Parents, staff and pupils of Imo Model International School, FSP Orji, near Owerri Metropolis, have carried out a peaceful demonstration asking for the re-opening of their school said to have been closed down by the Imo State Commissioner for Women Affairs.
The pupils who turned out at the gate of Douglas House, Owerri in their school uniforms carried placards, some of which read, “Our governor please rescue your kids by opening our FSP School,” “Owelle don’t close FSP School,” “FSP kids are also Imo children, Our governor, our governor we are also Imolites”.
The demonstrators said that the staff and pupils of the school resumed on Monday and found their school closed and a notice placed in front of the school.
In an interview with Christian Voice, one of the parents, Chief Uzondu C. Uzondu, said that on enquiring about the development, the Commissioner for Women Affairs, Mrs Nma Onyechere, told them that the school was closed because it was operating illegally. “She said that the state governor does not know about our school,” Uzondu said.
He wondered why the school would suddenly become an illegal institution when the school was used at a time to raise a huge amount of money for the ministry.
Also speaking, the Chairman of the school’s Parents Teachers Association (PTA) said that they brought their children to school on resumption as directed by the Federal Government only to discover that the school has been shut down from the big banner placed in the compound.
He, however, said that the governor closed down the school to enable the pupils enjoy free education like others in the state-owned schools.
He added that they pay their children’s fees without grumbling and have not understood the real reasons behind the action.
The PTA Chairman appealed to the governor to reverse his instruction so that their children can continue their studies.
Meanwhile, the worried teachers and other staff of the school have appealed for the reopening of the school as closure would amount to their losing their jobs and increasing the army of unemployed persons in the state.
The school was established in 1995 as part of the defunct Family Support Programme (FSP), a pet project of Maryam Abacha, wife of former Head of State, Late General Sani Abacha.
It was, however, placed under the Ministry of Women Affairs.