Waiting game ends as abductors release Turkish school’s pupils
After 11 grueling days in captivity, the eight students and employees of the Nigerian Turkish International Colleges (NTIC), Ogun State, were yesterday night reunited with their families.
Speaking to The Guardian last night, the Assistant Inspector General of Police in charge of Zone 2, AIG Kayode Aderanti, confirmed their release, saying the three students and five workers of the school have been reunited with their families.
It would be recalled that on Monday, Aderanti while speaking with newsmen in Ogun State had promised a cheery news concerning the kidnap saga in 24 hours.
He had said: “Our men are closing in on the kidnappers and we are assuring you that the suspects would be apprehended within the next 24 hours.”
This is coming hours after the Inspector General of Police (IGP), Idris Ibrahim, worried about the prolonged attempt at rescuing the victims, has taken over the investigation and search for the victims and suspects.
Yesterday had begun on a sad note for the families of the victims as the kidnappers dashed their hopes. They were expecting to be reunited with their daughters but their hopes were dashed as they waited for over eight hours in vain for their children to meet them at the designated points.
Investigation revealed that the kidnappers contacted parents at 9:30p.m. on Monday, directing them to an unknown destination to wait for the kidnapped victims. They were also given stern warning not to involve any security agency, threatening that it could lead to the demise of the victims.
However, parents and relatives of the victims, who got to the designated points around 11:30p.m. on Monday waited till 7:30a.m. yesterday without any sight of their loved ones.
While the waiting game continued, the Assistant Inspector General (AIG) Zone 2, Kayode Aderanti, and the Ogun State Commissioner of Police, Illiyasu, were at the Ikeja Police College, waiting endlessly for the arrival of the children and their teachers.
The parents of the students left for their respective homes dejected, while the stealth policemen mobilized were dispersed to resume work at their various duty posts.
One of the parents, who spoke on anonymity, said: “How long do they expect us to wait? We have paid the ransom. On Monday, we all agreed that no policeman should join us because it’s no longer a rescue operation since we have paid. The police should give us room to get our children.
“On Monday night, we didn’t even tell the police about the meeting point because we didn’t want them to jeopardise their release. The kidnappers asked for four parents to represent all others.”
Meanwhile, the Commissioner of Police, Lagos State Police Command, Fatai Owoseni, who briefed newsmen at the command headquarters in Ikeja, said the case is currently under the command of the Inspector General of Police, Ibrahim Idris.
“This is a time for the kidnappers to have a change of heart because we will soon close in on them. We have put machineries in place to stop further kidnapping in Lagos.”
FESTAC Town, particularly at White Sand that leads to Okota. We have put a pin-down patrol in that area to stop kidnapping.”He added that with the prayers of Nigerians and the combined support from the Department of States Security and Nigerian Army, Nigerian Navy and police, the children would soon be rescued.
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