We Have Been Kept in the Dark – Kidnapped Victims’ Parents Cry Out

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Parents of the six pupils, who were kidnapped by gunmen at Igbonla Model College, Epe, last week Thursday, have lamented that authorities are keeping them in the dark on efforts to rescue the pupils.

Some of the children’s parents told Saturday PUNCH that the fact that the Lagos State Government, police and the school administration had made no effort to carry them along on what was being done to bring their children home, had added to their apprehension.

Saturday PUNCH reached out to the Lagos State Police Command over the concern of the parents of the abducted children.

The spokesperson for the command, Mr. Olarinde Famous-Cole, said “there is no update right now.”

He explained further that even though there was information he could not give out due to the nature of the investigation; there was no new information on the efforts to rescue the children.

But the parent of one of the pupils, who spoke with Saturday PUNCH, expressed concern that the government, police and the school authorities did not take the present anxiety of the children’s families into consideration.

She said, “The school management is not telling us anything. The Lagos State Government does not seem to care about how desperate we are currently and the police also are keeping quiet. This is very hard for us.”

The parent reached out to Saturday PUNCH as news filtered in on Saturday that the kidnappers had called again to ask for N100m.

“Even if we sell all we have in the whole world, we cannot raise that kind of money,” a parent told our correspondent.

The kidnappers had earlier called some parents of the victims last week Saturday demanding N400m each from two parents while two others were asked to pay N100m each.

The ransom was reduced to N600m on Tuesday, when parents of each child were asked to pay N100m.

The pupils– Yusuf Farouk, Ramon Isiaka, Pelumi Phillips, Peter Jonas, Adebanjo George and Judah Agbaosi – were abducted at about 5am, when a section of the school fence was broken down. It was the second of such abduction in the school over the last eight months.

On Tuesday, three suspects Egelu Endurance, 25, aka Jubby, Stanley Yomi Irabomini (Powei), 25, and Bentel Endurance, 24— all from Ovia South Local Government Area of Edo State — were arrested on Tuesday in Benin City by the Inspector General of Police Intelligence Response Team in connection with the pupil’s abduction.

Efforts to get a reaction from the Lagos State Government was not successful on Friday as the mobile lines of the Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Mr. Steve Ayorinde, indicated that they were unavailable.

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