Tension as kidnappers threaten fresh abduction in Lagos school

One month after kidnappers abducted six students from Lagos State Model College, Igbonla, Epe, the suspects have threatened to carry out yet another attack at the Lagos State Model College, Kankon, Badagry.

In a letter written to the school in Badagry, the suspects claimed responsibility for the Epe incident and vowed to kidnap six students and the principals of both the junior and senior secondary schools.

“Kidnappers are visiting the school the same way we did at Igbonla, Epe. We are going to capture three pupils from senior school and three from junior school,” read the letter posted on the corridors leading to the offices of the principals of the junior and senior sections of the college respectively.

“We are kidnapping both principals. We are coming in two days’ time. No security put in place will stop us from gaining entry and fulfilling our mission as stated in this letter. Be expecting us!”

Although Fatai Owoseni, Lagos state commissioner of police, described the letter as “empty threats”, parents have expressed concern, with some withdrawing their children from the school.

The state government has also deployed officials of the Lagos state Neighbourhood Safety Corps in the school to beef up security.

The principal of the junior school, simply identified as Olude, told PUNCH that some parents came to the school to pick their children.

“It is just about six parents that came and we told them to be calm. We assured them of their children’s safety. But since the school will go on Eid-el-fitr holiday on Friday (today) and the parents came from far places, we allowed them to take their children away. But I can tell you that security men are on ground,” Olude reportedly said.

Meanwhile, Akinwunmi Amdode, governor of Lagos state, has vowed to ensure that the abducted Epe students are freed.

“If there is anything that makes me feel terribly inadequate, it is my inability to quickly get those schoolchildren back,” Ambode told reporters in Abuja on Thursday.

“I want to assure everybody that we are on top of it. We cannot be putting all the efforts that we are making on the pages of newspapers. That will jeopardise our efforts to recover those children.

“I cannot compromise their security just because I want to look good in the eyes of the public. But believe me, I am working 24 hours a day to make sure that they come back safely.”

Recently, kidnappers have been targeting secondary schools.

In January, kidnappers invaded the Nigerian Turkish International College, Isheri, Ogun state, and abducted five students and three members of staff.

The captives regained freedom after parents and the school management parted with an undisclosed amount of money.

The police later arrested some suspects who were arraigned in court and later remanded in prison.