Five-year-old student drowns during swimming lesson in Lagos

A five-year-old student from Redeemers Nursery and Primary School, Ogba, Lagos State, Chidera Eze, drowned during a swimming lesson organized by the school in the Ikeja area of ​​the state.

PUNCH Metro gathered that some school teachers and caregivers took Chidera and her colleagues for swimming lesson at Ivory Health Club, Ogundana Street, Ikeja.

During training, Chidera and his colleagues are said to have been playing by the pool when he slipped into it.

His father Anthony, in conversation with Our Correspondent on Wednesday, said teachers, caregivers and lifeguards were unaware his son had fallen into the pool until he drowned.

He said: ‘I dropped my children off at Redeemers Nursery and Primary School on Acme Road, Ogba on Monday morning and went to work. At 10.52 a.m. I received a call from their homeroom teacher, Mrs. Adeola Oladipo, and she told me that my son had been involved in an accident and had been rushed to the medical center in Ikeja.

“I rushed there, but what I saw was my son’s lifeless body. I asked the manager what happened and she said she didn’t know. I asked the doctor what had happened and he told me that he had been brought in dead. I asked teachers, caregivers and club workers what happened and they gave no explanation.

“While I was crying, my wife came in; I was trying to manage the information, but the manager informed her as well and as she rushed through the hospital, I became totally confused. I went to the F-area police station and after the policemen took pictures of my son’s corpse, we went to the club.

“When we arrived, we discovered that it was in the adult pool section that they were taking the students. I was alarmed and as the officers investigated we realized CCTV was installed at the club. So we asked to check the CCTV footage and that revealed it all.

Anthony claimed the footage revealed his son was in the pool for more than 30 minutes before he died, adding that his son’s body was discovered by another person who had come to swim in the pool.

He said: ‘In the footage we saw that the school brought in over 15 children, took them to the adult side of the pool and sat them at the tip with their legs in the water and without carrying of kits. We only saw one caregiver in the video and she was going in and out, leaving the children unattended.

“My son was at the end of the line when he slipped into the pool the first time, but he managed to get out of the pool. But the second time he slipped into the water, he couldn’t get out. All of this happened and none of the teachers, caregivers and rescuers noticed what was happening.

“My son was underwater for over 30 minutes and we were all screaming while watching the video. Another student also fell in the water, but her colleagues sounded the alarm and they pulled her out and for this time no one noticed that my son was in the water.

“My son died because of the carelessness of those people who were supposed to take care of him. I want justice to prevent this kind of thing from happening again. Caregivers, rescuers, school management and the Ivoire health club cannot go unpunished. My son’s body has been deposited in the morgue.

Calls for Oladipo to react went unanswered. She had yet to respond to a text message sent to her cellphone number at the time this report was filed.

Redeemed Christian Church of God spokesman Olaitan Olubiyi did not return his calls and had yet to respond to a text message sent to his mobile number as of press time.

State Police public relations officer Benjamin Hundeyin said some school and club staff were arrested.

“A thorough investigation into the circumstances that led to the boy’s drowning is ongoing,” he added.

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