Following the stepping down of the founder of Dowen College, Lagos, Dr. Olumide Phillips, among other board members, a key stakeholder of the school has revealed the reason for the development.
In a statement signed Thursday, January 27, 2022, by Tomi Borisade on behalf of the school, “The founding members of the Board of Governors including the Founder and Chairman of the Board, Dr. Olumide Phillips, who have worked tirelessly over the years to develop outstanding children both in and out of the school, have chosen to retire and pass the baton of change to a new generation of seasoned professionals who will run with the vision, leadership passion, commitment and values they have worked rigorously to establish.
“This will also enhance communication and effectiveness with the Parents Teachers Forum. Their good works cannot be allowed to go in vain and they are keen to ensure that.”
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Reacting, a competent source in the school, who pleaded anonymity, told Quest Times the decision was taken “to restructure the governance system of the school.”
“Every organisation when in crisis will want to fix one or two things in their governance system, and doing this doesn’t give room for any form of complicity.
“And of these is the fact that, people have accused the school (Dowen College) that most of their board members were not doing enough in terms of oversight function.
“The founder is over 70 who is also the chairman of the board, and you might not just know that this is not the only business he has. He might not just be able to put the best of his attention on some of these oversight functions.
“Much more, what I will say is that, when you pass through crisis at times, you don’t hold ladies and gentlemen responsible but the people vested with the governance which is the board of directors and management, and the best way is to tell them to step aside, because one of the things that is glaring in the whole saga is that you weren’t convinced by the news in the public definitely as parents being the fact that we all have children, there as an inner circle of the school and the things on social media are not just perfect.
“But, what is glaring to us as an inner circle of the school is that the crisis management process and the contingency plan was not managed well by the school. We believe that Dowen as a multi-billionaire revenue institution should be able to manage the crisis procedure better which boils down to their governance that they are trying to fix now,” the source disclosed.
How it started
The school was shut down last December following the protests and outcry that greeted the death of Sylvester Oromoni and when the government wanted to reopen it early this year, it changed the decision at the last minute.
Sylvester died of complications as a result of injuries sustained from an attack purportedly by a group of five senior students, for allegedly refusing to join a cult group in the school.
Following this, the Lagos State Government earlier shut down Dowen College indefinitely until the completion of investigations by the police.
However, some suspects accused of complicity in the death of the 12-year-old were later released by the Lagos State Government after autopsy results carried out by a consultant pathologist at the the Central Hospital Warri revealed Sylvester died of “acute lung injury due to chemical intoxication in a background of blunt force trauma”.
The suspects included five students and five employees of the school.
As it stands, the school is currently waiting for an order from the Lagos State Government before announcing a date for resumption.