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Anambra's Primary School Studying Under Scorching Sun, Rain...LGA Chairman Embezzled Project Funds

By Okechukwu Onuegbu
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Under scorching sun and heavy downpour, the pupils of Irunese Primary School (IPS), Ebenebe, Awka-North council area, Anambra state, one among numerous schools whose birthday coincide with Nigeria's Independent, now squats or lean under trees while been tutored by their teachers.

This was sequel to dismantling of the school in May 2013 for purposes of renovation by the immediate Transition Chairman of Awka-North local governed area, Hon. Mrs. Joy Enweluzo.

Hence, staff and pupils of the school were forced to relocate and lent two decked houses-Obi Ndi Umuozor-Nwoji kindred, Okpuno village, Ebenebe in continuance of their academic learning processes.

When Our correspondent visited the pre-secondary school temporary site recently, it saw over two hundred teenagers of elementary 1 to 6 clustered in a-room apartment while other tiny room is congested with its pre-nursery and nursery school pupils.

Speaking to Our reporter, A-teacher (name withheld by us), said the non-floor decking is “always dusty at dry season. As such, these pupils who are below ten years old had to water the ground (classroom) before we could use them for teaching and learning on daily basis. Besides, it is usually war while raining because it leaks all over”.

She added that owners of the uncompleted building had giving them quit notice “to vacate it on or before February”, decrying that the under-aged are been over laboured and as a result, “Most parents and guardians of our pupils had subsequently transferred their wards to other schools within the community due to non-conducive environment of this present location and deplorable condition of our permanent site-abandoned almost a year ago. In fact, government should do something to help us. We are suffering a lot. It has distorted our academic calendar”.

Mrs. Jacinta Nnanwuba, Headmistress of the school, in a phone interview, confirmed this report, and implored the government and relevant agencies to help in rescuing the institution from the mess.

She claimed to have written in vain to the embattled TC, Anambra state Local Government Commissioner and her Education counterpart and Anambra state Universal Basic Education Board (ASUBEB) concerning the abandoned roofing project.

But the HM equally attributed the delay to “local politics”, wondering why its host community and erstwhile pupils among whom are successful Doctors, Engineers, Lawyers, Politicians, business moguls including the town PG and his wife, Mr. Cletus and Barr Victoria Osineme, Dr. Julius Nweke (US based Medical Doctor), Chief Paul Okafor among others kept quiet.

When contacted on phone, the PG, Mr. Osineme requested to see this reporter one-on-one before he could comment but refused to fix an appointment till date.

As at time of filing this report, bush has overtook the IPS permanent site, initial wood used as rafters had been damaged by precipitation and termites and its beam seriously cracked due to abandonment of the project by it contractor, Mrs. Enweluzo who allegedly uses it to learn contract job.

Responding in a phone interview, the embattled TC, Hon. Mrs. Joy Enweluzo explained that the project was not abandoned but rather delayed by her unnamed Engineer even as she claimed that the work would start immediately and end on or before next month.

However, our correspondent gathered that other schools, Obuno Primary School and Community Primary School commissioned same period with Irunese were completed long ago.

Also, Chairman, Parents and Teachers Association, IPS chapter, Mr. Elias Anyafulu gave the copy of a petition, they wrote to the state Commissioner for local government, Mrs. Azuka Enemuo; copied to Governor Peter Obi; Mrs. Uju Okeke, Commissioner for Education and Mr. Cletus Osineme, President General of Ebenebe Town Union.

Tagged “Abandonment of Irunese Primary School, Campus 1 Roofing Project at Ebenebe Town, Awka-North L.G.A”, Mr. Anyafulu described works done so far in the school “as a death trap to children if roofed in such hazardous condition”, calling for it restructuring and completion before next raining season in order to enable the school commence academic activities using same calendar as their colleagues (owned by state government).

But when inquired of the source and state of a-tap borne water already constructed in the site, he said that the project was awarded to Traditional Ruler of Ebenebe community, Igwe Christopher Nnaegbune as a contractor by Millennium Development Goals (MDG), early last year.

He however, accused Igwe Nnaegbune of conniving with the Awka-North MDG's Technical Adviser, Engr. Kenneth (an indigen of Nibo, Awka south) to do poor job and abandoned it muddy thereafter.

The PTA Boss further alleged that no single water has gushed out of the tap because the contractors' drilled well-water instead of pipe-borne water been paid-for, and in furtherance, called on them to revisit it as a way of ensuring that its water is hygienic and drinkable.

Reacting, Igwe Christopher Emeka Nnaegbune, admitted that the water project was awarded to Chriskings Enterprises but refuted the allegation that it was abandoned beyond completion with a wave of hands, saying it has been completed and rushes as well if not for little hitches he would redress before February ending, urging this reporter to accompany him to the site to certify his claim.

While Engr. Ken, an indigene of Nibo (Awka-South) who is the Awka-North MDG Engineer, said he does not speak to the press and directed our reporter to interview the Commissioner for Economic Planning and Budgeting, Prof. Stella Okunna for further information.




CLASS 5 AND 4 PUPILS INSIDE THE KINDRED


IPS PETITION LETTER, PAGE 2


IPS PETITION LETTER


IPS SIGN POST, LEANING UPON CAHEW TREEE INSIDE THE COMPOUND


IPS, CLASS 4 DUSTING THE BOARD


MR. ELIAS ANYAFULU PTA CHAIRMAN IPS EBENEBE


SIDE VIEW OF IPS (2)


SIDE VIEW OF IPS


THE HALL OCCUPIED BY THE SCHOOL


THE PUPILS INSIDE THE CLASSROOM


THE UNCOMPLETED WATER PROJECT FOR ALMOST A YEAR


THE UNROOFED IPS, EBENEBE


THE UNRUSHING MDG WATER


UMUOZOWOJI KINDRED HALL WHERE IPS SCHOOL