52 Days after, Igbonla Boys Still in Captivity as Classmates Graduate


Chiemelie Ezeobi

The whereabouts of the six abducted male students of Igbonla Government College, Epe area of Lagos have continued to remain unknown 52 days after they were kidnapped from their school premises by some unknown gunmen.

The boys- Peter Jonah, Isiaq Rahmon, Adebayo George, Judah Agbausi, Pelumi Philips and Farouq Yusuf, were abducted on May 24, 2017 and although the kidnappers initially communicated with their parents, that has since stopped.

After the police arrested three members of their gang in June, the kidnappers cut off communication with the parents despite the fact that they have already paid N10million out of the N50million ransom they asked for.

Their continued disappearance, which appears forgotten by both the government and security agencies, however still remains fresh in the minds of their parents and some concerned Nigerians.

The boys’ case was again brought to the front burner as their classmates rounded off the school session and graduated to another class thursday.

On their part, the ‘Free six Igbonla boys,’ the group championing the cause for the release of the boys, said they are hoping against hope that the boys are rescued safe and alive.

They said: “Seen or spoken to your children today? Know where your kids are? The parents of Peter Jonah, Isiaq Rahmon, Adebayo George, Judah Agbausi, Pelumi Philips and Farouq Yusuf wish they were like you.

“They have not seen or heard from their children! Not because they are in boarding school but because they were kidnapped from the school where their parents sent them to learn.

“We call on the Lagos State Government, the Nigerian Police and everyone responsible for bringing these kids back to work harder to ensure their release!

“We enjoin the media houses to talk more about this and we implore the general public to keep praying for their safe release. We refuse to have another #BringBackOurGirls situation.”

Also, renowned activist, Betty Abbah took to Twitter thursday to remind the state government of the need to rescue the boys.

Throwing the question to the Lagos State Governor, Akinwunmi Ambode, she said: “About 50 days in captivity and our six school boys are not yet back. What could be more important than these boys’ lives, @AkinwunmiAmbode?

“How do we sleep and wake and ‘move on’, when six young, innocent boys of Igbonla College, Lagos remain in captivity over 50 days?

“We are doing it for #ChibokGirls. Let’s not be silent on the six Igbonla School boys. #BringBackIgbonlaSchoolBoys.
“Their mothers are wailing and waiting. Has anyone seen the six kidnapped students of Lagos State Model College, Igbonla? #FreeIgbonla6.”

While reinforcing the call for the boys to be released, Mr. Taiwo Akinlami, an advocate for safer schools, said the issue has gone beyond Igbonla abduction.

According to him, given the incessant abduction of students from schools across Lagos, the focus should be more on providing a safer school environment not just for the students, but for the staff as well.

Another chief campaigner for the cause, life coach, Praise Fowowe, said: “It’s 6p.m. in Lagos and prize giving day in many schools yet our #Free6lagosboys couldn’t partake in the excitement.”

Also, Yinka Ogunnubi said: “Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves and for the rights of all those who are destitute. #Free6IgbonlaBoys.”