By Kabir Muhammad
Abuja – The Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Education Secretary, Sen. Isa Maina is to meet with the proprietors of all private schools in the territory to discuss issues of school security and safety.
The meeting is a follow up to the school bus fire tragedy that claimed the lives of 3 pupils of the Je’nisi Little Drops Academy located at the Trade Moore Estate, Lugbe, FCT.
In a statement signed by Mr Anthony Ogunleye Assistant Director (Information), Education Secretariat, which was made available to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Wednesday in Abuja said the meeting will hold next week.
According to Maina, what happened was completely unacceptable taking into account the fact that this was the second incident of motor accidents resulting in the loss of young lives over the last 5 months.
While commiserating with the parents of the children, he said that many school proprietors are violating the laid down guidelines regulating the transportation of school children on the motorways.
“I regretted the fact that such violations have resulted in accidents such as the one that occurred last week,’’ he said.
According to the secretary, the secretariat will hold frank discussions with the private school owners on matters of security and school safety amongst other matters.
On the proprietor, he said the law enforcement agencies are investigating the matter and should the proprietor be found culpable, the full weight of the law will be brought to bear on him.
Maina further said that contrary to some media reports, three children died as a result of the fire accident and not 20 as reported in some newspapers.
NAN recalls that the school bus caught fire on Bamanga Tukur Street, Trade Moore Estate, Lugbe, Abuja, while conveying the children.
A security guard in the area, Mr Yusuf Abdullahi, told NAN that there was no one to help the situation as many residents in the estate had not returned from work.
Abdullahi said the bus was congested with pupils and the driver was without an attendant to help rescue the children who were sleeping at the back seat.
He described the incident as very unfortunate and urged school owners to learn from this and take adequate measures to safeguard the lives of pupils.
NAN learnt that one of the pupils died instantly in the fire while two others passed on Saturday in a hospital.
The school, however, is still under lock and key as at the time of this report and every attempt to speak with the school authorities proved abortive.(NAN)