BY MONSUR OLOWOOPEJO
DRUG peddlers and addicts have sacked teachers and pupils of Oremeji Primary School, Ajeromi-Ifelodun Local Government and turned the school into their full time joint.

When Vanguard visited the school at the weekend, the school building which is one of the State’s millennium schools has since become a shadow of its old self.

Abandoned Oremeji Primary School, Ajeromi-Ifelodun Local Government

Adewale Olaitan, a pupil of the school said that they were sacked by the drug sellers and addicts who consistently thronged the school premises during study hours, adding “their presence used to disturb us a lot to the point of distrupting our classes  because the odour oozing out from their drugs, particularly marijuana, used to envelope everywhere.”

Olaitan noted that they had endured the challenge for long. But few months ago, the school authority had to relocate the pupils to avert any health effect.

According to him, “the headmaster had no option than to relocate us to Oluwa Primary school, for us to continue our studies. Oluwa is closer to our school and at Oluwa, we had no option than to adapt to the situation we found ourselves.”

According to our sources, the immediate effect of the merger of the two schools is overpopulation particularly when two schools have to manage facilities meant for one.

Strange neighbours

“Immediately they vacated the building, the drug sellers and addicts took over the ground floor of the building.

They also have strange neighbours in some mushroom churches who now use the first floor, as their worship centres,” our source added.

Some of the churches who now occupy part of the two-storey building with 15 blocks of classroom are: The Door of Life Deliverance Ministry, Key of David Christian Centre and others.

Vanguard observed that land speculators have also encroached on the school land, prospecting for buyers apart from building some shanties there.

Govt is aware – Commissioner

Responding to enquiries on the development,  Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Mr. Aderemi Ibirogba said that government officials  have gone to inspect the school and they have discovered that land squatters have encroached on the land.

According to Ibirogba; “Very soon, we will be sending our enforcement team to the school to halt further encroachment and evict those who have trespassed on our land. The structures erected on our land are shanties. And we all know that the state government does not give approval plan for erection of shanties.

“After we reclaim our land, we will send a team that will consist of experts from the state ministry of Physical Planning and Urban development and Environment to commence work on the land,” he said.

Do you know that… ?

LAGOS is the most populous conurbation in Nigeria with over 18 million estimated population. It is the most populous in Africa, and currently estimated to be the second fastest growing city in Africa (7th fastest in the world), immediately following Bamako.

Formerly the capital of Nigeria, Lagos is a huge metropolis which originated on islands separated by creeks, such as Lagos Island, that fringe the southwest mouth of Lagos Lagoon, protected from the Atlantic Ocean by long sand spits such as Bar Beach which stretch up to 100 km east and west of the mouth.

From the beginning, Lagos has spread on the mainland west of the lagoon and the conurbation, including Ikeja and Agege, now reaches more than 40 km north-west of Lagos Island. The city is the economic and financial capital of Nigeria.

History

Lagos was a Yoruba settlement of Awori people initially called Oko. The name was later changed to Eko (Edo: “cassava farm”) or Eko (“war camp”) during the Kingdom of Benin occupation. The Yoruba still use the name Eko when they speak of ‘Lagos’, a name which never existed in Yoruba language. It is likely that the name ‘Lagos’ was given to the town by the first Portuguese settlers who navigated from a coastal town of the same name in Portugal.

The present day Lagos state has a higher percent of Awori, who migrated to the area from Isheri along the Ogun river. Throughout history, it was home to a number of warring tribes who had settled in the area. During its early settlement, it also saw periods of rule by the Kingdom of Benin.

Lagos was the capital of Nigeria from 1914 up to 1991; it was stripped of this title when the Federal Capital Territory was established at the purpose-built city of Abuja. However, most government functions (especially the head of state) stayed in Lagos for a time since Abuja was still under construction. In 1991, the head of state and other government functions finally moved to the newly built capital in a mass exodus.

Portuguese explorer Ruy de Sequeira visited the area in 1472, naming the area around the city Lago de Curamo; indeed the present name is Portuguese for “lakes”. Another explanation is that Lagos was named for Lagos, Portugal – a maritime town which at the time was the main centre of the Portuguese expeditions down the African coast and whose own name is derived from the Latin word Lacobriga.

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