24 days after: No respite for parents of abducted students
Twenty four days after six students of Lagos State Model College, Igbo Nla, Epe, were kidnapped by gunmen, hope of their release is still far-fetched, both for parents and management of the school.
The gunmen who stormed the school in the early hours of Thursday, May 25 were alleged to have collected the sum of N10million jointly contributed by their parents with a promise to release the students.
The parents who were anxiously awaiting the return of their sons got the shock of their lives when as soon the abductors took hold of the money sent a text message to one of the parents, threatening to kill the children if the balance was not paid by last Thursday.
The militants had accepted the sum of N10million offered them by the parents with the promise to release them same day.
In an unedited text message to one of the parents, the militants said: “Mr. man, Our message is dat inform ur orther u people should look 4 our balance. B4 any discausion by next wk Thursday gather the balance or else u people.(Mr man, our message is that you should inform other parents to look for our balance. Before any further discussion by next week get our balance or else you people. ”
It was gathered that the militants who initially demanded for N400million ransom had reduced it to N50million.
They are currently expecting the parents to raise the sum of N40million before the students would be released to them.
Meanwhile, The Guardian learnt the abductors who have moved the students to Efire creek at Lagos Ogun boundary have devised means to entertain the boys who are becoming ill and restless.
It was gathered that the hoodlums have started teaching the children how to swim and shoot.
They are allegedly grooming them on how to become radicals, The Guardian gathered.
According to a police source, the Inspector General of Police (IGP), Ibrahim Idris has ordered the state command to intensify efforts to rescue the students.
He is said to have placed a bounty on the head of a current militant commander popularly known as ‘America’.
“If those militants are wise they would make do with the money they have collected so far and flee because the heat is now on them. So far, all the notorious kidnappers that were declared wanted by IGP have been arrested and theirs would not be different.”
One of their teachers who spoke to a source on phone lamented that they find it hard to believe that despite the peaceful protest by parents of these students, government has refused to intervene.