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18.03.2008 General News

‘I Give My Son To God’

By Daily Guide

The father of the final year Adisadel College student who jumped to his death last Sunday has reacted philosophically to the loss, describing it as God's will.

Mr. Abdul Rahman, a cashier with the Architectural Engineering Services Limited (AESL) Accra said he has given everything to God even though he had invested so much in the deceased's education.

“My child was a very brilliant boy and I would have wanted him to read medicine which he could have done. I feel the loss though,” the late Mustapha Gafaru's father said in an interview.

He stated that although his son is dead, he bears no grudge against the staff of the college, adding that violence cannot bring his son back to life.

Mr. Abdul Rahman kicked against the setting up of a committee of enquiry into the circumstances surrounding the sad incident, saying this would only prolong the issue. “Only the child knows what happened to him,” he said stoically.

DAILY GUIDE investigations following the incident show that there is widespread fear among students of a senior housemaster over his penchant for caning.

The late Mustapha Gafaru jumped from the fourth floor of a building at the school in a bid to avoid the menacing figure of Senior Housemaster, Joseph Birikorang Opare, who was fishing out boys dodging an extra-curricular function.

DAILY GUIDE has also learnt that Gafaru was not the only person who jumped from the storey building as two others performed similar feats from the first floor of the classroom structure with one sustaining injuries.

Gafaru was not lucky as his head hit the side of a gutter and he died instantly.

The senior housemaster whose approach to running his office is considered a reign of terror by the school has fled the premises since Sunday following the disaster for fear of being lynched by the irate students.

A cross-section of students who spoke to DAILY GUIDE expressed disgust at the manner in which the housemaster metes out punishment to defaulters.

One of them noted that “Mr. Opare can give you 50 lashes and when he thinks that you cannot take them at a go, he will deliver the caning instalmentally. We are not happy about his wicked attitude towards us.”

The students explained that Gafaru met his fatal fate at a time when Mr. Opare was caning some students on the first floor of the same building. The deceased's action was out of fear for what he was going to meet at the hands of Mr. Opare, they added.

When DAILY GUIDE visited the school yesterday, the headmaster, Mr. Herbert K. Graham explained that the school was having a function at the Assembly Hall when information reached him and other staff that some students were hiding in a new building at the school.

When the Senior Housemaster got to the building, which was locked at the time according to him, some of the students started shouting and Gafaru, scared of being possibly punished he added, jumped to his death.

The Minister of Education, Science and Sports, Prof Dominic Fobih joined the family and some members of the Muslim community in Cape Coast in paying their last respect to the deceased. The family has promised to inform the minister about a date for the final Islamic funeral for the late Gafaru.

From Sarah Afful, Cape Coast

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