Malam Tasi’u Maikano , the father of the deceased student, who resides in Kofar Bai in Katsina town has narrated the incident to our source.
According to Malam Tasi’u , he was called by one of the vice principals of the school on February 13th to come to the school because his daughter wasn’t feeling well.
He then arranged with some relatives and embarked on the 2-hour journey to the school. On getting there, he was informed that Fatima’s health condition worsened when she fell down after an evening bath. They said she may have been hit by evil spirits.
On seeing the state of health of his daughter, Maikano drove straight to Daura General Hospital which was less than 15 minutes from the school and shortly after they arrived at the hospital, the doctor on duty confirmed her dead.
Maikano called the vice principal to inform him of what had happened and took the long ride back to Katsina town to begin her funeral rights and burial the next day, February 14th. Four days after her burial, Maikano said he asked for his late daughter’s school bag and books. While going through them, he came across a diary which the students refer to as ‘slum book’ where they sometimes document their daily activities.
According Fatimah’s father , in the last page, the late Fatima had written in Hausa
“Allah Sarki ranar Alhamis munzo firef akaci miyi lilin muka yi malam Abu sikitu ya bugimu har ya fasni ko ma goshi banda lafia ina masassara da ciwon baya kamar na mutu” which translates in English as
“God is great. On Thursday at prep, we were asked to kneel down. Abu Sikiti beat us and I got wounded, I’m down with fever and my back aches like I’m dying.”
“When I came across this note, I became confused and called the vice principal and told him about it. When I didn’t hear from him after 15 minutes, I decided to go to the school with some of my relatives. He later called but I refused to pick it until we got to the school. On our way to the school, one of Fatima’s friends called me to find out how she was doing and I told her she’s dead. I heard her and the others burst into tears. I was shocked to learn that no one heard of her death.
The father said
“When we got to the school, I showed them what she recorded on her ‘slum book’ and the principal later arranged some students who came and narrated that Fatima came out of the toilet, collapsed and fell sick thereafter. However, one of her classmates later told the gathering how the math teacher flogged them for not doing their homework, and when it got to Fatima’s turn, she begged not to be flogged on her back but hands.”
“What annoyed me was the principal and the teacher’s move to cover up what really happened. My family is pained because of that. Another thing was the school authority not doing enough during her sickness. Records show she wasn’t even taken to the school’s dispensary or Fago Town hospital or to Daura for proper medical attention.”
“More painful was their inability to come and condole with us during the funeral. The vice principal came four days after on his way to Dutsinma while the principal sent a message that she will come next week. Even her friends were not told she’s dead.”
The family has of the deceased girl have reported the matter to the state Ministry of Education and the teacher and school authorities were summoned. The embattled teacher Suleiman during the meeting confirmed flogging all the students who did not do their home work.
“When I came to flog her, she told me that I can only flog her on her palms which I did. This is all I know.”
It was gathered that Suleiman, also known as Sikiti, was not a full-time teacher or casual staff but was engaged through a private arrangement by the principal of the school for a monthly stipend of N5,000.
Sources in the state’s Ministry of Education have been summoned while the said teacher has been queried for negligence.