- Says victims already reunited with their families
Gboyega Akinsanmi and Chiemelie Ezeobi
The Lagos State Government wednesday said suspected militants from the Niger Delta were behind the abduction of four pupils and teachers, who were whisked away from their school, Lagos Model College (Senior and Junior), Igbonla, Epe on October 6.
The state government, however, said the victims, comprising two pupils, vice-principal and head teacher had already gone through medical checkup and safely reunited with their families.”
The Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Mr. Steve Ayorinde, said this in a statement he issued yesterday, saying the state government would spare nothing until the state “is rid of criminal elements.”
After the victims were released on Tuesday, Ayorinde reiterated the resolve of the state government “to protect lives and property. The children have undergone medical check-up after which they were reunited with their families.
“The children are doing well. Also, they have gone through medical checkup. Already, they have been safely reunited with their families after they were released and undergone medical checkup.”
Ayorinde said the state government “welcomed the release of the school pupils, vice-principal and head teacher of Igbonla Model College, Epe. The victims were kidnapped by suspected Ijaw militants on October 6.”
The commissioner urged residents to be more vigilant, security conscious and report all suspected persons and objects seen within their neighbourhood to the appropriate security agencies.
“The determination of the government to ensure 24-hour security of the state is evident in the huge investment in the equipment and welfare of security agencies, especially the police,” he explained.
He said the state government “has taken adequate steps to stem the tide of kidnapping in the state, in line with the directive of the state governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode, plans have been concluded to commence the demolition of illegal structures erected across the state waterfronts and creeks. “Often times, the incidence of kidnapping are perpetrated through the waterways and as such, these illegal structures provide a leeway for these criminal elements to plan and execute their nefarious activities.
“This step, we believe, will go a long way to address this menace. The state government has also begun steps to boost community policing with the recent announcement by the governor that at least 5,000 neighbourhood watchers will soon be recruited to improve surveillance across the state, especially at the rural areas.”
Meanwhile, following the release of the two kidnapped students of Government Model College, Igbonla, Epe, their vice principal and teacher, late Tuesday night by their abductors, THISDAY yesterday gathered that they were not assaulted or molested in any way.
Although one of the students was a female, she was also not assaulted by the gang, rather, her ill health facilitated their early release from captivity.