Reactions trail release of kidnapped students


Authorities insist no ransom was paid

By Ada Anioji


Expressions of joy and relief are part of the reactions that have continued to greet the release Friday of six students of the Government Model Secondary School, Igbonla, Epe who had been kidnapped from their school and held in undisclosed locations for the better part of 65 days.

The affected children were released in Ajakpa Community in Ese-Odo Local Government Area of Ondo State and have now been taken in by the Ondo State Police Command and the Ondo State Government.

Following on that, the boys are presently on their way to Lagos as confirmed from an update on the twitter handle of the rapid Response Squad of the Lagos State Police Command:

11m11 minutes ago

 Kidnapped Igbonla Model College students who were today released in Ondo State are currently on their way to Lagos.’

All male, the affected students are Peter Jonah, Isiaq Rahmon, Adebayo George, Judah Agbausi, Pelumi Philips and Farouq Yusuf, and had been abducted precisely on Thursday, May 25, 2017, by some gunmen from their school premises in Epe, Lagos.

Says Betty Abah of the child rights advocacy, CEE-Hope on the development which her organisation has been at the forefront of sustaining public support for: ‘The feeling is indescribable! I can only imagine the feeling of their parents, after the entire ordeal. But ideally, it shouldn’t have taken this long. The lukewarm, indifferent, cold and utterly brutal approach of the Lagos State government to their entire saga is, to say the least, scandalous. This should never have happened given that the school had pre-notice of the strike. This should never have happened if there was adequate protection for the school children given that another abduction had happened in the same school just last October. This should indeed be the last of such occurrences.’

Underscoring the fact that a lot more work is required to prime the nation’s security forces to be in a better position to address the growing menace, the authorities are insisting that no ransom was paid to secure the release of the affected students. However, sources close to the parents had disclosed in public media interviews that as much as N31million had been demanded and handed over to the kidnappers in different installments.



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