Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos State has evacuated a three-week-old baby, the mother and undergraduate students of Lagos extraction at the University of Jos (UNIJOS), Plateau State, following the recent attacks and killings in the state.
The first set of evacuees, comprising 64 UNIJOS students and the three-week-old-baby, named Daniella, who was reported to have been delivered shortly before the crisis in the state by the mother, Manya Banfe, a 200-Level student, arrived in Lagos on Friday afternoon and met with Governor Sanwo-Olu at the Lagos State Secretariat, Ikeja, before being released to their families.
The evacuation came just as the neighbouring Ogun State began a similar move, this week, to return stranded students and youth corps members from Jos to Abeokuta.
The students, who were accompanied by security agents and government officials, arrived at the Lagos State Secretariat, Alausa at 1:56 p.m. with their belongings in a luxury bus and other vehicles after long hours of journey from Jos to Lagos.
The students, who were so excited to be evacuated from crisis-hit Jos and other parts of Plateau State currently experiencing violence and killings in the last few weeks, sang praises and showered praises on Governor Sanwo-Olu and top officials of the Lagos State Government for rescuing them from what they described as the ‘war zone.’
While receiving the students, Governor Sanwo-Olu said the evacuation shows that Lagos State Government had the capacity to respond to any emergency when it concerns the people of the State, especially the youth.
Governor Sanwo-Olu, who was represented by the State Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Gbenga Omotoso, said welfare packages had been arranged for the students to return to their families safe and sound.
The governor, who thanked God that no student from Lagos lost their lives in the incident and during the rescue operation, urged them to observe COVID-19 safety protocols and not to lose touch with their studies, as they returned to Lagos.
Also speaking, the Permanent Secretary of Office of the Special Adviser to the Governor on Education, Kasali Adeniran, said the evacuation of students and indigenes of Lagos State was another landmark event by the Sanwo-Olu administration.
Mr Adeniran also restated the incumbent administration’s commitment to the safety and security of Lagos citizens, noting that the Babajide Sanwo-Olu government has demonstrated good governance in providing an enabling environment as well as being on point when it comes to safety and security of lives with the evacuation of the UNIJOS students.
Speaking on behalf of the UNIJOS students, a 200-level student of the Department of Religion and Philosophy of the institution, Clinton Shotikare, thanked Governor Sanwo-Olu for coming to their rescue.
“On behalf of other students, I am saying a big thank you to the Lagos State Government, especially the Governor of Lagos State, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu. We appreciate the Governor and the State Government for evacuating us from Plateau State. We feel happy, honoured, grateful, and safe. We feel the impact of government,” he said.
Mr Shotikare, who said they had been experiencing tense situations and sleepless nights since the beginning of the Plateau State crisis, urged Lagos State Government not to relent on its efforts to rescue other Lagosians, especially students who were still stranded in the University of Jos and other parts of Plateau State.
A student in the Department of Pharmacy, UNIJOS, Edward Christiana, also appreciated Governor Sanwo-Olu for evacuating the students from Jos.
“I am really grateful for what Lagos State Government has done for us. We are so thankful. Some of us had even lost hope when 24 hours curfew was declared in Plateau State. But Lagos State Governor came to our rescue and evacuated us from Jos.
“We, the students of University of Jos really appreciate Lagos State Government. We appreciate Governor Sanwo-Olu for his goodwill and hardwork, ensuring our safe arrival to our friends, families, and loved ones. We pray that God will continue to bless and strengthen you,” she said.
Support PREMIUM TIMES' journalism of integrity and credibility
Good journalism costs a lot of money. Yet only good journalism can ensure the possibility of a good society, an accountable democracy, and a transparent government.
For continued free access to the best investigative journalism in the country we ask you to consider making a modest support to this noble endeavour.
By contributing to PREMIUM TIMES, you are helping to sustain a journalism of relevance and ensuring it remains free and available to all.
TEXT AD: Call Willie - +2348098788999