Gunmen abduct vice principal, teacher, four students
• Lagos deputy gov visits school, says government on top of situation
• CP pledges to rescue victims soon
Barely 24 hours after the World Teachers’ Day celebration, armed hoodlums struck yesterday at Igbonla Model College, Epe, Lagos and abducted the vice principal, a teacher, and four students of the school in an operation that confounded security agents and the Lagos State Police command.
It was learnt that two of the abducted students later escaped from their captors a few minutes after they were picked.
The kidnappers came barely a week after suspected gunmen at Ikorodu area killed a family of six.
It was also learnt that the gunmen, numbering about 15, stormed the school premises around 8:00a.m. yesterday through the river in three speedboats.
Some of the abductors allegedly destroyed a section of the fence of the college to gain entry to the schools’ assembly ground and carried six persons with them in speed boats.
Other gunmen allegedly entered the school premises by scaling the fence while the students were still at the assembly ground.
While five of the militants stayed behind in their speedboats, others went to the school premises with their sophisticated rifles.
Those who entered the school were said to have pretended to be artisans.
The students were having their prayers around 7:30a.m. when the armed men suddenly showed up, threatening to shoot anyone who dared to move.
Eyewitnesses alleged that two of the gunmen mounted surveillance at the entrance into the school, while eight others headed for the assembly ground where the students were still having their morning devotion.
On hearing the gunshots, the students ran in different directions for their dear lives.
The kidnappers finally whisked away the vice principal, teachers and two students of the school.
Among those abducted was Lukman Oyerinde, said to be the elder brother of slain Olaitan Oyerinde, a former aide to Governor Adam Oshiomhole.
Lagos State Commissioner of Police, Fatai Owoseni, who confirmed the report said, the gunmen arrived in the school around 8:00a.m.
He said the gunmen abducted four persons and efforts were ongoing to rescue the victims and trackdown the suspects.
“Yes, this morning, gunmen stormed Lagos State Model College, Igbonla, Epe, and abducted two teachers and two students.
“The suspects escaped through the Ogbere River. We have contacted the Ogun State Police Command; the Marine Unit of the force as well as naval personnel. Our men have since rescued two of the students. We will soon rescue the other victims, ” he added.
Meanwhile, the Lagos State Deputy Governor, Dr. Idiat Oluranti Adebule yesterday visited the college.
Adebule, who was accompanied by top government functionaries and head of security agencies, condemned the act. She pleaded with parents and families of the victims to cooperate with the government and security agencies in ensuring prompt rescue of the victims.
Also, a lawmaker representing Epe Federal Constituency, Wale Raji, who drew other lawmakers’ attention to the incident urged members to collectively condemn the act.
Lawmakers urged the Inspector General of Police and the Nigeria Police Force to intensify efforts towards prompt rescue of those kidnapped.