Nigeria: Release of abducted college students dominates front pages in Nigeria

Lagos, Nigeria (PANA) - The release of 6 college students, kidnapped from their hostel 65 days ago, was the main story in Nigeria this week.

The GUARDIAN, writing under the headline "Kidnapped Igbonla students freed", reported that exactly 65 days into captivity, the six male students of the Igbonla Government Model College, Epe, in Lagos State, finally secured their freedom on Friday.

Although they are yet to be reunited with their parents, it was gathered that the boys are presently at the government house in Akure, Ondo State.

The boys – Peter Jonah, Isiaq Rahmon, Adebayo George, Judah Agbausi, Pelumi Philips and Farouq Yusuf, were abducted on Thursday, 25 May, 2017, by some gunmen.

Despite the initial payment of 10 million Naira (about US$ 25,000) as ransom and an additional 20 million Naira (about US$ 50,000) to the gang, making it a total of 30million Naira paid, the whereabouts of the boys remained unknown even with continuous promises by the government and the police that they are safe.

The kidnappers, however, demanded extra 1.5 million Naira as transportation before they will release the boys.

However, efforts later paid off on Friday as the boys were released by the kidnappers in South West Ondo State, about 260 kilometres away from Lagos.

Confirming the incident, the Lagos State Commissioner of Police, Fatai Owoseni, said the boys have been released, but declined to give additional information on the circumstances that led to their release.

The GUARDIAN gathered that the release followed a combined effort of the Rapid Response Squad (RRS) and Anti-Kidnapping Unit of the Lagos State Police Command, led by Owoseni.

It was also gathered that their final release was a culmination of underground work by the police operatives who were deployed to help in the rescue of the boys.

"Breaking News: Six students kidnapped in Epe released", was the headline of the VANGUARD newspaper.

The report said "Finally, the six Senior Secondary School Students of Lagos Model College,Igbonla, Epe have regained their freedom," adding that they were rescued from Aboto creek, Ilaje Local Government Area of Ondo state , at about 3.30pm on Friday.

Their release as gathered was effected by the Lagos and Ondo state governments and the Nigeria Police.

After abducting the students, the kidnappers established contact with their parents, demanding a ransom of 400 million (about US$ 1 million).

The online reported that it was the Ondo State Governor, Rotimi Akeredolu, who secures the release of the students following his personal intervention.

It did not further details but added that the kidnappers were persons suspected to be Niger Delta militants.

Kidnapping for ransom, targetting the rich as well as politicians and their family members, is rampant in Nigeria.

Abducted persons are usually freed unharmed after the payment of ransom, but such payments are rarely publicly admitted.

On a few occasion, abducted persons have been killed even after ransom payment.
-0- PANA VAO 29July2017

29 july 2017 07:52:06

xhtml CSS