- Give govt 14-day ultimatum to secure their release
Parents of six students who were abducted penultimate Thursday at the Lagos State Model College, Igbonla, wednesday marched peacefully to the State House at Alausa wailing and shouting.
Soaked in tears and troubled at heart, the parents issued a 14-day ultimatum to the state Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode, to secure the release of all victims that were kidnapped at the college.
A team of gunmen numbering 15 had on May 26, 2017, invaded the Lagos State Model College at Igbonla and abducted six students, thereby sending panic among the parents and teachers in the college.
Aside the six students, the kidnappers had allegedly abducted two principals from the same college, one from the junior secondary school and the other from the senior secondary school.
After the incident fortnight ago, the kidnappers contacted the parents of the victims and demanded a ransom of N1 billion, though the demand had negotiated down to N100 million, which the parents said they could not afford.
But at the State House yesterday, the parents of the affected students disclosed that four of the kidnapped students were now ill based on the information they received from their abductors.
Aside from the students that had been ill, the parents disclosed that their abductors threatened not to negotiate with the parents henceforth or give opportunity to speak with their children any longer.
The parents, who were led in protest to the State House by Mr. Dapo Adesega, said the kidnappers insisted that they only wanted “to negotiate with the state government and not the parents of the students they kidnapped at the government college.”
During the protest, the parents were profusely weeping and grievously shouting, thereby calling on the state government “to do something urgently to secure the release of all victims kidnapped in the college.”
But a team of key state officials received the parents of the kidnapped students at the State House, assuring them that government would not relent in its effort to ensure the students regained their freedom.
The state officials comprised the state Commissioner for Local Government and Community Affairs, Mr. Muslim Folami; Special Adviser on Community and Communications, Mr. Kehinde Bamigbetan, and the Special Adviser on the Environment, Mr. Babatunde Hunpe, among others.
On behalf of the state government, the commissioner appealed to the parents to be calm, assuring them that the state government was doing all it could “to get the children released. The state government was embarrassed that such a thing could occur in its school.”
Folami added that the state government had been working round the clock to ensure the release of the children, noting that all victims of the incidents would regain their freedom very soon.
When asked how soon the students would be released, Folami said he could not tell, but that there was no way government could disclose certain intelligence at its disposal.
“Work is on-going. Very soon, your children will be released to you. We cannot give you intelligent report now,” he stated.
On his part, Bamigbetan said the state government knew the pains the parents were going through and that everything would be done to get the children released very soon, while appealing for calm.