Fourteen days after their children were kidnapped, parents of students of the Lagos State Model College, Igbonla, Epe, stormed Governor Akinwunmi Ambode’s office in Alausa area of Ikeja and demanded their release.
Amid wailing and tears, the aggrieved parents urged the state government to act fast to save their children from the kidnappers.
The parents said the kidnappers told them, on Tuesday, that four of their children are now sick, and would not negotiate with them or be allowed to speak with their children anymore.
The parents added that the kidnappers insisted on negotiating with the state government.
A parent, Mrs. Toyin Philips, mother of a 17-year-old kidnapped student of the school, Pelumi, demanded urgent government intervention.
Her words: “I want my son back. I sent my son to the school because there was no money. If I had the money they are demanding for, would I have sent my son to that school?” she asked rhetorically.
“We are the one negotiating with the kidnappers. The kidnappers said they wanted N100 million. Government, please, don’t let our children die. Let their release be done today,” lamented another parent, Mrs Agbaosi, whose son, Judah, was kidnapped.
Mr. Dapo Adesega, who spoke on behalf of the parents lamented that their children have been with the kidnappers for 14 days and that government has not communicated with them.
“If you don’t communicate with us, how do we know that government cares for our plight?
“If we had not come here, today, we won’t have heard anything from the government,” he told government officials who were sent to address them.
“Nobody from the government has come to us, since the incident occurred two weeks ago. We did not come here with placards because we want government to help us. Please, government should help us. We have been trying to negotiate with them but they rejected our offer because it is too small.
“They said we cannot speak with our children again as four of them are ill. We want government to help us, we are trusting in you. Our kids are not allowed to talk to us again, I took my child to a government school, so the government should help us,” he begged.
Moruf Ramon, whose 19-year-old son Isiaka, is among the kidnapped students said “they refused to negotiate with us” because of what they offered, N10 million, was too small.
The state government’s delegate, who later addressed the parents was led by Commissioner for Local Government and Community Affairs, Muslim Folami and Special Adviser to the Governor on Community and Communications, Kehinde Bamigbetan, among others.
They assured the parents that government would ensure the students are released.
Bamigbetan told the parents that government share in their pains and assured them that everything would be done to get the children released.
Folami, on his part, appealed to the parents to be calm, with an assurance that government is doing all it could to get the children released, soonest.