Friday, July 28, 2017 10:11 pm
The release of the six Senior Secondary School Students of Lagos State Model College, Igbonla, Epe, who were abducted on May 25, 2017 on Friday was made possible through collaborative efforts of the Lagos, Ondo, Delta state governments, Department of State Services and the police.
The students Pelumi Philips, Farouq Yusuf, Isiaq Rahmon, Adebayo George, Judah Agbausi and Peter Jonah were released to Ondo government delegation in Ajakpa Community in Ese Odo Local Government Area of the state.
NAN reports that the government delegation was led to the creek by the Deputy Governor, Mr Agboola Ajayi.
“The kidnappers vowed not to release the kids to any other state than Ondo.
This prompted Gov. Oluwarotimi Akeredolu to direct his deputy to secure their release, and they were released to the deputy governor this afternoon.
A very reliable source close to the Inspector-General of Police’s Intelligence Respond team confirmed that the students were rescued from Aboto Creek, Ilaje Local Government Area of Ondo State, at about 3.30p.m on Friday.
“Earlier today, the militants released the students to the deputy governor between Ajakpa and Igbonla creek. The children said they were not maltreated by their abductors,” the source said.
It was gathered that when the kidnappers established contact with the parents, a ransom of N400m was demanded but it was later reduced to N100 million, following the inability of their parents to meet with the demand.
The kidnappers were said to have advised the parents to reach out to others, including mounting pressure on the Lagos State Government to raise the money.
The Lagos State Government on Friday expressed delight over the release of the six students .
The state’s Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Mr Steve Ayorinde, in a statement, congratulated the parents of the students and all concerned stakeholders over the development.
Ayorinde said the students would undergo series of medical tests and trauma therapy before being reunited with their families.
“This is a welcome development and the State Government has always believed that the students will be released unhurt.
“The news of their release is therefore a confirmation of that belief and we are glad that they will be reuniting with their families,” Ayorinde said.
He said the State Government remained resolute in its commitment to ensure the safety of lives and property of residents in the state and had already beefed up security in schools to prevent a re-occurrence.
“It is on record that the Gov. 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.
The Commissioner also quoted the governor as commending the efforts of security agencies who worked tirelessly to ensure the safe release and return of the students.