•Parents fear sending children to school
By Christopher OJI and Henry Okonkwo
Militants who stormed Lagos Model Collage, Igbonla, Epe , Lagos, and abducted four students and two teachers have contacted the family members of the victims.
Armed men stormed the school Thursday at 7.45 am in two speed boats and abducted four school children, vice principal of the school and another teacher.
A family member of the victim who simply identified himself as Ola, told Saturday Sun that, “Really, we were in the school today to see the school management on the issue. Right in front of the management, one of us received a call from the kidnappers. The spokesman for the kidnappers assured us of the safety of the children. The kidnappers demanded for ransom, but warned that we must not reveal the amount to the public.
“We are human beings with flesh and blood. You don’t pressurise me to tell you the exact amount. Our children are involved. Well, what I will tell you is that they demanded millions of money. The good news is that, we spoke with our children. They are in good condition.
“Well, I am just an uncle to one of the children, but I am deeply involved as her parents are not in Lagos. I received the news with rude shock”
Another victim’s family member who spoke on the condition of anonymity said:” Around 2.30 am on Friday, my sister’s phone rang and the male caller instructed her to move away if she was with people. The man warned that whatever he was discussing with her must not be divulged to security agencies, as she would have herself to blame if anything happened to her child.
“The man demanded ransom, but warned that they must not see or hear the amount in the news. I am surprised that as we are talking, my sister has refused to tell me the amount, but I overheard her negotiating with the man and begging him to reduce the price tag. The man cut off the discussion after warning again that security agencies must not be involved” A resident, Dominic Abah told Saturday Sun that the hoodlums had done thorough surveillance on the school, “because, we have been seeing strange faces since two weeks. I can remember seeing three men behind the school on a certain day. They were pretending to be working on the fence. It was when one of the men approached my wife the following day, inquiring about the school that I started suspecting them. The other day, two men came again and were also asking about the school. They were asking how much was the school fees and whether the school was a good one. I asked them to go to the school office and do their findings. I told my wife about my fears, but she warned me not to involve myself in trouble.
Suspected militant had marched the victim through the bush path to the river and took them away in their boat.
The kidnappers escaped through Ogbere Rivers to Ogun State.
It was reliably gathered that the kidnappers abandoned two students, who were later rescued in the creek.
A student was quoted as telling investigators that the hoodlums came through the gate: “They met us during our morning prayers. They were armed with sophisticated weapons and when we saw them, we stated running in different locations. We later discovered that our teachers and four students were taken away.
We later heard that two of the students have been released”.
Meanwhile, residents of the community, said they were no longer keen in sending their children to school.
The kidnap incident in the sparsely populated agrarian community, allegedly carried out by militants has left the entire community in shock.
Although two students were later rescued by security operatives, the Lagos government has further assured the rescue of the other two students, promising that the kidnappers would soon be brought to justice. However these promises do not seem to restore the confidence of Igbonla residents, as many parents in the community have refused sending their children to school since after the unfortunate incident.
Some parents who spoke under anonymity told the reporter that, they no longer sleep with their two eyes closed since after the abduction.
However, security sources told Saturday Sun that the kidnappers have contacted the family and demanded N100 million ransom.