What Killed Sylvester Oromoni?

Nigeria is a country of social media outrage. Sylvester Oromoni was a student of Dowen College.A co-education college in Lekki, Lagos.

His cousin, Mr. Perry broke the news of his painful death via his verified Twitter which triggered sad feelings from Nigerians.

Mr. Perry, in his emotion ladened tweet alleged that late Sylvester died as a result of the dehumanising treatment in the hands of his colleagues.

According to him, they tried to initiate him into their cult group, but he declined. And they pounced on him, the way Lions pounced on their preys.

Nigerians have been sending condolence messages to the family since the news broke.

A #JusticeForSylvester hashtag is trending on Twitter and celebrities are lending their voices.

They will continue with the outrage on social media until another major event happen. And it will overshadow the death of this promising, young boy. Only the parents and few relations will be left to mourn and seek for justice.

However,the Lagos state government have shutdown the school indefinitely pending the outcome of Police investigation.

Babajide’s swift response is commendable. The Police have surrounded the school environment to scare irate Nigerians away.

The school management in their official statement debunked the claim of Mr. Perry,said that Sylvester died as a result of the degrading treatment in the hands of his colleagues. That Dowen College is not known for cultism and school violence. That they have trained 4 of Sylvester’s siblings and they were never subjected to degrading, inhumane treatment… That their students are highly disciplined.

They said Sylvester died as a result of injuries he sustained playing football with his colleagues.

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Mr. Perry pooh-poohed their defence by posting the video of Sylvester in a vegetative state. He could barely move his left hand and feet… And was bleeding from the mouth.

Nigerians that watched the video are wondering how a young boy could sustain such injuries playing football. Even professional footballers will strain credulity.

Mr. Perry said the deceased mentioned the names of his oppressors before he kicked the bucket. Some are wondering how the court will find them guilty when there is no video of him mentioning their names and he is not alive to substantiate his claim. But, the family can rely on section 40 (1) of the Evidence Act in their quest for justice…

Under section 40 (1) of the evidence Act, “a statement made by a person as to the cause of his or her death or as to any of the circumstances which resulted in his or her death is admissible as evidence of cause of death”.

Sylvester’s death have triggered bitter-sweet memories of Nigerians that went to boarding schools.

Nostalgia is a powerful thing. It makes one to remember past events with longing/loathing.

Nigerians are writing epistles of their sad experience in the hands of their seniors/guardians in boarding schools. Some are true. Some are fiction to get likes and comments. In Nigeria, everyone want to be a social media influencer.

Some are already using the hashtag to post their half naked pictures…In the mad rush to become social media influencer, Nigerians have thrown caution to the wind.

Sylvester is part of us. He was with us until the unthinkable happened. He is not the first victim of school violence. A Deeper Life High school student, Don-Davies was sexually molested last year by her colleagues. The case is still in court.

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The general notion is that, school violence is synonymous with public schools. We were made to believe that only government schools are breeding grounds for crime and criminality. Recent happenings have proved that, no school, whether private or public have the monopoly of violence.

I am not particularly happy with the outrage on social media. It’s a sign of failure on the part of those who are saddled with the responsibility to maintain law and order. In sane climes, citizens don’t have to put pressure on the powers that be to do the needful.

Mr. Perry and the parents ought to have approached the relevant government agencies and report this matter before putting it out on social media. But, the lack of trust in the administration of criminal justice system have give rooms for jungle justice and social media speculations.

Sylvester’s parents and the school management are trading words on social media. While the school continue to maintain their position that he sustained the injuries on the school’s football field, the father in his press statement insists Sylvester told him he was beaten by his colleagues and fed a poisonous substance.

Nigerians don’t know who to believe. Who killed Sylvester? What killed him? A simple autopsy test will provide answers to these mind-boggling questions and save mother country of this cacophony of voices.

Sylvester would have been 12 years old today. Happy Posthumous Birthday, Sylvester Oromoni.

Greet Professor Chukwuemeka Ike, the famous author of “Our Children Are Coming” for me. Tell him that, few of our children that came are being murdered in their homes and schools. That mother country have become senile, she can no longer protect her children…

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