In the wake of the alleged N1 billion ransom demanded by abductors of six students from Igbonla Model School, near Epe, Lagos, the Lagos State Police Command has said it would “not negotiate with the kidnappers.”
The police spokesperson, Olarinde Famous-Cole, told PREMIUM TIMES on Monday that “it is the statutory responsibility of the police to keep the children safe, which is paramount and that’s what we are concerned about.”
The Punch newspaper had reported that parents of the children were contacted on Saturday and allowed to briefly speak with their children.
They also stated that while two of the parents were asked to pay N400 million each, another two were told to raise N100 million per child.
The parents were reportedly told to meet with the school authorities and the state government to raise the money.
“Since we are all a party to the incident that happened, we are playing our roles as security agents to get those kids out of the hands of those militants,” said Mr. Famous-Cole.
“We are certainly liaising with the school and the government and the parents as regards some of the things we can share with them as per security intelligence.”
“The kids are safe, but we are just trying to get them out and that’s what important,” the police spokesperson said.
The students were abducted at around 5 a.m. last Thursday by gunmen who arrived through a creek behind the school. The hoodlums 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. The victims were later freed.
The kidnappers reportedly broke the hostel doors, seized 10 senior secondary school pupils and led them to the shore where their boat was parked.
After profiling their family backgrounds, four pupils were released, while the men from the underworld whisked away the remaining six pupils identified as Peter Jonah, Isiaq Rahmon, Adebayo George, Judah Agbausi, Pelumi Philips and Farouq Yusuf.
It was reported that the gunmen had written the school authorities three days before the incident, informing them of the attack.
The police said it is still investigating the incident.