The Lagos State House of Assembly through its Committee on Environment has commenced investigation into the remote cause of the gas emission that occurred at Ogba Junior Grammar School in Ikeja, Lagos State, western Nigeria in March, 2014.
When the incident occurred, it was confirmed that 13 students of the school inhaled the poisonous gas, collapsed and were rushed to the General Hospital in Ikeja, Lagos, where they received treatment.
The probe by the House was the result of a Matter of Urgent Public Importance brought before it by a representative of the area at the House, Lola Akande, concerning the plight of the children and the need to act fast on the issue.
As part of its probe into the incident, the Committee on the Environment, led by the Vice-Chairman, Adebimpe Akinsola, paid a visit to the school and were conducted round by the school principal, Mrs. Omokehinde Mogaji.
Mrs. Mogaji said the school was founded since 2008 but it only started experiencing the dangerous gas emission recently. She said the school had similar experience in October 2013 and two other incidents in March, 2014.
“It usually occurs on Thursday when the students return to their classrooms after break time,” she noted, while appealing to the state government to ensure that the shopping complex and other buildings around the school are properly checked.
Adebimpe told the school’s principal that the committee’s visit was to have first-hand information of the incident and come up with a solution with a view of preventing future occurrences.
The lawmaker assured the school that the state government would do everything possible to uncover the source of the poisonous gas so as to protect the students.
“We cannot afford to lose any student to any preventable occurrence like this emission. Our children are so important to us and it is the duty of the government to protect the life of our people,” she reiterated.
The committee also visited the office of the Lagos State Waste Management Authority, LAWMA, appealing to the latter for co-operation to find a lasting solution to the emission problem.
Ola Oresanya, Managing Director of LAWMA, promised to immediately clear the dirt behind the school which came from a nearby motor park.
He also advised that blood samples and saliva should be taken from the affected students for medical check while promising that relevant environment agencies would collaborate with the committee to unravel the mystery behind the emission.
Four months before the latest gas emission, 25 students of the same school had collapsed after inhaling the unidentified chemical waste which some people believed was discharged into a drainage by a photo laboratory situated in a shopping complex in the area.