• Pledges to reviews laws to address kidnapping
By Gboyega Akinsanmi
Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode, yesterday said the state government and security agencies “are working together to rescue the victims kidnapped in Lagos Senior and Junior Model College, Igbonla-Epe.”
Ambode also pledged that the state government would comprehensively review all its laws with a view to effectively curbing and punishing all perpetrators of kidnapping within the territory of Lagos State.
He made the pledge yesterday shortly after inspecting different ongoing projects across the state alongside some members of the State Executive Council and contractors handling the projects.
The kidnappers had last Thursday invaded the school premises at 8a.m. when students were having a special session at the hall and shot sporadically into the air before kidnapping the victims, which included a vice principal and head teacher.
Consequently, a joint military taskforce comprising the police, air force, navy and the army had launched manhunt to rescue students, principal and a teacher of Lagos State Model College, Igbonla-Epe.
At a session with journalists yesterday, Ambode promised that the state government in collaboration with security agencies would soon rescue victims, who were abducted at the school.
He said kidnappers, suspected militants and criminally minded persons often “seek refuge in such shanties close to the waterfront, from where they perpetrate their heinous crimes and then make use of the waterways to ferry their victims to another location, in most cases to another state.
“Most of the issues that we have with kidnappings are actually being brought up by those who are illegal settlers by the waterfront. We will commence demolition of all the shanties around the creeks in Lagos State and also around our waterways in the next seven days.
“I have given directives to that effect to the appropriate agencies. The safety of our children and all Lagosians is paramount to us. We will not allow a few set of people who come into Lagos and stay on our waterfront illegally and then use it as opportunity to kidnap our people.
“I also want to assure our people that government is seriously on the issue of the children and the teachers that were kidnapped in the Igbonla Model College and very soon, we will get the victims back.”
He expressed optimism that his administration would nip all acts of kidnapping in the bud, noting that he strongly believed that the era of abduction and kidnapping “has come to an end.”
He therefore said the state government “will commence a comprehensive review of our laws. I can tell you sincerely that we will deal with kidnappers squarely in Lagos from this moment onwards. We will review our laws and make sure that there is no room for kidnappers in this state.”