Fierce looking gun-wielding men, suspected to be kidnappers Thursday invaded a Lagos state model secondary school, Igbonla Model College, in the Epe area of the state and took away six students of the school.
It was learnt that the gunmen gained entry into the school premises around 6am on Thursday through the creek at the back of the college.
They were said to have pulled down the school fence and headed for the boys’ hostel, seizing 10 Senior Secondary School pupils.
Four of the pupils were later released at the waterside by the assailants after profiling their parents’ details.
They escaped with the remaining six pupils, identified as Peter Jonah, Isiaq Rahmon, Adebayo George, Judah Agbausi, Pelumi Philips and Farouq Yusuf.
Some of the pupils shared their experiences with newsmen.
“A friend saw two of them through the window and rushed to tell me that kidnappers had come again. Immediately we raised the alarm, they entered into our hostel, broke the doors and started dragged some pupils out. I hid in the bathroom.”
Another pupil, who did not want his name in print, said, the gunmen took their time to carry out the operation.
“Two of them broke down our doors and told us to lie down. They didn’t use masks and one of them wore a police uniform. They asked if we had phones, but we said no. After picking some pupils, they packed some of our belongings, including sandals. Isiaq (Rahmon) resisted following them until they slapped him.
“While we were doing our homework on Wednesday, they shot into the air, but our teachers told us not to panic. They left because policemen and military men were on the ground,” he added.
A Junior Secondary School 2 pupil, who was ill and admitted to the school’s sick bay said, “When they came, they were shooting. I jumped from my sickbed and hid under the bed. Everybody was scared.”
The Lagos State Police Command in a statement signed by its Public Relations Officer, ASP Olarinde Famous-Cole, said rescue operations had commenced.
The statement read, “Today (Thursday), at about 5 am, kidnappers gained entrance into Igbonla Model School and abducted six pupils. Investigation and rescue operation have commenced with the visit to the affected school by a police team, led by the Commissioner of Police, Lagos State.
“From the visit, it was found that the criminal elements used the Imeru/Iji waterways to access the swampy forest bordering the school and bore a hole on a part of the school fence to gain entrance.”
This came seven months after four pupils and two members of staff of the college were kidnapped in October 2016.
Thursday’s kidnap of the students is particularly painful for the parents of the affected students because the abductors were said to have written to the school authorities intimating of the impending operation and they took advantage of security lapses around creeks in Igbonla, Epe, to carry out their threat. Igbonla Model College, Epe, Lagos.