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Saturday, 24 June 2017

No Kidnappers is Powerful Enough to Attack Our School Says the Staffs of Lagos State Model College

No Kidnappers is Powerful Enough to Attack Our School Says the Staffs of Lagos State Model College

Days after a report broke the news of a threat letter sent to the Lagos State Model College, Kankon, Badagry, by some suspected kidnappers, staff members of the school said they did not believe any kidnapper is powerful enough to attack the school.


The writers of the letter, who claimed to be behind the kidnap of the pupils of the Lagos State Model College, Igbonla, Epe, had written that they were coming to kidnap the two principals in the school and six students.

Some of the teachers, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, explained that the remote neighbourhood where the school is located is known for its “juju,” which makes the possibility of a successful kidnap of students and staff unlikely.

“The last time some international armed robbers passed through this community, the community showed its power and they were caught within few days,” one of the three teachers in the senior school’s common room told our correspondent.

Many of the parents, who spoke with newsmen on Friday, explained that they were shocked when they heard the news on some radio stations’ newspaper reviews.

Some of the parents were on the school premises to take their children home with luggage in tow.

A woman, Mrs. Bisi Oladiji, went to pick her 12-year-old son just few hours after she heard the news of the threat letter.

She said, “My husband was the one who heard about the letter on the radio. Nobody told us anything. He told me to go and pick our son quickly.”

Some of the parents, however, said they were in the school to take their children home as a result of the Sallah public holiday.

When asked if they would have decided to take the same step if there was no holiday, one of the parents, Mrs. Theophilus Oladega, said, “Even if there is no public holiday, I would have come here to take my son home if for the weekend alone.

“How can I sleep at home peacefully knowing that kidnappers have said they were coming to abduct children where my son is?”

Meanwhile, on Friday, our correspondent counted six policemen within the school premises with a patrol van stationed at the entrance.

Despite this, some parents said they were not confident their children were safe in the school.

“The public holiday is coming at a very good time. We need to take our children home in the face of this threat. Look at the fence. Can you tell me that even a child cannot scale that?” a parent, who has two daughters in the school, told newsmen.

The fence in question is about five feet high and surrounds the entire compound which sits on more than one hectare of land.

An entire part of the fence borders a thick bush which has grown higher than the fence.

But, the staff members of the school insisted that there were security arrangements “beyond what the eyes can see.”

The principal of the senior school, Mr. Sunday Fadahunsi, one of the two threatened in the letter, said he feared no abduction as “I am a child of God.” He had earlier told The PUNCH that the situation was under control as the Lagos State Government and the police were handling the matter.

It was learnt that when the letter first got to the school, the police, Department of State Services and the Lagos State Neighbourhood Safety Corps were deployed.

The Air Force, which has a base few metres to the school, was also notified.

But days after, only few policemen were seen within and outside the compound.

The chairman of the senior school parents’ association, Mr. Wale Alo, told newsmen that he had a meeting with the parents earlier on Friday morning to calm their fears.

“I don’t see any reason why parents should come and take their children because of the letter. Everything is under control. That was the message we passed across to them and there did not seem to be any panic during the meeting,” he said. Asked if he was satisfied with the security arrangement on the ground, he said he believed that the state government and the police were capable of doing what is right.

The Lagos State Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Mr. Steve Ayorinde, had said that the government was aware of the letter and that the security agencies were on high alert and alive to their responsibility.

Ayorinde said that the Lagos State Government would not “yield any of its schools or pupils to the evil machinations of kidnappers.”

The spokesperson for the Lagos State Police Command, Mr. Olarinde Famous-Cole, had earlier explained that security agencies had beefed up their presence in the school.

But he was unavailable to comment on the current state of security at the school as calls made to his mobile line were unanswered as of the time of filing this report.

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