From Oluseye Ojo, Ibadan
Kidnappers now wear school uniforms to abduct unsuspecting school children in Ibadan, the Oyo State capital, through free rides.
The state government said the warning became necessary following a security report on the new method adopted by kidnappers, wearing school uniforms similar to that of the children in their vehicle and they would offer to help unsuspecting school children to their schools.
The alarm was raised by the state government on Friday in a circular letter, with reference number: EDU 215 T18/166, issued from the Office of the Permanent Secretary, Oyo State Ministry of Education, Science and Technology. The circular letter was dated October 27 2021.
The circular, signed by the Permanent Secretary, Mrs. A. B. Atere, was entitled: “Need To Be Security Conscious And Reject Free Rides Offered By Strangers.”
The circular was addressed to the state chairmen of TESCOM, SUBEB, Executive Secretary (BOTAVED), zonal and local inspectors of education, all principals and headteachers of public and private schools, all private school owners and parents in the state.
The circular read in part: “I am to inform you that the Special Services Department (Office of the Executive Governor) has reliably informed the ministry of the new strategy of kidnappers in Ibadan Metropolis.
“According to the information, the kidnappers wear a similar uniform as the child(ren) in their car and offer to help unsuspecting school children to their school. Once the innocent children enter the vehicle, they zoom off to an unknown destination.
“Consequent upon the above, all stakeholders are enjoined to sensitize/warn their wards or children under their care on the need to be security conscious and reject free rides offered by strangers.”