• Friday, July 12, 2024
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The death of Sylvester Oromoni

Sylvester Oromoni

Very recently, the nation woke up to the gruesome and very untimely death of Sylvester Oromoni, Jnr a 12-year-old pupil of Dowen College, Lekki in Lagos State. Two broad accounts have since emerged as regards the death of this young boy.

On one hand, the school authorities have said that he suffered injuries while playing football. Although much of this particular version has since been recanted on the platform of another complementary deposition by the school. In this respect, the school is saying that it will cooperate fully with the authorities in unravelling all the issues behind this dastardly incident.

On the other hand, the parents and other relatives of Sylvester have deposed that, he was indeed killed by the inhumane and injurious measures, which were visited on him by some fellow students. As this particular narrative goes, he was being pressed into joining a cult group, and his refusal spawned some violent tactics, which were inflicted on him by the bullies masquerading as students. Between these two contrasting positions, the truth must lie somewhere. This is why it is important for the Lagos State Government and the Nigeria Police to thoroughly investigate this dastardly incident with a view to ensuring justice for Sylvester, his parents, relatives and the wider society.

Read Also: Sylvester Oromoni: The cost of ‘missing’ parenting.

Incidentally, the Lagos State Police Commissioner has since directed the Homicide Department of his command to take over the case. We expect them to do a thorough job, with a view to ensuring that all the culprits are apprehended and made to pay for their crime. Luckily enough it has been reported that, even in his last hours, and as he writhed in pains, the deceased was sufficiently conscious to mention the names of those students who might have been responsible for this untoward incident. Therefore, it should not be too difficult for the appropriate police authorities to investigate and in the process unravel the identities of those who may have been responsible for this wicked and inhumane act.

Even in the animal kingdom, the kid more often than not, takes its cue from the parent, and so it is with these young ones

Closely related to much of the immediate foregoing are reports to the effect that, there are indeed attempts to spirit away the culprits to foreign lands. Therefore, there is the urgent need to act promptly, so as to ensure that the criminals are not allowed to evade justice. This is perhaps one way of ensuring that this heart-rending incident does not repeat itself. However, the entire incident brings into sharp focus, the nature and texture of our secondary schools in contemporary times. Hitherto, features like cultism and violence were only known in the tertiary institutions. But now, it looks as if this hideous menace has now taken root in our secondary schools.

Very recently for instance, Don Davies a student of Deeper Life High School was brutalized, and it took the determination of his spirited parents, who drew the attention of the attentive public to this particular scourge. There was another case in which a female student in a secondary school in Abuja, Karen-Kappuch was raped to death by some hoodlums. Taken together therefore, and without being unduly alarmist, it is possible to state that we have an expanding scourge on our hands. It should be noted here that what currently subsists is a graduation of sorts. It is an undesirable situation in which a feature like bullying has since graduated into cultism.

Indeed, it is safe to say that these two features exist side by side in our tertiary institutions, with one tailing into to the other. Looking back, it is evident that bullying as a phenomenon has always been with us in our school system. It was probably written down to adolescent excesses, which will soon pan out when students shed this transient phase. But no, it is here with us in a rather malignant sense which threatens the core of our being as a society. It is therefore time to take a long and hard look at this monumental decadence.

It is important to appreciate here that the perpetrators of these wicked acts did not just come aboard. Rather they are in fact throw-ups from our society. Like it has been said, even in the animal kingdom, the kid more often than not, takes its cue from the parent, and so it is with these young ones. A close look at our society reveals that violence as a phenomenon has taken root in various domains.

Indeed, it has been glorified and rewarded in the form of coups and counter-coups. And when this is complemented with domestic violence then what we have indeed on our hands is a Yambo Ouloguem’s world: Bound to Violence. Therefore, knee-jerk reactions as being witnessed at the moment will not do. We need to take a hard look at this alarming and dangerous situation with a view to solving the problem. On this note, the school authorities must be more vigilant. Same goes for the parents. The latter have virtually outsourced their responsibilities to the schools, whereas there should be a synergy between both domains in the bid to ensure that this problem is effectively addressed.

Therefore, what is urgently needed are quick and deterring measures from the Lagos State Government, the schools and parents. This is with a view to ensuring that this ugly incident does not rear its head again. Meanwhile, our sympathetic thoughts go to the parents, siblings and other relatives of Sylvester Oromoni Junior. May the good lord, give them the succour, grace and fortitude to bear this grievous loss in these trying, sorrowful and stressful times.