The House of Representatives has summoned the Ministers of Health and Education to appear before a joint Committee on Education and Health Services over the recent outbreak of an epidemic that has claimed the lives of three students with over a thousand students of the Queens College, Yaba lying sick in hospitals. The summon was extended to the Ministers alongside the School Principal at plenary on Thursday, April 11, 2017 following a motion of matters of urgent public importance moved by the Majority Leader, Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila, calling for an immediate intervention to check the health crisis in the institution.
He informed that the outset of the crisis allegedly started when students returned from their Christmas and New Year break. The Lawmaker traced the outbreak in the institution to unhygienic environment and contamination of the school’s water sources by pathogens. He said that medical evidence has shown that the three students died of diarrhea. While he called on the House to mourn the unfortunate demise of these young Nigerians, Hon. Gbajabiamila insisted that those responsible for the safety and wellbeing of these students should be interrogated and held to account.
He prayed the House to find out from the Ministers, what their respective ministries have done to contain the spread of the epidemic from claiming more innocent lives. He decried a purported letter authored by the Minister of Education threatening the dismissal of any student who dares to comment on the bad sanitation and unhygienic conditions to which the students were aversely exposed.
The Majority leader also revealed that well over the sum of N600, 000,000 was appropriated to the Queens College, Yaba in the 2016 budget, demanded to know how the money was spent, since the students could not even afford to drink clean water.
He urged that the school be shut down while those students writing their examination be relocated to temporary location until lasting solution is found. “Concerned that the current situation in Queens College calls for a state of public health emergency in the institution as young lives and future leaders have been lost carelessly with many more endangered; leaving parents in tears and sorrow as the benefits for sending their young daughters to school,” he lamented.
Meanwhile, the House after the Thursday’s plenary adjourned to resume sitting on Tuesday, April 25, 2017. The recess is in commemoration of the Easter festivities observed across the world by Christian faithful.