As Muslims across the world were in the celebration of Eid-el-fitr on Sunday,it was a sharp contrast for the parents of the six abducted pupils of the Lagos State Model College, Igbonla, Epe.
The households of the parents, especially those who are Muslims, were said to have been fraught with sombreness as their children had yet to be rescued from the den of the kidnappers.
The abductors have remained incommunicado for about two weeks, while the pupils had spent 31 days in captivity.
The kidnappers had stormed the school premises at about 6am on Thursday, May 25, after notifying the school authorities of the attack three days earlier.
They broke the hostel doors, picked 10 Senior Secondary School pupils and led them to a waterside where their boat was anchored.
After profiling their parents’ details, four pupils were released, while the assailants whisked away the remaining six pupils, identified as Peter Jonah, Isiaq Ramon, Adebayo George, Judah Agbausi, Pelumi Philips and Farouq Yusuf in a speedboat.
After negotiating from N1bn, the kidnappers reduced the ransom to N100m for all the children and told the parents to ask the state government to pay the sum.
The parents had protested at the Governor Akinwunmi Ambode’s office on Wednesday, June 7, accusing the government of indifference and asking it to facilitate quick release of the children.
The government had promised that security agencies would rescue the children and ruled out negotiation with the hoodlums.
Subsequently, the parents raised and paid N10m ransom on June 9, but the kidnappers demanded additional N40m and refused to establish contacts with the parents afterwards.
A parent, who did not want his name in print, said on Sunday that his wife was in distress, as their expectation to celebrate Eid-el-fitr with their son did not come to fruition.
He said, “They (the kidnappers) have not called us. So, we don’t know what to do. We are tired. We thought we would celebrate Eid-el-fitr together with our son today (Sunday). But it was unfortunate that God didn’t let it come to pass. There is nothing we can do.
“His mother is very sad, but there is no amount of sorrow that can solve this issue. We believe in God and there will be happiness in the end. We know that God can perform His miracle any time.”
Another parent said the members of the family were eager to hear from the kidnappers no matter what their demand could be, appealing for mercy on the victims.
He said, “It is when they call that we will know what they want. They are not talking. That is the worrisome part of it. It has been a deafening silence. We are appealing to them. We are all clueless.
“It is so sad that the Muslim parents could not celebrate Eid-el-fitr because of the situation. We have all resorted to prayers; it is a bit difficult when we have not heard from them at all. If they are talking to us and making demands, it is better than this silence.”
The number of another Muslim parent indicated not reachable from 10am to the time of going to press.
The Deputy Commissioner of Police in charge of administration, Lagos State Command, Dansuki Galadanchi, while parading some suspects on Saturday at the command’s headquarters in Ikeja, said the police were working tirelessly to ensure the release of the children.
Galadanchi said, “We have also lost sleep because of these pupils. We are making serious efforts to rescue them, but we cannot disclose our strategies. There will be good news soon.”
Source: ( Punch Newspaper )