A crisis is currently rocking the Federal Science and Technical College (FSTC), Yaba, Lagos as teachers and parents of students of the school are trading words and abusing themselves over the fumigation contract of the students’ hostels which have reportedly been invaded by the bedbugs consistently in the recent past.
As of yesterday, Tuesday, the teachers of the school under the aegis of the Association of Senior Civil Servants of Nigeria (ASCSN) have chased away all the PTA secretariat staff and locked up the office and also the school entrance gate in the morning to prevent visitors particularly parents from gaining access into the school premises
Troubled started on Monday when the chairman of the teachers’ union of the college, Mr Sola Omidiji said the union and the house officers of whom he is one of them were no longer satisfied with the PTA executive patronising a so-called expert to fumigate the hostels against bedbugs at huge cost and without desirable results while a better option that is cheaper and more effective according to him is available within the system.
He said in his complaint article, titled: “Federal Science and Technical College Yaba and the Bedbug Politics\Business- Hope the College is not back in Egypt” and went viral on various WhatsApp group platforms in the college that the PTA would need to engage local contractors, who is said their service is not only cheaper but also more effective.
He said bedbugs became prominence in the college though without knowing how the hostels got infested during the administration of the then director and principal, Rev Chris Ugorji, noting all efforts to permanently eradicate bedbugs from the college then did not yield desirable results even though a huge amount of money was spent on the project according to him.
He said it was until some house officers within the system without him inclusive used some local fumigation measures and at a very reduced price that the college was free of bedbugs.
He said the experience gave the college management then to continue to engage those house officers on fumigation exercise each resumption term and that the results is encouraging until the new management came and started to engage those he called ineffective contractors as he said bedbugs have now become more in number and stronger.
Giving an instance, he said “About two days ago, I saw a video message sent to parents that resumption for the second term was rescheduled because they were fumigating the hostels. And in the video, the PTA Chairman, Dr Emmanuel Onyenuche spoke glowingly about how they had fumigated the hostel and gave parents assurance that bedbugs would disappear in the hostels.
“But the first set of students entered hostel on January 9, 2022, and as usual as one of the house officers, after checking them in, I went to see my students and all the rooms I entered it was bedbugs in large numbers. Students could not sleep well and whoever cared could visit the Boy’s Hostel to verify the claim.
“So, our dear PTA Chairman Sir should know that the claim of fumigation of the hostel is false and whoever that is making money from the suffering of these little children is making blood money and there would be a consequence for it.”
He said part of his responsibilities as the chairman of the teachers’ union which he said is also part of PTA members is to see the welfare of not only the teachers but also that of the students of the college, hence his involvement in knowing the happening in and around the hostels.
Reacting to this position, the chairman of the college PTA, Dr Emmanuel Onyenuche, said the claim by Mr Omidiji could not be true position of things as regards the issue at stake, adding that there is more to it to gain interest that is personal.
He said in his response letter which was directed to the union chairman and also sent to many WhatsApp group platforms in the college that he had read with concern the said article by the union chairman alleging that the fumigation exercise paid for by PTA was fake just because the house officers who he claimed could have used local methods to eradicate bedbugs were not contracted for the job.
He said the PTA each term always spends so much money on fumigation of hostels with the last exercise costing as much as N820,000 with a promise to carry out the exercise twice but without getting any result at the end of the day.
He said the PTA this time around would not continue to do the same thing in the same way if really the college is expecting to get rid of bedbugs permanently in the hostels.
He said he was surprised that the union chairman could attack PTA and the executive officers in particular instead of praising them for doing what the school authority and the government as the owner of the college should be doing
He said no amount of intimidation by the teachers’ union would derail PTA and his team from making the college more conducive for learning and the hostels for staying.
Nigerian Tribune investigations, however, revealed that the PTA of various federal government colleges with no exemption nationwide is the one putting in money to fund major internal needs of those colleges.
They are the ones building hostels and making classrooms a bit comfortable for use by both the students and their teachers and they are also engaging part-time teachers and buying disinfectants, including toilet wash and air freshers as well as brooms and all sort of sundry items which students must submit before resumption every academic term with the federal government doing virtually nothing outside payment of salaries.