The Nigerian Police say no fewer than 20 suspected kidnappers were killed in gun duels in efforts to rescue the six kidnapped students of the Lagos State Model College, Epe.
Lagos State Commissioner of Police, Mr Fatai Owoseni said this during a press conference on the arrival of the students in Lagos from Ondo State, where they regained their freedom on Friday.
Mr Owoseni said that the Police were ambushed on two occasions that led to the shootouts and that eight policemen suffered injuries while a civilian volunteer died in the process.
“The Police were able to prevent the kidnappers from taking the students beyond a particular radius which eventually resulted in the release of the students and some of the successes recorded by the Police could not be made public on newspaper pages while the operations lasted so as not to jeopardise the lives of the children in abductors den,” the Police commissioner said.
Commendation for Acting President
Meanwhile, the Ondo State Governor, Mr Oluwarotimi Akeredolu who accompanied the students to Lagos, alongside his Deputy- Mr Agboola Ajayi, commended efforts of the Acting President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo in ensuring the release of the schoolchildren.
In the words of Governor Akeredolu: “the Acting president played an uncommon role, he brought up the issue during NEC (National Executive Council) meeting in Abuja over a month ago, after that, he kept calling me to know the efforts being undertaken to free the children.”
The Ondo state Governor also eulogised his Deputy- Mr Agboola Ajayi and the Deputy Governor of Delta State for doing what he called ‘the yeoman’s job.’
“My Deputy is from the creeks, really, we never believed these children could ever be in the creeks of Ondo State, but I must commend my deputy for going the extra mile into the creeks, the Deputy Governor of Delta State also did a great job in this regard,” Governor Akeredolu added.
Lagos State’s commitment
He then commended the Lagos State Government for its efforts on security of lives and property which led to the recent resolution by the Southwest Governors to establish a joint task force on security in the sub-region.
Lagos State Deputy Governor, Dr Idiat Adebule who appreciated the roles played by the Ondo State Government, also reiterated the commitment of the State to security across schools in particular and the state in general.