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Igbonla: Four kidnapped pupils return to school

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Igbonla: Four kidnapped pupils return to school

Lagos, Ogun waterways secure –AIG

Four of the six pupils of the Lagos State Senior and Junior Model Colleges, Igbonla, Epe, who were released in July by kidnappers after spending more than 63 days in captivity have resumed in the school for the 2017/18 academic session.

This came as the Assistant Inspector-General of Police in charge of Zone 2, Adamu Ibrahim, yesterday said adequate measures had been taken to secure waterways in both Lagos and Ogun states from vicious activities of kidnappers and militants.

The students, Agbaosi Judah, Yusuf Faruq, Peter Jonah and Ramon Isiaka, who was nicknamed General while in captivity, said there was no basis for them to nurse any fear again.

The students said the worst was over.

Agbaosi, who spoke on behalf of his colleagues during a tour of the facilities in the school by the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Education, Mr. Adesina Odeyemi, said they were fast adapting to the environment and commended the government for improving on the security facilities in the school.

He said: “There is really no reason for us to fear again. What have we not witnessed? We decided to resume here, even though we were offered other alternative schools, because we needed to make statement that evil cannot defeat righteousness. “Surprisingly, since we resumed at the weekend, we have seen the new developments as we can now walk round the school compound without any fear.

The watchtower has been put in place, we now have floodlight everywhere and light has been constant. So there is no need to fear.”

Meanwhile, an official of the school, who craved anonymity, said of the 249 pupils expected to resume into JSS1, only 20 had resumed. The source added that for the Junior Model College, more than 400 students were still being expected to resume out of about 700.

But in his response, Odeyemi said it was not unusual for students to resume late. According to him, even the remaining two of the six kidnapped students have pledged to resume during the week.

The six students were released on Friday, July 28, at Ajakpa community in Ese Odo Local Government Area of Ondo State.

Meanwhile, the AIG, Ibrahim, spoke during his visit to the headquarters of Ogun State Police Command at Eleweran, Abeokuta. Ibrahim, who had earlier paid a courtesy visit to Governor Ibikunle Amosun, said the monitoring of waterways was in view of schools’ resumption.

The AIG charged officers and men of the command to fortify existing security measures to forestall abduction in the state.

He said: “The emerging crime we have is the militants on the waterways trying to cause some problem. I wish to call on the command to please put extra efforts now because the schools are resuming and some of these militants may want to embarrass by kidnapping either some school children or prominent citizens.

“So, I urge you to please improve on the security of all the schools that are very close to the waterways. I know we have enough security arrangements on ground. But please fortify the schools so that these people (criminals) will not attempt going to any school in the state.”

The AIG appealed to policemen not to treat any corruption-related issue with kid gloves. He said Ogun State had become the nation’s industrial hub and required more security presence. Briefing the AIG earlier on the activities of his command, the state Police Commissioner, Ahmed Iliyasu, said crime rate had reduced drastically in the state as a result of community policing and other strategies deployed by his command.

The commissioner noted that kidnappers and militants had also receded to the coastal areas and unable to launch vicious attacks on land. Iliyasu, however, expressed concern over what he described as “acute shortage of manpower” which had been posing challenges to operational capability.

He said: “Since my assumption of office, I am happy to tell you that there has not been any bank robbery. Statistics have shown that Ogun State is the most peaceful state in the South-West.

“We have fought kidnappers and militants and they have receded to the riverine areas. They are no longer operating on the land. That is a remarkable achievement. The cases of crossborder crime have also reduced drastically.”

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