Unknown gunmen have abducted six students of Igbonla Model College, Epe, Lagos. This is coming seven months after four students and two staff were kidnapped from the same school.
The gunmen entered the school at about 6AM on Thursday after pulling down the fence. They headed for the boys hostel and took ten Senior Secondary School students.
PUNCH reports that four of the pupils were later released after the gunmen profiled their parents.
The gunmen were said to have shot into the air at about 8PM on Wednesday but retreated after police officers and soldiers returned fire.
The kidnapped students were identified as Peter Jonah, Isiaq Rahmon, Adebayo George, Judah Agbausi, Pelumi Philips and Farouq Yusuf.
One of the students said: “A friend saw two of them through the window and rushed to tell me that kidnappers had come again. Immediately we raised the alarm, they entered into our hostel, broke the doors and started dragged some pupils out. I hid in the bathroom.”
Another student added: “Two of them broke down our doors and told us to lie down. They didn’t use masks and one of them wore a police uniform. They asked if we had phones, but we said no. After picking some pupils, they packed some of our belongings, including sandals. Isiaq (Rahmon) resisted following them until they slapped him. While we were doing our homework on Wednesday, they shot into the air, but our teachers told us not to panic. They left because policemen and military men were on the ground.”
“When they came, they were shooting. I jumped from my sickbed and hid under the bed. Everybody was scared,” a Junior Secondary School student said.
The gunmen were said to have written to the school earlier in the week that they were coming.
Isiaq’s father Maruf Rahmon, said: “I have three children here; Isiaq is one of them. The school authorities had a meeting with us this afternoon (Thursday). We were told at the meeting that the kidnappers had written the school three days ago that they were coming. But they didn’t inform parents. I would have come to pick my children.”
Another affected parent, Isiaq Yusuf, said: “I am sad. Faruq (Yusuf) is in SSS1. I want to see my son. The school authorities are telling us to be patient, but a child is not a goat.”
One Riskat Odunukan, whose child, Jubril was one of those released said:
There should be total demolition and reconstruction of the fence and it should be high. Bushes in the school’s surroundings should be cleared and there should be a police post around the creeks with Armoured Personnel Carriers.
Jubril said those kidnappers asked him about his parents’ details and he told them that his father was late. He said they also asked if he knew my phone number, but he said no and they asked him to go.
The school did not call us; we read the news on the parents’ platform. I thought I was daydreaming. I called some teachers to confirm, but their lines did not go through.
When the last year incident happened, we advised the school to mount Closed Circuit Television Cameras and clear the bushes. Nothing has been done. The so called tricycles they bought for the school security men are not being used to patrol the surroundings. The kidnappers capitalised on those lapses.
Another parent Amirat Alamorieda said: “The kidnappers came when military men guarding the school had gone. They took 10 pupils, but released four after profiling them. I think they took away those whose parents are rich.”
The Lagos State Police Command has said that it had commenced operations.
Photo Credit: PUNCH