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Tuesday, 1 August 2017

Interesting Details On How The 6 Abducted Lagos Schoolboys Regained Freedom From Ondo Creek (Must Read)

The Imure/Iji waterway stretches directly behind the fence of the Lagos State Model School, Igbonla-Epe,
providing an ‘easy getaway for kidnappers.’ (PHOTO: ALOLADE GANIYU).

After more than two months in the den of kidnappers, respite came the way of the six Lagos Secondary School students kidnapped by gunmen from their Lagos State Igbonla Model College in the Epe area of Lagos State, as they regained their freedom on Friday.

Parents, other family members of the school boys and government officials wee full of joy at the Lagos State Deputy Governor’s office, Alausa, Ikeja, Friday night when the freed school boys were handed over to the Lagos State government.

The handover was done by Ondo State Governor Rotimi Akeredolu with his deputy, Agboola Ajayi, who took delivery of the boys from the kidnappers in one of the creeks of Ondo State on Friday afternoon. The deputy governor of Lagos State, Idiat Oluranti Adebule received the students  on behalf of Governor Akinwumi Ambode.

The students were rescued at Aboto Creek, Ilaje Local Government Area of Ondo State, at about 3.30p.m on Friday.

The students are: Pelumi Philips, Farouq Yusuf, Isiaq Rahmon, Adebayo George, Judah Agbausi and Peter Jonah.

It was gathered that the release of the six students followed the intervention of the Ondo state government who the abductors contacted vowing not to release the children to any other state government in the south west except the Ondo State government.

The state government, however, mandated the state deputy governor, Agboola Ajayi, who hailed from a riverine local government where the boys were, to ensure the freedom of the school children.

According to an official of the state government who spoke with Saturday Tribune on condition of anonymity, the Ondo state government has been negotiating the release of the students in the last ten days.

He said the abductors vowed not to release the students to Lagos state government and disclosed that the Delta state government also tried to secure the release of the students but to no avail. 
the students

He,  however, said the militants in the early hours of Friday released the six students to the deputy governor of Ondo State, between Ajakpa community and Igbonla in the state.

He said the students disclosed that they had been living comfortably with their abductors in the last 64 days saying they were being fed with bread and sardines .
Another source close to the Ondo State government told the Saturday Tribune on phone that no ransom was paid to secure the boys’ release.

“We went to pick them, the kidnappers insisted that they were not handing them over to anybody, they are from Ondo state and they are handing them over to Ondo State.

“The truth of the matter is that we have been in touch with them for 10 days, but nothing was given to them. The only thing they asked for was fuel money and we said we didn’t have fuel money. Then they said buy bread, not like they were hungry but we decided to just buy bread and sardine like 10 or 15 pieces. When we got there, we spoke to them, we are lucky and we are very happy.

“The boys were handed over right in the creek between Ajakpa and Igbonla,” he said.
The Ondo State government in a statement, commended the Acting President, the governments of Lagos, Ondo, Ogun, Delta states over the release of the six kidnapped students.

In a press statement signed by the Chief Press Secretary to the governor, Segun Ajiboye, the state government said the release of the  six students was as a result of the determined and conscientious  efforts of the security agencies, including the Police, SSS and the Military across the country.

He said “In the last few days, the deputy governors of Ondo and Delta states have worked tirelessly to ensure that the students were released.”

He said the students would be handed over to the deputy governor of Lagos State for further actions. “We thank Nigerians for their prayers, and charge security agencies to remain committed  to their responsibility of ensuring the safety of the citizens.”

However the released students were taken to the Lagos by the state official where they are expected to join a flight to Abuja, to meet with the Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osibajo who mandated the security agents to secure the release of the students within the shortest time. The gunmen stormed the school on 25 May, 2017 and abducted the students.

A security source said "the boys were apparently brought to Ondo State Friday morning, adding that the water ways had to be cleared of all the gun boats so that the boys would have access to travel. They are also apparently tired of staying in those creeks in Lagos and Ogun, they wanted to come back home but how do they come back? With these children they saw an opportunity. They used them as human shield to go back home,” the source said.

Meanwhile, the Lagos State Government on Friday expressed excitement over the release of the six students commending the efforts of “security agencies who worked tirelessly to ensure the safe release and return of the students.”

In a press statement, the State’s Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Mr. Steve Ayorinde congratulated the parents of the students and all concerned stakeholders over the development, just as he said the students would undergo series of medical tests and trauma therapy before they are reunited with their families.

“This is a welcome development and the State Government has always believed that the students would be released unhurt. The news of their release is therefore a confirmation of that belief and we are glad that they would be reuniting with their families,” Ayorinde said.

He said the State Government remains resolute in its commitment to ensure the safety of lives and property of residents in the State and has already beefed up security in schools to prevent a re-occurrence.

“It is on record that the Governor Akinwunmi Ambode-led administration has invested massively on equipment and welfare of security personnel so as to ensure that the State remains safe for residents and investors.

“This Government has already taken giant steps to secure all our schools especially those in the suburbs and riverine areas and we are confident that the steps taken so far will go a long way in nipping a repeat of such in the bud,” Ayorinde said.

Source: The Tribune 

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