The parents of Whitney Adeniran, a 12-year-old student of Chrisland High School, Lagos have insisted that the lack of an ambulance or first aiders at the venue of the inter-house sports contributed to their daughter’s death. Following the unfortunate death of Whitney Adeniran, during the school’s inter-house sports event on Thursday, the deceased’s parents have accused the school management of negligence.
The father, Michael Adeniran, and his wife, identified simply as Mrs Adeniran, took to social media at the weekend to seek public intervention to unravel the circumstances that may have led to their daughter’s sudden death while taking part in the sporting events. They said the event was held at the Agege Stadium in Lagos, and that the student who was hale and hearty before leaving home on the sad day was reported dead by the management.
But the school management has denied any wrongdoing, saying its officials took appropriate steps to save the deceased when she “slumped” at the stadium. In a video posted on social media, Mrs Adeniran, who narrated how her daughter prepared for the event of the day, claimed that the school took the deceased to an “immunization centre” instead of a hospital.
According to her, from the time the 12-year-old fell to the moment she was pronounced dead, was about 10 minutes. The parents accused the school of negligence, insisting that the lack of an ambulance or first aiders at the venue of the sporting events contributed to the student’s death. Mrs Adeniran said she was at the stadium to cheer her daughter but could not locate her among the participating students and that no one informed her until the deceased was taken out of the stadium in a school bus.
Narrating the development in a video that was shared on Instagram, Mrs Adeniran said; “I went in there and saw some students and I asked a boy there and told him I was looking for Whitney Adeniran and the boy said a girl just fainted here but the school bus has taken her to the hospital. The boy said he heard the officials shouting Whitney, Whitney, to revive the fallen girl. I then brought out my phone and I showed the boy her picture and he confirmed she was the one that fainted.”
She said there was neither an ambulance nor medical officials at the venue of the event. “There was no emergency provision on ground in a place where you have over 500 students, in a place where you have over a hundred parents.” Meanwhile, Mrs Adeniran said when she met the school principal, she was told the student was taken to Agege Central Hospital, but that she couldn’t find any hospital with such a name on Google map.
She added; “When we couldn’t locate the place, I told the driver that we should go to Agege Central Mosque, maybe when we get there someone would be able to help us and show us where the hospital is.
“Fortunately, on our way there, before we got to the central mosque, we saw their school bus by the side of the road, we automatically knew that was where she was. I rushed in, I saw the woman, the staff that went with her. I asked ‘where is my child? What happened? Why did she faint?’ She told me ‘I don’t know, she is in there.
“I went in there and I saw my daughter’s corpse. I met my daughter on her deathbed. She was already dead when I got there. All this happened in less than 10 minutes. She was drenched, soaked to the skin, water was dripping,” she concluded.
She said by the time she saw the deceased, her lips had already become dark and her tongue, too. Mrs Adeniran insists the school needs to tell her what happened to her daughter and why she slumped, dismissing the narration that her child slumped.
“All this your story of ‘she slumped’ is a lie. I no gree,” she said. “I have already bought a casket, but can Chrisland school tell me why a child that was hale and hearty and went to their care came back to me dead,” she added.
In a statement signed by the Chairman of the school’s Advisory Board, Ike Ofuokwu, the 12-year-old deceased “slumped in public view and not under any hidden circumstances. According to his words; “Our immediate response was to take advantage of proximity by identifying the nearest medical facility to take her to, where the doctor on duty administered oxygen and every aid possible on her,” Mr Ofuokwu stated.
According to the statement, the student opted not to participate in the inter-house sports match past “for reasons we were not very sure about.”The statement further noted; “However, on discretion, we respected her decision to err on the side of caution because, on the 20th of January, it is in our records that she complained about health issue and we immediately contacted her parents.
“Even as her family made funeral plans for an immediate burial, we differed politely and reiterated the need to establish a scientific verification of the underlying cause of death as mandatorily required in circumstances like this. We immediately notified regulatory stakeholders and agencies to allow for a comprehensive evaluation and assessment of the developments.
“In spite of the compelling imperatives to fill any information gaps in public space, we stopped short of making any media sensation out of this because the deceased in question was a minor and deserving of our unqualified respect. We also prioritized respect to the privacy of the family and we are with them consistently to mourn together.”
One of the school officials who spoke to Journalists on condition of anonymity said the management awaits the autopsy reports on the deceased and that as a sign of respect to the departed “beloved student” it would desist from “sensationalizing” the unfortunate development.
In April 2022, Lagos State Government closed the school temporarily following allegations of sexual violation of a minor during an international trip to Dubai. The students were in Dubai, United Arab Emirates to take part in the World School Games, with schools from all over the world, when the violation occurred. Also, in 2018 a court convicted a teacher of the school, Mr Adegboyega Adenekan, of raping a two-year-old pupil. Mr Adenekan was sentenced to 60 years in prison, and an appeal of the judgment was dismissed in 2020.
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