Authorities suspects sabotage in school fire incident

Burnt block at St Mary’s Secondary School, North Bank, Makurdi.

By Faith Igbudu

Investigations into the fire incident which razed down several buildings and destroyed properties at St Mary’s Secondary School, North Bank, in Makurdi Local Government Area of Benue State, may have begun however, some authorities concerned with the school have said it is a case of sabotage, alleging that someone intentionally burnt the school.

The Voice gathered that early hours of Sunday, the said school was engulfed with fire which razed the administration block housing the principal’s office and four blocks of classrooms.

Principal, of the secondary school, Theophilus Uhende, narrated that; “at about 5:48am, I received a call that my school is burning. On getting there, I discovered the fire started from the principals office and spread out to other blocks. The fire fighters were called in and they remedied what would have been a total disaster.”

Local Proprietor and Parish Priest of St Mary’s Church, North Bank, Makurdi, Fr Oliver Agbile, who oversees the school, said the situation is wrapped in mischief as the school is not a boarding school and as such, has no electrical connections to cause a spark.

“Very funny enough, the school is a day school so we didn’t even connect electricity. The school is not even wired, it was strictly the situation of sabotage, someone intentionally burnt down the school.

“The security men who were supposed to be on duty said they closed before the normal 6.30am, time of their closing and the incident happened when they left. We have reported the matter at all necessary quarters and investigations into the matter has begun,” he explained.

In his reaction, Executive Secretary, Catholic Educational Services, Very Rev. Fr Terungwa Tor, noted that “it is a very sad development for the Benue child. Actually, the school is not connected to any public power supply, so we are still investigating why the place will just go down in flames like that, there may be a saboteur hanging around that area who did that,” he stated.

He appealed to well spirited Nigerians to offer assistance to the school to enable it go through the situation.

Further information reveals that the items gutted by the fire are: Classes: SS3, SS2, SS1, JSS 2, JSS 1, Staff Room and Administrative Office. Everything got burnt in the Administrative Office; some things were retrieved from the Staff Room but desks and tables destroyed. Meanwhile all certificates of past students are safe.

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