Scores of parents and guardians have begun to withdraw their children and wards from Nigerian Turkish International College (NTIC) located at Isheri, Ogun state, a border town between Lagos and Ogun states following a Friday night abduction of five students and three staff members at the school premises by unknown gunmen suspected to be kidnappers.
As early as 10 in the morning on Saturday, a drove of parents and guardians were seen by our correspondent coming to the school to withdraw their children and wards, having been disturbed by the abduction of three students and two teachers on Friday night. The parents urged government and security operatives to beef up security schools in the state.
A cross section of sad parents and guardians, including Ahmad Tijani, a parent whose child was one of the kidnapped students, demanded the school management to shut down for two weeks at least for them put up adequate security around the school, arguing that remaining students who have been traumatised should be given break in order to get over the traumatic experience.
Ajani, while speaking with a crew of pressmen and security operatives that accompanied Ogun State Executive Council led by Yetunde Onanuga, Deputy Governor, confirmed that his 22-year old child, Hanatullah Aderinto Ajani was part of those abducted since she was in the school to study for the coming JAMB exams before the incident.
He said, “Somebody called in the midnight that something happened here and my daughter was involved, I had to come down this morning and the Police Commissioner addressed us assuring that they would work on it and that everything would be alright very soon.
“I am very sad but prayerful that the they are rescued on time, as I am standing, I am traumatised you can imagine a girl of 22 preparing for University and somebody took her away. It is a big loss.”
Another parent, Funmi Tijani said, “We parents jointly resolved and agreed that we have to take away our children at least for the first one week, until we are convinced about perfect security arrangement in place. The road is not tarred, no security light, bushes all around. Last year, the school was closed down for two weeks because of flood. What we are saying is that ‘let there be adequate security.
“We are taking our children away, we have agreed among ourselves to take our children away for a week, my daughter saw them, witnessed the whole scenerio and she has been traumatised. Psychologically, they are not balanced, you don’t expect me to leave her behind.”
Speaking earlier with reporters who stormed the premises of the school in the early hours of Saturday, both the Principal and Security Adviser, Yunus Emre Dogan and Stephen Adewunmi, respectively, said that the gunmen came into the school and started shooting sporadically.
They said that the abductors immediately made their ways into the female hostel where three students were kidnapped alongside the house mistress and a Turkish teacher that teaches Mathematics in the school, adding that two students who were also studying for JAMB exams were also whisked away as well as a cook who was also taken away from the kitchen.
The management explained that the abductors dug a big hole through the fence of the school from where they escaped out to the bushy, swampy area at the back of the school.
But, Yetunde Onanuga, Ogun State Deputy Governor who led other members of State Executive Council, Kayode Oluranti, Assistant Inspector General of Police, Zone II; Ahmed Iliyasu and Kabiru Sanni, Ogun State Commissioner of Police and Ogun State Director of DSS respectively, to the school for an on-the-spot assessment, declared that government was on top of situation as serious security measures had been put on ground.
She said, “We are here to express our concern and symphaty. It is unfortunate that, this is happening barely few days on school resumption. When we heard about it, we quickly sprang into action, hence the urgent visit.
“Our government has put necessary security measures in place for the rescue of the abductees. Ogun State is already in action. Let me reassure you that we are going to rescue the victims soon.
“No doubt, it does happen once a while but it’s unfortunate, the state is aware and we are doing the work, we will do all that is possible for the safe return of the children. The FG is aware and they have also assured us that very, very soon, they would be rescued.
“It’s not the time to start taking children out of the schools, the security operatives are all on ground to ensure safety of life and property of the school. We will do all that is possible to make sure the school is safe and the school authority is also doing what is possible to ensure that the state is safe.”
BusinessDay however, reports that no contact is yet made to demand ransom from either parents of the abductees or School management as of the time of filing this report, only Security operatives assured the parents and School management of safe rescue and return of the abductees veryou soon.