Darasimi Ogunwunmi, a 3-year-old Kindergarten One pupil of Fahsal Children’s School at Ilupeju Estate, Idiroko, Ogun State, has died, about 10 months after he drank caustic soda that was left carelessly around his classroom by his teachers, PUNCH reports.
He was said to have told the teachers many times that he was thirsty and helped himself when he receive no attention.
The deceased had undergone six different surgeries at the Lagos University Teaching Hospital.
He died after his last surgery to open up his stomach and throat which were damaged by the chemical.
According to Darasimi’s mother, Toyin:
My son would have died long ago if not because of the money that kind Nigerians raised for his treatment. The money financed his surgeries and rehabilitation since that time.
If I knew he had no chance of survival, I would have prayed that God should give him rest long ago because my son suffered for every day he lived after that incident. Every day, I saw him lying in the hospital bed or sitting at home struggling to drink ordinary water with pain, I cried bitterly.
PUNCH reports that the proprietor of the school, Fausat Abubakar, allegedly introduced soap making business on the school premises.
“But rather than remove the production far from the reach of her pupils, the boy’s parents alleged that the soap was being produced right beside the classrooms.
On November 19, 2015, the worse happened when Darasimi became thirsty and his teachers turned a deaf ear to his incessant cry for water.
Part of the caustic soda already mixed and allegedly left around was what Darasimi drank from.
His teachers only realised what had happened when the boy was found outside his classroom crying and bleeding from the mouth, it was learnt.
The teachers applied palm oil to the boy’s mouth but rushed him to the hospital when they realised his case was critical,” PUNCH reported.
The boy’s parents said that the government had promised to bring the proprietor to book, but nothing has been done.
The Ogun State Commissioner for Education, Modupe Mujota, said that she had constituted a team to investigate the case.
As a follow-up, when Mujota was contacted by PUNCH on Thursday, she said:
“There was a full investigation. But because there was no hard evidence, it became difficult to take the issue up legally. We combed the premises of the school and nothing was found, probably because time had elapsed and the school might have cleaned up,” Mujota said.
“After our initial reports, the state government team had visited the family twice. If they say we did not visit, between when and when are they talking about? We have pictures as evidence of our team’s visit to the child and his mother. There were allegations from the school proprietor that the boy’s parents were trying to extort her. We went to verify the claim,” she added.
Mujota said that she could not give details of action taken against the proprietor of the school
“There are larger factors to be considered when you want to close down a school like the population the school is serving,” she said.
According to Mujota, she was only hearing the news of the boy’s death the first time, during her conversation with PUNCH.
Photo Credit: PUNCH