Parents of kidnapped students storm Ambode’s office
• Four of the victims already ill, parents say
• Government appeals for calm
Parents of the kidnapped students of Lagos State Model College, Igbonla, Epe yesterday stormed the office of Governor Akinwunmi Ambode to demand for the release of their children 14 days after gunmen abducted them.
The parents said the kidnappers told them on Tuesday that four of their children were now sick and that they would henceforth not negotiate with the parents again or allow them to speak with their children, insisting that they wanted to negotiate with the state government.
Mothers of the children were seen weeping and wailing profusely, while calling on the state government to do something urgently to get their children released.
A woman, who refused to give her name, was overtaken by emotion as she wailed at the top of her voice, calling on government to get her child, identified as Isiaka, out of the kidnappers’ den immediately.
Mrs. Toyin Philips, mother of Pelumi, a 17-year-old student, who was kidnapped, was seen weeping and demanding government’s intervention in the situation.“I want my son back. I sent my son to the school because there was no money. If I had the money the kidnappers are demanding for, would I have sent my son to that school?” she lamented.
“We are the one negotiating with the kidnappers. The kidnappers said they wanted N100 million. Government, please, don’t let our children die. Let their release be done today,” lamented another parent, Mrs. Agbaosi, whose son, Judah, is among those kidnapped.
Spokesperson of the parents, Mr. Dapo Adesega, lamented that their children had been with the abductors for 14 days and that government had not deemed it fit to communicate with them.
“If you don’t communicate with us, how do we know that government cares for us? If we had not come here today, we won’t have heard anything from the government,” he told government officials who were sent to address them.
Officials of the state government came to address the parents and assured them that government would stop at nothing until the children were released. The government’s delegate was led by the Commissioner for Local Government and Community Affairs, Muslim Folami. Others included the Special Adviser to the Governor on Community and Communications, Kehinde Bamigbetan, and the Special Adviser to the Governor on the Environment, Babatunde Hunpe.
Folami appealed to the parents to be calm and that government was doing all it could to get the children released, saying that government was embarrassed that such a thing could occur on its school.
When the parents asked how soon, Folami said he could not tell, but that there was no way government could disclosed certain intelligent information at its disposal.
Also speaking, Bamigbetan said government knew the pains the parents were going through and that everything would be done to get the children released very soon, while appealing for calm.