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Parents, relatives of kidnapped Lagos students resort to prayers

Parents and relatives of the kidnapped students of Lagos Model School, Epe, on Wednesday said they had resorted to prayers following prolonged abduction of their kids by kidnappers.

Speaking to PREMIUM TIMES on Wednesday, a relative of one of the kids who declined to be named, said government’s inability to rescue the kids is worrisome.

She however explained that many of the parents had resorted to prayers since all efforts to secure the release of the kids so far have yielded no result.

Earlier, the parents had told PREMIUM TIMES that the kidnappers were no longer contacting the family.

They said they used to speak with the kidnappers, but that the phone numbers they used had been switched off for several days.

Although recent reports said they had allegedly moved to the creeks of Ondo State, the abductors were believed to be hiding somewhere in the creeks between Lagos and Ogun states.

Similarly, the Assistant Inspector General of Police (AIG) in charge of Zone 2, Adamu Ibrahim, had said the kids would soon regain their freedom.

But one of the parent, a mother, who spoke exclusively to PREMIUM TIMES last week, said she was not impressed by the AIG’s statement.

“He is just trying to boost his own ego. I don’t know anything about that,” she had said.

Speaking with our correspondent on Wednesday, a sibling to one of the kids, said the parents had resorted to prayers since government efforts have yielded no result.

“You can’t even speak with mummy (one of the parents) now. She had been out for a while now…she’s somewhere far away with some folks to pray,” she said.

“But so far, there is no positive news or development from anywhere. Nothing. We’ve just had to pray.”

Last week, Governor Akinwunmi Ambrode of Lagos expressed concern over the continued abduction of the kids, saying he would ensure that the kids are released soon.

Speaking to journalists in Abuja, Mr. Ambode said his inability to secure the release of the kids quickly made him feel ‘inadequate’.

“If there is anything that makes me feel terribly inadequate, it is my inability to quickly get those schoolchildren back,” the governor said.

“I want to assure everybody that we are on top of it. We cannot be putting all the efforts that we are making on the pages of newspapers . That will jeopardise our efforts to recover those children.

“I cannot compromise their security just because I want to look good in the eyes of the public. But believe me, I am working 24 hours a day to make sure that they come back safely.”

On Thursday, efforts to speak with the spokesperson of the Lagos Police Command, Olarinde Famous-Cole, proved abortive as his phone was not reachable.

But earlier, Mr. Famous-cole had told PREMIUM TIMES that there was no update yet on the case.

“If anything comes up, we would let you know,” he had said.

The students were abducted at around 5 a.m. on May 25 by gunmen, who arrived through a creek behind the school.

The hoodlums reportedly broke through the school’s fence to gain access into the premises.

The incident occurred seven months after gunmen kidnapped two teachers and four pupils of the same school, although the victims were later freed.

The six students still with the kidnappers are Peter Jonah, Isiaq Rahmon, Adebayo George, Judah Agbausi, Pelumi Philips and Farouq Yusuf.

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