By Kayode Fasua
Anxiety has gripped the ancient town of Abeokuta, the capital of Ogun State, following the alleged mysterious disappearance of five children from the Stella Obasanjo Motherless Babies Home in the capital city
The children, whose sexes and names could not be obtained at press time, had reportedly disappeared since last Thursday, but the information was kept under wraps in the hope that they could be found, THISDAY investigations revealed.
However, the state government, while reacting to the incident, said its attention was drawn to “an incident concerning five children that allegedly escaped from the Stella Obasanjo Motherless Children’s Home in Abeokuta.”
The state-owned motherless babies’ home, named after the late wife of former President, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, is located in Ibara Housing Estate, a fortified enclosure in Abeokuta.
A statement issued yesterday by the state Commissioner for Information, Alhaji Waheed Odusile, said the state government reported the incident to the police last Friday, noting that the children “escaped” on Thursday night.
“It is also noteworthy that the children do not have free access to go out of the premises, as there is no such thoroughfare. They are strictly monitored.
“So it was shocking and most surprising that they found their way out of the premises,” he stressed.
Odusile added that the state government had taken steps to bring the children back into the Home, “as the matter was promptly reported to the police, and all those on duty on the night of the incident were promptly queried.”
Stating further, the commissioner explained that the state government was on top of the situation, as the department in charge of the Home had also reported the matter to the police.
“The government has also sent signals to all required quarters in order to establish the truth behind the saga,” he said.
Odusile remarked that the administration led by Governor Dapo Abiodun would not in any way condone any injustice, especially when it concerns the welfare of children in Ogun State.
According to him, “We are very much in touch with all the agencies of the government concerned.
“We are conducting our own investigations to establish the facts. We want the public to be rest assured that we shall leave no stone unturned to unravel the truth.
“The authorities concerned were duly notified and the police were informed.
“We did not just report the case to the police; we went a step further to issue queries to everyone on duty that night.”
When contacted on phone, however, the state Police Public Relationship Officer (PPRO), Mr. Abimbola Oyeyemi, told THISDAY that he was not aware of the incident.
Oyeyemi, a Deputy Superintendent of Police, said: “How did they disappear, what actually happened? I’m not yet aware of the matter.”