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Damaturu schools abandoned by pupils over rumour of NGO’s unusual injection

Parents and guardians, yesterday, withdrew their children from public primary schools in Damaturu, the Yobe State capital, over rumour of an unusual injection being administered on the children, forcing the schools to shut down.

It was gathered that rumours had gone round the town that an unnamed non-governmental organisation, NGO, was administering injection on the heads of male and the navels of female pupils.

There was pandemonium as angry parents and guardians stormed the schools to evacuate their children, with some confronting teachers who attempted to explain that it was a false alarm.

Mr. Abdulmalik Sumonu, the state’s Commissioner of Police, said it was “a wild rumour without any iota of truth.

“We have investigated the matter in all the schools, but could not establish a single fact. I wish to advise people to stop peddling unsubstantiated rumour just to cause disaffection among the populace.”

Emergency meeting

When journalists visited the State Universal Basic Education Board, its Chairman, Alhaji Ibrahim Goni, was in a meeting with headmasters of all public schools in Damaturu.

Alhaji Ismaila Balube, Public Relations Officer of the board, said: “We just learned of the rumour and closure of schools, but could not establish a single case.

“The rumour was that the NGO was administering the injection on heads of males and under the navel of female pupils.

“The chairman is presently holding a meeting with the headmasters to establish how the rumour started and find ways of avoiding future occurrence.”

UN reacts

Mr. Adebanjo Adegbolagun, Humanitarian Affairs Officer, United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, also dismissed the claim, saying a similar situation had played out in Buni Yadi.

“The same rumour went viral last week in Buni Yadi, but upon investigation, nothing was established; it is a mere fabrication intended to discredit activities of the organisations,” he said.


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