When the hand shake is getting to the elbow, there is likely to be a skeleton in the cupboard. The above analogy is premised on the punch reportage about tragic events that happened recently in the Federal Polytechnic Offa. A student that just gained admission into the polytechnic committed suicide and died. The reason behind this attempt could not be verified as no one knows what really went wrong with the deceased and the circumstances that triggered the suicide attempt. But unfortunately, the punch correspondent while filling the report, allegedly linked the reason behind the suicide mission to be an embarrassment from a lecturer.
Meanwhile, the official sources contacted from the institution stated firmly from their investigations that, no one knows the reason behind such gory action. According to the official sources reports culled from the punch:
1) “The Public Relations Officer of the polytechnic, Mr Olayinka Iroye, said he was aware of Ajiboye’s case, saying the management of the polytechnic took him to hospitals “but he eventually died.”
He said nobody knew why he decided to take his life while stating that the deceased was a brilliant student as shown by his academic records.
2) The Public Relations Officer, Students Union Government of the polytechnic, Olayinka Owolabi, when contacted by our correspondent on the telephone on Saturday, confirmed the incident but said nobody knew why the deceased killed himself.
From the above submissions by the official sources, one would admit with the fact that only God knows what triggered such action as it is becoming more rampant on different circumstances in Nigeria. If numbers of carry-over or withdrawal that do occur via poor academic performance does not trigger suicide, I have been wondering the kind of embarrassment that would have come from a lecturer to a student and warrant suicide mission. Let us face the reality, the reason that would make one to commits suicide is very deep and obscure than being embarrassed. No mountain nor hill of embarrassments can make students to commit suicide. Federal Polytechnic Offa lecturers does not imbibe the idea of embarrassing students not even because of ordinary handouts.
In a similar report on suicide by Punch, it was reported in the same story that another lady attempted suicide who was later rescued because she misplaced (#45,000) fourty five thousand naira handouts proceeds that belongs to a lecturer. At this juncture, a reasonable mind would give these suicide occurrences and the circumstances that triggered them a second thought that: could #45000 naira be the reason why someone would opted to commit suicide? Who told the punch correspondent that the lady attempted suicide because of #45,000 handouts proceeds? Did any of the official sources contacted reveal this to the punch or the punch is on the mission to paint the Federal Polytechnic Offa with unfavorable and tragic reportage.
I wonder why the punch didn’t fill their reports based on the facts given by the official sources only? I wonder why the punch alleged the reason for the suicide as a result of the embarrassment from the lecturer without naming the lecturer that embarrassed the deceased and his course to give concrete credibility to their report if not in an attempt to drag the institution into the mud.
Similarly, I had once stormed on a reportage from the punch about the suspected cultists that were paraded in their neighborhood and this same punch picked the report and linked it to the Federal Polytechnic Offa Students. Meanwhile, the suspected cultists were not bona-fide students; they had been rusticated from the school as the school does not give any tolerance for cultism, hooliganism, political movements and harassment.
Emphatically, I repeat my opening remark here that when hand-shake is getting to the elbow, there is likely to be a skeleton in the cupboard. I think it is high time the management of the Federal Polytechnic Offa ask the punch what they have bought on credit without paying because I could not remember the last time the punch reports good tidings about this great institution. The punch correspondent did not report when the students of the Federal Polytechnic Offa came first in a National Union of Campus Journalists quiz competition held at the University of Ilorin between the North Central and South West institutions. The punch correspondent that always report unverified tragic news about the Federal Polytechnic Offa has forgotten to report when this same institution ranked 8th best among the polytechnics in Nigeria and the punch could not verify that the ranking was based on quality performance by the staff and the students of the polytechnic. This same Federal Polytechnic Offa remains one of the most preferred institutions in Nigeria based on Jamb record. This is to tell that this polytechnic has grown higher beyond destruction of any kind.
I want to say kudos to the punch newspaper for discharging their responsibility as the watch dog of the society but I want the punch correspondents to stick to the general maxim of when you are in doubt, you keep out. I want to admonish reporters in media organizations to check, recheck and cross check facts from a reliable official sources. The Federal Polytechnic Offa is a peaceful institution in a peaceful environment and the proactive management of this great institution does not pray for any tragic occurrences at all, not to talk of being published by any media organization. The press is an agent of development and not destruction. No lecturer embarrassed the deceased as the reason behind this weird occurrence is best known to God. I pray to God to cease this kind of satanic influence in our Alma mata. May the gentle soul continue to rest in perfect peace.
Let all the alumni and the students of this Prestigious institution continue to share this and tell the punch that our lecturers are distinct, disciplined and reserved.
Busy Brain is a graduate of Mass Communication from the Federal Polytechnic Offa,the fastest growing polytechnic in Nigeria.
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