The Lagos State Governor, Mr Akinwunmi Ambode says government will spare no effort to ensure the safe release of the three female students of Babington Macaulay Junior Seminary School in Ikorodu area of the state, who were kidnapped by a group of armed gang on Monday evening.
The Governor in a statement signed by the Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Mr Steve Ayorinde, condemned the unfortunate incident, just as he assured that the Police and other security operatives have swung into action, with useful leads and with an unwavering determination to track down the perpetrators of the act and ensure the
safe return of the girls.
“We have not been silent on this unfortunate development. In a delicate security matter of this nature, where young innocent people are involved and management of information demands utmost circumspect. We were convinced that swift and coordinated reaction, guided by intelligence reports on the part of the Police, was a better and more sensitive approach to take, rather than a sensational, panic-stricken reaction,” Governor Ambode said.
He said the State Commissioner of Police, Mr Fatai Owoseni as well as the Assistant Inspector General of Police for the Lagos/Ogun Command were fully on ground at the scene and vicinity of the incident leading the entire coordinated effort involving every military apparatus.
Governor Ambode stated that the incident might not be unconnected with his recent visit to some parts of Ikorodu where he read the riot act to vandals and criminal gangs on the resolve of the state government to take the battle to their hideouts in a spirited effort to secure the pipelines.
“We believe this is a case of evil fighting back. But Lagos will neither succumb to threats of lawlessness nor bow to terror. Ourresolve is very clear; we will assist the Police and other security agencies in dealing decisively with this one unfortunate case and prevent future re occurrence. We will deploy the resources at our disposal to safeguard every life and property within our care,” he
He also commended the gallantry of the students of the school who put up a courageous resistance to prevent the abduction of their mates, just as he praised the mature and measured response of the school management in the wake of the incident.
“The state government is with you in bringing this unfortunate episode to a quick resolution. I wish to appeal for calm and support of every ‘Lagosian.’ I urge them to be vigilant and helpful to the security operatives in this onerous task to rid the state of every form of criminality, cultism and terrorism,” the Governor explained.
Meanwhile, the Deputy Governor Dr Oluranti Adebule paid a visit to the school as she assured that the government was working to get the students back. Dr Adebule, who was accompanied by top government functionaries and the heads of security agencies in the state, said as a mother and Commissioner of the Ministry of Education, she could imagine the pains the parents are going through as a result of the unfortunate development, but that government would leave no stone unturned until the three girls are rescued alive.
She said the state government was very much concerned about the plight of the affected parents and the school, and that it working hard in conjunction with security agencies to promptly reunite the children with their families.
Deputy Governor’s appeal
the deputy governor also appealed passionately to the kidnappers to release the girls immediately, as the victims were innocent of whatever reasons that prompted their action.
“For the abductors, I just want to appeal to them that they should see that the people with them are children who do not know anything and in the spirit of that and the fact that they also have their children, they should release the children to their parents. We appeal to their conscience that whatever reasons they might have for doing this, the children are innocent and we passionately appeal to them to release the children,” she reiterated.
Earlier, Proprietor of the School and Bishop of Remo Diocese of Anglican Church of Nigeria, Dr Michael Fape commended the state government for the quick response to the distress call made on the kidnap, saying the action of government and the security agencies were encouraging and assuring that the girls would soon be rescued.
“We can’t thank you enough. We are sure these girls will be rescued and of course the way the Lagos State Government responded to the task of rescuing these girls also gives us a lot of encouragement,” Dr Fape said.
Also, the Principal of the school, Venerable Olaoluwa Adeyemi told the Deputy Governor and her team that the kidnappers gained access to the school premises through a deep hole they affected on the fence of the school.
Venerable Adeyemi explained that the security operatives in the school tried to combat them but the weapons the kidnappers came with were very heavy.
“They went into the classrooms; the students in fact put up a good fight but the kidnappers overpowered just about three students and whisked them away. We have contacted their parents and tried to discuss with them and other security information are with the security agents,” he narrated.