Hoodlums suspected to be landgrabbers have sealed off Shalom Group of Schools, a private school consisting Shalom Nursery and Primary School and Cedar College in Baruwa, Lagos, claiming to be owners of the school’s land.
More than 100 pupils were seen in front of the school on Monday morning carrying placards with various inscriptions such as ‘Save our school; I came to school this morning only to be denied access; we want to learn‘, among others.
Principal of the college, Mrs. Oluwatoyin Okocha, said the incident happened on Saturday as the suspected landgrabbers invaded the school, pulled down the gates and fenced it off.
She added that they came with armed policemen and all efforts to appeal to them fell on deaf ears as they threatened to shoot.
She claimed that parents of boarders had to scurry in to evacuate their wards.
Okocha called on Lagos State Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu to intervene and save the future of the pupils.
She said: “When I entered the premises on Saturday, I saw two policemen with some suspected landgrabbers. They pulled down the gates to gain entrance because the security personnel didn’t allow them in. They also removed the see-through iron on our fence and fenced off everywhere.
“All efforts to appeal to them fell on deaf ears as they threatened to shoot us. We called parents to evacuate their wards. We cannot fight them, they are landgrabbers.”
Proprietress, Mrs Adedayo Odeka, said the land was Federal Government-allocated, adding the school had been in existence for over 20 years with no dispute concerning the land.
She said the management reported to Ipaja Police Station and the Divisional Police Officer came to the scene.
PTA Chairman, Mr. Champion Afolayan called on state authorities to intervene for pupils to resume learning.
“Recently, we saw posters all around that the land is taken from the federal government,” he added.
Umughele Oghene, a student of the school, Assistant Headboy, said: “We are appealing to the Lagos State Government to help us. On Saturday, the hoodlums came with weapons. We ran away from the hostel. We are having our West African Senior School Certificate Examination (WASSCE) soon and we really need to be tutored.”