He was waiting for his 12th birthday on December
, 2021 with his school friends.
Sadly, his parents, siblings and loved ones marked his mourning in Warri, Delta State with portraits and memories.
Perhaps the opposite would have happened if the late Sylvester Oromo had not been a victim of bullying.
Before he moved on, he narrated in excruciating agony how some senior students of Dowen College in Lekki, Lagos, beat him because he refused to join the cult group.
Although the school denied the allegation, it instead reported that Sylvester, a late high school student, fell while playing soccer with friends. But fresh evidence of how older students at the college have long been allegedly involved in bullying has emerged with startling accounts from some of Downen’s former students of what they did to protect their siblings, particularly boys, from bullying.
One of them, who gave his name simply as Pat, told Saturday Vanguard that he resorted to a relationship with a Level 3 student in 2017 to save his brother, a borderline Level 2 student, from the horrors of bullying.
Pat, who graduated from the college in 2018, said: “The late Sylvester’s incident is not the first instance of bullying at Down University. It has been ongoing. I suspect he was taken to extremes. “I was forced into a relationship with one SSS 3 boy who was a bully in 2017. This was because he always picked on my brother who was in JSS 2.
He asked me outside when I was in SSS 1. I told him I thought about it. When he saw that I was not coming, he started teasing my brother, who had just entered. It got worse when he was in JSS 2. I had to surrender to save my brother from abuse.
I wasn’t the only one. Some girls in SSS 1 and SSS 2 passed the same.
To corroborate his claim, he called one of his former classmates studying law at the University of Benin, Edo State and jokingly asked him to share his experience of bullying at Dowen University. Without hesitation, the girl on the other end said, “God saved our brother, you know now.”
When asked to explain more to this reporter, the voice of the woman on the other end dropped in shock. He said, “You should have told me that a reporter was interviewing me. Do not reveal my identity to him. I repeat, you have no right to do that.
After much persuasion and a promise not to print his name, the student said: “Then I bought expensive cloths and perfumes for a particular pensioner. When he first caught my brother, who was in JSS 1, I couldn’t challenge him because the other seniors would gang up on me if I did. It was the norm. The second time he hit my brother’s head against the wall. It made him sick and he was in and out of the sick room for three days.
I plucked up the courage one afternoon and approached him. I asked him to stop harassing my brother because he was the only son of my parents. He said I had to get him some perfume before he would consider my request. i did And throughout SS 2, I bought her perfumes and shirts until she stopped.
The school never knew such things would happen. And woe to the one who went to report the bullying. It would be better for the child to drop out of school.
But when I got to SSS 3, I protected some young people from bullying. The strategy I used was to make them my school children.
“Victims of bullying could easily be recognized among their peers. They were usually withdrawn and live in fear. They jump at the slightest sound.
The school management and parents should pay attention to these and other signs,” he said.