Nigeria Police

Unknown gunmen Thursday morning stormed Lagos State Model College in Igbonla area of Epe, a riverine community in the state and kidnapped four students, and the vice principal.

Independent gathered from a source that the gunmen may have targeted the principal of the college.

Fatai Owoseni, the Commissioner of Police in the state, confirmed the incident during his weekly press briefing in Lagos.

Owoseni, however, said that two of the students had been recovered.

“We received an unfortunate information this morning that four students and vice principal of Model College, Epe, were kidnapped at about 8 a.m.

“The kidnappers went away with them in their speed boat. As soon as we got the information, crack detectives were sent there. We have been able to recover two of the students.

“The vice principal and two students are still with the kidnappers. Our men have begun searching for them. We are collaborating with the Navy to search the creeks and the waters.

“By the Grace of God, they will be rescued soon,” Owoseni said.

The commissioner also disclosed that about 1,500 police operatives had been deployed to 164 locations regarded as flash points in the state.

He said the deployment was to ensure adequate security for the people of the state during the forthcoming yuletide and after.

But a parent, whose son is a student in the college, said he rushed to the school as soon as the news of the incident became viral.

According to the parent, as at the time of filing in this report, police helicopter was seen hovering around the creek of Epe, while anti-robbery policemen have barricaded the entire school.

A resident of Epe, who also spoke off records with Independent, said that parents and guardians whose children are in the school have besieged the premises of the college in desperate mission to ascertain the safety of their children or wards.

Independent recalls that in March this year, gunmen scaled through the fence of Babington Macaulay Junior Seminary School, Ikorodu, Lagos and abducted three students of the school.

Meanwhile, the House of Representatives on Thursday directed the Inspector-General of Police (IGP), Ibrahim Idris, and the entire police force to intensify efforts at ensuring immediate release of the students and the vice principal.

The resolution followed a motion on matters of urgent public importance on “the need to seek the release of abducted vice principal and students of Lagos State Model College in Igbonla, Epe, Lagos State” brought by Wale Raji (APC, Lagos) during Thursday plenary.

The House also charged the police and other security agencies to step up strict surveillance in schools in Epe and the state as a whole to avoid similar incidence or any breach of security in the future.

The resolution also condemned what the House described as “the callous and grossly inhuman” action of the abductors under whatever guise, saying it was against the tenet of seeking qualitative education.

Raji in his motion had narrated to the House that “in the early hours of Thursday, October 6, 2016, the Lagos State Model College, Igbonla, Epe, was attacked by gunmen during the early morning assembly of the junior and senior school”.

In his argument, the unfortunate incident was a setback to the expansion of access to education and determination of parents to ensure their wards get basic education.

The lawmaker? disclosed that he learnt about the unfortunate development shortly after the House had resumed plenary today (Thursday) and was compelled to bring it to the attention of the House and, by extension, the country.

He added, “I am just learning that a group of kidnappers struck today in my constituency where they kidnapped students and principals.”

The Lagos State Deputy Governor, Dr. Idiat Adebule, on Thursday, promised that the government and security agencies would work with available resources to ensure the release of the persons abducted in the school in Epe area of the state.

Adebule, who visited the school, appealed to the public and parents to have confidence and faith in the security agencies as they work to rescue the abducted persons.

“The school was established 29 years ago and something like this has never happened. Now that it has happened, it is so unfortunate and challenging.

“As parents and administrators, we are agitated, traumatised and worried, but we need to join hands with the government and security agencies so that we can rescue the victims.

“Many parents are here to take their children away. That cannot solve the problem. Taking them away will demoralise these children and affect their learning.

“Governor Akinwunmi Ambode has directed all security agencies to do their best within the shortest time to rescue the abducted persons.

“I’m pleading for your understanding and cooperation as we work with security agencies to secure these children and the school environment,” she said.

Some of the parents refused to go home when security agents asked them to go; they maintained that they wanted to go home with their children.

Mr Felix Agbarah, a parent, said that they wanted the school to be closed until the abducted persons were rescued.

Another parent, Ms Ife Aramide, said that she came to take her child home as the school was no longer safe for the students.

Mr. Laz Eke said that they had been complaining about the security situation around the school but nothing was done.

Credits: Independent

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