Parents of kidnapped Lagos students weep at Govt House
Devastated parents of kidnapped students of the Lagos State Model College, Igbonla, Epe, on Wednesday gathered at the Government House, Alausa, Ikeja, to seek release of their children.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the six male students were kidnapped by gunmen from their school premises two weeks ago.
The parents numbering about 20 converged at the government house at 9a.m., with the mothers crying and shouting until they were addressed by a government official at 10.am.
Some of the parents, who spoke to NAN, said that the kidnappers told them on Tuesday that four of the students had taken ill.
They added that the abductors said that they would no longer negotiate with them nor allow them to speak with their children.
Mrs Toyin Philips, the mother of one of the kidnapped boys,17-year-old Pelumi, prayed that the government should act fast.
“I want my son back. I sent him to that school because there is no money. If I had the money the kidnappers are demanding, I would not send my son to that school’’ she told NAN.
The mother of one of the students, Judah, who gave her name simply as Mrs Agbaosi, equally urged the government to secure the release of the children fast.
“Government, please, don’t let our children die. Let their release be done today,” she urged.
She told NAN that the kidnappers were demanding a N100 million ransom.
Another parent, Mr Moruf Ramon, whose 19-year-old son, Isiaka, is also being held, said that it would be impossible for the parents to raise N100,000 from their pockets.
Ramon said that the parents offered to give the kidnappers N10 million they were able to raise, but they rejected it
The spokesman for the parents, Mr Dapo Adesega, told government officials and journalists that the kidnappers had decided not to negotiate with the parents anymore but with the state government.
He said that the students had been with the kidnappers for 14 days, urging that the government should initiate dialogue with the abductors urgently.
“Nobody from the government has come to us since the incident occurred two weeks ago; yet, we did not come here with placards because we want government to help us.
“We have been trying to negotiate with them – kidnappers- but they rejected our offer because it is small.
“They said we cannot speak with our children again, and that four of them are ill,” he said.
Addressing the parents, Mr Muslim Folami, the state Commissioner for Local Government and Community Affairs, gave the assurance that the government would do its possible best to secure the children’s release.
“We, therefore, appeal to you to be calm. Government is doing all it can to get the children released.
“Work is going on; soon, your children will be released to you,” Folami said.