***Paid N500 dowry
From Ali Galadima, Bauchi
Governor Mohammed Abdullahi Abubakar of Bauchi State has ordered the immediate closure of Sa’adu Zungur Secondary School, a mixed school for boys and girls for conducting mass wedding among themselves.
Sa’adu Zungur, a multi-billion naira secondary school, was constructed by former Governor Isa Yuguda with the aimed of boosting social behavioural change among youths.
He said “I received reports that some some senior students [boys and girls] conduct illegal marriages among themselves within the school which is unacceptable with our norms and values as a people”.
Our correspondent gathered that male students used to pay a token sum of N500 as dowry to their female counterparts as precondition for their marriages even as classmates of both the ‘grooms and brides’ contribute money to purchase snacks being consumed at the ceremonies.
Sources in the school revealed that although male and female students study in separate classes in the school, the attention of the teachers was drawn to such illegal marriages only last week when an SS 2 student [name withheld] organised an illegal wedding ceremony at a free classroom for himself and his lover, who was also a senior student where the teachers heard cheers and loud noise that indicated a celebration.
This, according to the sources, made the teachers to rush to the venue where the cheers emanated and discovered that a wedding ceremony was taking place between the two students.
Our correspondent gathered that the matter was then reported to the school’s principal, Malam Ahmed Zailani, who also consulted the state ministry of education on the appropriate action to be taken against the erring boys and girls , the development that led to the instant closure of both the primary and secondary sections of the school.
Commenting on the matter in a press statement issued by his Special Assistant on communication, Yakubu Adamu, the state Deputy Governor and Commissioner for Education, Engineer Nuhu Gidado, who attributed the children’s illegal marriages to the threats of moral decadence in the society said he had directed the immediate closure of the school on Friday, March 10, 2017, after being notified about the issue.
He added that a committee which comprises all directors in the state ministry of education, the school authority, teachers as well as the Parents and Teachers Association [PTA] was constituted and tasked to investigate the matter and come up with a detailed and sincere report before the school would be re-opened.