From Joseph Amedu, Lokoja
The Kogi State Chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), has condemned in strong terms the burning down and vandalization of two secondary schools built and renovated as part of Senator Dino Melaye’s Constituency projects.
In a statement issued and signed by Achadu Dickson, Director Research and Documentation, said the midnight action by alleged political thugs has once again shown that we’ve retrogressed to those dark days, when thugs where kings.
The PDP described the burning and vandalization of the schools as not a loss to Senator Melaye, but a loss to Kogi State Children, the community and state that would have been the primary beneficiaries of the projects.
The PDP called on security agencies to fish out the perpetrators of the heinous and dastardly act, pointing out that there had been an earlier threat to the action when some youths at a social gathering yesterday allegedly threatened to cause mayhem and stop the senator from inaugurating his constituency projects.
The burnt constituency projects included one block of four classrooms each at Government Girls Secondary School, Sarkin Noma while Lokongoma LGEA, UBE Junior Secondary School, Phase 1 and Adankolo LGEA UBE Secondary school all in Lokoja were also vandalized in the process.
The state commissioner for Education, Mrs. Rosemary Osikoya who was amongst the government officials who visited the sites said government will not fold her arms until the perpetrators are fished out.
“Exams are ongoing and these building has being used since January 2018. We expect that people will respect the sanctity of education.
“This act is masterminded and not accidental. The building were burnt including the chairs. If not for some serving Corps members around who tried to put out the flame it would have been worse than this.
“We appeal to everybody to collaborate with us in education and not use it as a meeting point for political sabotage. This is a dastard act, the state interest should be paramount rather than the individual political ego.
The State Deputy Commissioner of Police in charge of operations, Mr. Monday Kuryas narrated that the hoodlums forced their way into the buildings, adding that the acts were premeditated as the arsonists braced with tyres, burnt down the building and damaged some other structures.
He said the police are already investigating the matter and will soon apprehend the arsonists.
The projects damaged were due for commissioning by the senator on Wednesday as part of his legacy projects at the senate.
But Melaye on Tuesday said he had received threat messages by some political thugs who said he should not come to Lokoja the state capital to commission any project because he had” deface the state with his unbridled behaviour at the senator.”