenda.
does is akin to forming a parallel government to undermine constituted
authority (apologies to Governor Ajimobi)
invest on a chaotic brand. A certain Kings College old boy, Ladi Lawanson, has
been very instrumental in securing interventions for QC. He utilized his
connections in favour of the college when the late Mrs Ladipo was PQC. He also
facilitated the solar powered Australian borehole project when Dr Amodu was
fact that some other important interventions were in the pipeline before the
embarrassing saga began. Sources reveal that some of the big names potentially
about to help the college may withdraw due to the roughshod manner these cases
have been handled.
taken major hits in the past few years. And it is not because of the leadership
of the school, it is because of the overbearing interference by this section of
was the late Mrs Ladipo that gave them a secretariat within the college
premises, hoping that as an old girl, they would work WITH her to upgrade the
million naira and they threw her under the bus!
married to a retired Navy Admiral who served this country diligently, with his
wife by his side.
has 5 children, her only son, a product of Kings College, while her youngest
daughter also schooled in Queens College.
other siblings (half-sisters) are still in the college, living in the same
hostel, drinking from the same water source.
an Igala Muslim from Kogi state.
her administration, QC recorded the best result among all FUCs.
the most senior professional Director in the Federal Ministry of Education.
as a civil servant, she cannot grant interviews. But her traducers can.
Hopefully, at some point, she may be permitted to speak.
year alone, Dr Amodu won about 5 awards including one for exemplary INTEGRITY
in faraway Ghana.
woman was PQC for just 18 months. But she was never allowed to settle. They
kept hounding her to the detriment of the college. Still, she did achieve some
landmarks which I will mention in the sequel to this piece. How well can any
administrator function in an atmosphere of rancour?
has held bigger positions than the PQC job. She did excellently well in all of
them. Good administrators do not suddenly become bad overnight. Good
administrators do not become bad overnight.
above prayer by the founding mothers of the college has been bastardized by a
group who have not cared about the negative effects of their actions. They have
demystified the once respected institution just to fulfil their selfish goals.
QCOGA organised a fund raiser in October of 2015. Till date, they never
declared the amount realized from that fundraiser purportedly meant to develop
the college. They have questions to answer.
undue interference with investigations by way of indiscriminate use of social
media to harass people, influence opinion, and redefine what JUSTICE actually
means, is a sign of desperation. It reeks of suspicion and must be discouraged
immediately. The National Assembly is more than capable of handling this
matter. During the hearings at the House of Representatives, the comments by
the House Committee did not quite go in the direction that the petitioners
wanted and this has made them even more determined to subvert justice before
the Senate hearings.
group has even been heard bragging about their links with the Senate President,
Olushola Saraki, who is an Old Boy of Kings College. The narrative is that they
can influence a decision in their favour. In Nigeria, a country of miracles,
anything is possible and what qualifies as true justice is very subjective.
read a number of commentaries about this issue on different media platforms.
Nobody is asking the hard questions.
steps did Dr Lami Amodu take when she became aware that students were falling
sick? There is administrative protocol. Did she diligently do the needful? If
she did, what else could have been done? Were sick students being denied
treatment? Why did nobody die in the school? Why was the QCOGA getting
information before the school authorities? Why did the OGA not work with the
PQC rather than run off to social media to create panic?
course, if Dr Amodu is guilty of negligence, we expect the law to take its due
easy to pass media and subjective judgment from a distance, especially when
unfortunate deaths have occurred. But if we cast sentiments aside for a brief
moment, perhaps the picture would be clearer.
illustration. Last year, I was told that the principal was shielding the
accused teacher from the press and other stakeholders. I went to Queens
College, determined to break down their gate and pull the ‘paedophile’ out by
his hair, if need be. To my utmost shock, the principal who did not know me,
gave instructions over the phone that I be allowed unconditional access to all
management staff as well as the accused teacher, Mr Osifala. The PQC herself
was to later join us after her engagement outside.
left wondering why all the talk about her “high-handedness” came to fruition. Unless
that day was just an exception and I was fortunate.
encountered these people at their brutal best before and I must say, I admire
their consistency at pushing the limits of their agenda. What the drive
portends for Queens College however, I may not know. It does look gloomy.
anything, I have learned from them that the voice of the seeming majority may
not always be the voice of God.
truth and lies has become so thin, one must always use a fine comb to brush off
the grey areas. Of course nobody is infallible, not even the former PQC. But it is important that the NASS be
allowed to do their job.
to conduct an X-ray of the activities of various alumni, especially the Queens
College Old Girls Association. Even if they claim to mean well for the once
hallowed school, their methods have done more harm than good for all parties.
This is not how to run a school. Every traditionally great institution enjoys a
certain kind of relationship with its ex-students.
victory, they rejoice together. In calamity, they bond. They become stronger.
In QC, this has not been the case. Justice would be served the day the undue
influence of the QCOGA is withered considerably, and constituted authority is
allowed to run the college properly.
Minster of Education does not have a firm grip because of the calibre of personalities
involved in this so called battle for the soul of the college.