By Faith Igbudu
Academic activities were temporarily disrupted at Mt. St, Michael’s Secondary School, Aliade following a fire outbreak in one of the hotel named St Luke’s which houses about 188 students.
Principal of the school, Rev. Fr. Terungwa Tor made this known in a letter addressed to the Commissioner of Education, Prof. Dennis Ityavyar, briefing him on the situation.
According to the letter, no life was lost but there was total destruction to student properties as the whole building was razed to the ground.
The letter reads in part “During the evening of Ash Wednesday, the 17th day of February, 2021 at 8pm there was fire outbreak in St Luke’s Hostel at Mt. St. Michael’s Secondary School, Aliade. Seminarians of the Holy Ghost Novitiate Community, Province of Nigeria North East, drew the attention of the Vice Principal Special Duties, Mr. Samuel Ashezua, who is also the Dean of Discipline, who was on his usual hostel patrol, and noticed some unusual smoke and fire at one wing of St. Luke’s hostel.
“He then called my attention immediately. I was in my office preparing documents for a meeting of School Administrators and Managers of Makurdi Diocese scheduled for Mt. La Salle College, Naka. An emergency Bell was rung, and students left their classes and headed to the dormitory to put off the inferno to no avail. As I write this report, we are yet to ascertain the cause of the fire.”
The letter also stated that all relevant stakeholders have been informed. “In the midst of the fire incident, I called the Bishop and Proprietor, Most Rev. Wilfred Chikpa Anagbe to inform him and seek his counsel. He suggested I call the fire service immediately from Makurdi which I did. I also called Dr. P.Y. Ochefu, BOT Chairman of Mt. St. Michael Secondary School Old Boys Association, as well as Prof David I. Ker, National President, Aliade Old Boys Association to inform them of the sad incident.
“I called the Honourable Commissioner for Education, Prof. Dennis Ityavyar, and Executive Secretary of the Teaching Service Board, Dr. Frank Kyungun, to inform them formally about the incident. I also quickly reported the matter to the Divisional Police Officer, SP Kehinde Adesanya, who wasted no time in calling his security team to be on the compound with us and also called again the State Fire Service from Makurdi. The firemen arrived at 10:40pm and did an excellent job.
Fr Tor, also appealed for help to properly address the situation. “We welcome any support from individuals, AOBA Sets, Branches, National Officers, the BOT, Corporate bodies, and especially students of St. Luke’s Hostel to firm up efforts to reconstruct St. Luke’s Hostel and also restore to our traumatized students their lost belongings. We welcome suggestions and counsel moving forward. This is a huge loss to individual students and the entire school community! We have not been here before, and lack the resources to rebuild and overcome this traumatic experience” it read.
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