BY OLA AJAYI
IBADAN — THERE was stampede in some parts of Ibadan metropolis Thursday, over rumours of poisoned food being distributed to some pupils.
Following the anxiety and insistence of parents to go with their children, the education authority was said to have directed the schools to release the children to their parents since it was almost closing time.
But Special Adviser to the governor on Communication, Dotun Oyelade said, “It has been brought to our notice that some miscreants and misguided characters are peddling rumour around the city of Ibadan that some people are to be sacrificed for fetish reasons. Government is shocked that people can go to any length to blackmail and cause confusion in order to gain political advantage. Our people just want to fend for their daily bread without such deliberate harassment.
“Such lies are wicked because Oyo State is peaceful and our poor parents and their wards and children are being unnecessarily traumatized by those few who have volunteered to work for reckless and desperate politicians.
We strongly advise our people to go about their normal duties and discountenance these latest antics by political desperados and their hirelings. It is the handiwork of politicians who have failed in their bids for political relevance.”
According to the rumour, two pupils who ate the food fainted and this forced many parents to rush to various public primary schools within the city, seeking to withdraw their children.
Their bid to withdraw their children, however met with stiff resistance from teachers who said it was against the school regulation because their class registers had been marked and that no child would be released to go until the closing hour.
When Vanguard visited some schools to ascertain the veracity of the rumour, many parents were seen crying and itching to withdraw their children.
The schools visited included Islamic Mission School, Odoyi, Yemetu, Salvation Army Primary School, and Wesley College Practising School. Elekuro, Ibadan.
The development forced some policemen into many schools to prevent the breakdown of law and order. A parent who said he came to withdraw his daughter, Mrs. Omolara Ajayi, said he had not seen the girl at home and when she came to check the school, she was not allowed to see her.