As Nigerians gear up for the possible resumption of schools soon, pupils of Great Wisdom Academy, a Creche, Nursery and Primary School, no longer have their school standing where it used to be upon the much awaited resumption. A set of school drums, cupboards, teaching aids, books and several other properties belonging to the school were thrown out hurriedly and salvaged by sympathisers while several other properties were crushed to bits as residents of Old Kutunku in the Gwagwalada Area Council of the FCT looked on in shock. The bulldozer further went on to demolish a church within the large building.
Pastor John Daniel who is the proprietor of the school and resident pastor of the Pentecostal church which is also housed within the building told our reporters that he had never seen anything like that in his life. He maintaned that there was no warning or notice from the Abuja Development Control department regarding the action, which would have prepared them to make necessary arrangements to evacuate from the buildings.
According to Pastor John “I have operated my school within this property for over thirteen years. I am aware that there was once some dispute between my landlord and somebody else who I heard was also laying claim to the land upon which the building stood, but I never envisaged that several years later it would result to something as destructive as this. Why would anyone be destroying schools when more schools are needed to cater for the rising numbers of out of school children in Nigeria and especially in this area? As I speak to you now I am totally confused as all I have laboured for for many years have been erased right before my eyes. My wife has been in tears”.
Spokesperson of the family who own the demolished property and who rented it to the school told our reporter that there was no basis or logic for such a wicked action by the Abuja Development Control department as the only dispute over the land had been on between the late patriarch of the family Rtd. DSP Edward Akoh and one Miss Rosemary Edet of the University of Abuja Centre for Continuing Education for almost sixteen years, and efforts to reach an amicable settlement between the parties was ironically, previously being championed by staff of the Gwagwalada office of the Abuja Development Control department.
He said “I don’t know how or when they worked with Miss Rosemary Edet and came to this shocking conclusion on a civil matter between two people. I was only called on Thursday by the school proprietor that some people had come with a bulldozer and policemen to demolish our property, by the time I got there the whole building had been brought down, without even allowing the properties inside to be evacuated. There was no notice issued to us, to our tenant who operates the school, or any consideration for the soon to be resuming pupils or for the several livelihoods that would be affected by such an action. Where in the world can something like this still be happening in the year 2020. Even if it was the tent of a roving mad person that is to be destroyed, common sense requires that you relocate the mad person first. Let me assure you that this would not be the end of this matter, legal redress is surely the last hope for the common man”.
When contacted on the matter, a staff of the Gwagwalada office of the Abuja Development Control department who pleaded anonymity said they only carry out demolition based on official orders from their main office.