TWO final year students of the Federal Government College (FGC), Keffi, Nasarawa State, early Friday morning got drowned in a river bordering the school’s perimeters, multiple sources told National Record late Friday night.
According to the sources in the school, three male students had gone to the river early in the morning to swim while the principal was conducting the morning’s assembly in the school’s Assembly Hall.
Efforts to get the principal, Mr Ahmed Isa, failed as his mobile number was not accessible as at press time.
However, a senior teacher at the school familiar with the tragedy but who pleaded anonymity as he was not authorised to speak for the school, told National Record that three students had skipped the assembly and went to the river to bath without the knowledge of the authorities or other students, our correspondent gathered.
The same source said the third student who raised alarm when he ran back to the school narrated upon reaching the banks, one of the students had jumped into the river and immediately began to drown. His second mate upon noticing that he was drowning also jumped in, in an attempt to rescue him, but unfortunately, he too started drowning as he did not know how to swim.
“Three boys actually went to the river bordering the school. The fence in that portion of the college collapsed recently as a result of a recent flood so they could easily trek to the river downstream. The boy who ran back told us that one of them dived into the river and immediately began to drown. In the process, his mate dived in to rescue him, but he too started drowning because they both didn’t know how to swim.” the source said.
According to him, when the student ran to the Assembly Hall, both staff and students thought that the boys could still be rescued alive.
“When we ran to the river bank, we thought they students could still be saved, but the rescue team led by the Physical and Health Education Master could not locate the bodies until about 30 minutes later when they were located and pulled out. When they were rushed to the Federal Medical Centre, Keffi, they two of them were confirmed dead,” a second source, a non-academic staff, told National Record, also pleading anonymity.
Our findings indicate that one of the students is the son of a former non-teaching staff of FGC Keffi who had been transferred to Federal Government Girls College, Keana, also in Nasarawa State, but lives in Lafia, the state capital.
Some parents of the school spoken to by our correspondent express concern on what they described as poor administration of the college, stating that because of this, such tragedies have become a common feature in the college.
“Just recently, a block of two female hostels got burnt leading to the death of a student. The same hostel got burnt sometime in 2017, fortunately, no life was lost then. We also gathered that one of the boys’ hostels also got burnt down in the past with the death of two students, a parent confided in National Record, wondering what the school’s authorities do with the huge PTA levies parents pay every term to supplement federal government funding.
PTA confirms tragedy
The school’s PTA Chairman, Mr Kefas Kaura, confirmed the tragedy early Saturday morning when contacted. When he was called via his mobile, he said he was on his way to the school as he was away from Keffi when the incident happened on Friday. He asked our correspondent to call back later for details.
When he was called in the afternoon, he again confirmed the death of the two final year students whom he said were writing their final exams. He accused this year’s set of being very stubborn and unruly.
“This year’s class of SS3 students are very stubborn. The school’s authorities have always complained that they are predominantly deviants; that they don’t attend prep, and other school’s activities,” the PTA chairman alleged.
He told our correspondent that he was yet to get full details of what happened from the principal as he (principal) had gone to Lafia to pay a condolence visit to the father of one of the deceased students who was a former staff of FGC Keffi.
He also revealed that the body of the other student had been claimed early Saturday morning by his father who hailed from Jos, Plateau State. He said when the tragic incident occurred, the father was promptly informed and that he came to the school with other family members early Saturday morning to collect the remains of their son.
He said the school’s management gave the family a bus and some staff to convey the corpse to Jos and they departed for Jos shortly before midday Saturday.
The body of the son of the former staff, a Muslim, Mr Kefas said, was immediately buried yesterday according to Muslim rites.
When contacted, Mr Bem Goong, the spokesperson of the Federal Ministry of Education, confirmed the death of the students.