Nigerian ‘soldier’ attacks school teacher for punishing latecomer

Officers of the Nigerian Army (Photo: The Sun)

In a disturbing incident at a government school in Donga, North Eastern Nigeria, a teacher was attacked by a newly recruited soldier, leading to injuries and chaos among students and staff. The incident occurred on the morning of Tuesday, July 2, 2024, and has sparked calls for justice and stricter measures to protect educators.

Mr Pavalis Yebduya Joshua, a teacher and the exam officer at Government Science School, Donga reported the incident which began when a student, Ishaq Baraya, arrived late to school. Baraya was brought in by a soldier, Barau Ishaq, who had reportedly recently completed his training.

When Mr Joshua attempted to discipline the late-coming student, the soldier intervened, insisting that the student should not be punished. cannot immediately verify the status of Mr Ishaq in the Nigerian Army but locals attest to him being a soldier.

Despite Mr Joshua’s attempts to reason with the soldier, explaining the importance of maintaining discipline, the soldier became confrontational.

Mr Joshua proceeded to discipline the student with four strokes, which angered the soldier.

“I asked the young soldier if he was on a checkpoint and I refused to stop for him, would he be happy?” said Mr Joshua. The soldier left, threatening to return with reinforcements.

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Approximately 20 minutes later, Mr Ishaq returned with two accomplices, one of whom was a civilian dressed in army camouflage.

The trio disrupted the school environment, with one of the attackers wielding a jackknife and attempting to stab Mr. Joshua. The teacher sustained cuts on his palm and fingers while defending himself.

“The knife gave me cuts on my palm and fingers,” Mr. Joshua recounted.

“Seeing that the students and my fellow colleagues were trooping to the scene, the culprit escaped, abandoning his two colleagues.”

The school principal promptly reported the incident to the local police station within Taraba State.

The police arrived, taking Mr Joshua and one of the soldiers into custody. The Department of State Services (DSS) was also involved in taking statements.

While Mr Joshua received medical treatment, the attacker fled to the special forces camp in Akate, Donga, returning with armed personnel, further intimidating students and staff.

The situation escalated as students fled in fear, resulting in injuries and missing students. Despite promises from the special forces to cover the medical expenses, no assistance has been provided to date.

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Mr. Joshua has called on Dr. Agbu Kefas, the Governor of Taraba State, the Taraba State Commissioner of Education, the DSS, the Nigerian Army, and the Commissioner of Police to intervene and ensure justice is served.

He emphasised that such actions must be addressed to prevent future occurrences and safeguard the educational environment.

“I pray that His Excellency Dr. Agbu Kefas, the governor whose free education policy has impacted many lives, looks into this matter and grants me justice,” he stated.

Witnesses, including police officers and the Divisional Crime Officer (DCO), corroborated Mr. Joshua’s account, highlighting the gravity of the threats and actions taken by the soldier and his accomplices.

This incident underscores the urgent need for measures to protect teachers and maintain discipline within schools, ensuring a safe and conducive learning environment for all students.

Efforts to immediately reach the police spokesman in Jalingo were unfruitful.

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