As parents of rescued girls, school’s governing council visit Ambode
Affected students resume classes
By Leke Adeseri, South West Regional Editor, Olasunkanmi Akoni & Bose Adelaja
PARENTS of the three rescued female students, Mr. Toyin Olaniyan, Mrs. Akinayo Ayorinde, Mrs. Funmi Olusa accompanied by the governing council of Babington Macaulay Junior Seminary, Ikorodu including the Anglican Archbishop of Ecclesiastical Province of Lagos Mainland Diocese, Most Rev. Adebayo Dada Akinde, Executive Secretary, Lagos Anglican School Management Board, Venerable Victor Olusa; School Principal, Venerable Olaoluwa Adeyemi yesterday paid a “thank you” visit to Governor Akinwunmi Ambode at the Lagos House, Alausa, Ikeja.
Speaking, Most Rev. Akinde, said his team deemed it fit to appreciate the role played by the state government in the wake of the abduction of the students from the school on February 29 and particularly the role of Governor Ambode.
According to him; “The success story of the rescue of the girls cannot be complete without the laudable efforts of the Lagos State Government.
Custody of their parents
“It was a most traumatic moment and sad for us as proprietors. Today we are thanking God for his intervention that a most unfortunate and traumatic event ended on a joyous note. All three pupils are now safe in the custody of their parents, they have been reunited. You acted and responded. Your response was prompt, your response was positive, your response was practical.
“So when we talk about this success story of the return of the three female students, your Excellency, your contribution is most overwhelming, you have shown yourself to be a passionate leader, a leader that is interested in the well being of the citizens of the state that God has placed you as the Chief Executive Officer .
“So the main objective of our mission here is to express immense thanks to your Excellency for the support you gave us. We are saying thank you, we are indeed grateful, you have started well as the Governor of the state, God will grant you the grace to continue and improve in the name of Jesus. We sincerely appreciate you and are immensely grateful,” Bishop Akinde said.
Also speaking, Principal of the school, Ven. Adeyemi said they were indeed grateful for the support, encouragement and prayers they received from several quarters while the ordeal lasted.
He said with the security apparatus put in place by the state government, the game is over for those who have taken to crime in Lagos.
“What happened has shown that there is no hiding place for criminals in Lagos. We are happy because God in his infinite mercy helped us and the security agencies did their work well and the girls are with us now. They are back in school and have reunited with their parents. I believe that God is working in Lagos,” he said.
One of the parents of the rescued girls, Ven. Ayo Olusan said they were relieved with the return of their girls, saying the prayers offered by Nigerians and the prompt effort of the state government played a huge role towards the rescue of the girls.
Rescue of the girls
Responding, Ambode said the incident was a test of the government’s commitment to the security of lives and property in the state.
“Seven days ago, the unthinkable happened, but again, we give all the glory to God that seven days after we are able to pride ourselves that one of those principal duties that you have charged this administration with is what we have just proved.
“We took it personal, not because it was a private school, not because it was far away from the metropolis, but because we all decided to say that if it were our own child or children, are we going to sit down? That is the real focus of what this administration is all about. For everything that happens we put ourselves to imagine that if it were us, what would be said about our actions and inactions.
“We are very grateful to God for giving us that opportunity to prove that the welfare and well being and the security of the people of Lagos is what is paramount to us as an administration.
“It’s just for me to reiterate that the security of lives and property is of paramount interest to this administration, we will do anything to make sure that the security of lives and property is sustained, is enhanced, because at the end of the day that is the only way we can grow the economy of Lagos,” Governor Ambode said.
Governor Ambode also sent a strong warning to criminals to desist from their nefarious activities, warning that his administration is poised to spread its security searchlight to every nook and cranny of the state.
“We know that Lagos is safe, we are reiterating once again and sending a final warning signal to all the criminals and miscreants that have been disturbing the peace of Lagos, that this time, we would be in every nook and cranny of Lagos to secure the lives of everyone,” he said.
Academic activities resume
Meantime, academic activities resumed at the school, yesterday, after the three abducted students were reunited with the school.
Olusa Timilehin, Popo- Olaniyan Tofunmi and Akinayo Deborah resumed their studies after six days in the kidnappers’ den.
They were rescued on Sunday in Imota, another town on the outskirt of Ikorodu but resumed to their various classes yesterday.
Unlike the past days when the students, parents and teachers wore a mournful look, it was a different atmosphere entirely, yesterday, as they go about the day’s activities. All effort to speak to the school authorities proved abortive. The broken rear fence through which the kidnappers gained access to the school has been re-erected.
Also, the security consciousness of the school has increased as visitors and strangers are put under close monitoring. Unlike last week when the school gate was usually left open, things have taken a different shape as visitors now pass through interrogation before gaining access to the premises.
A source in the school said, the school has been inundated with phone calls and congratulatory messages since the girls were freed while visitors have been paying visits to the school. Effort to speak to the students also proved abortive as access to the classrooms was restricted.
Snacks and soft drinks
Vanguard gathered that the school shop where snacks and soft drinks are sold has recorded a boom as students and staff thronged it in celebration of the student’s return.
APC lauds LASG, security operatives:
The Lagos State chapter of the All Progressives Congress, APC, also commended The Lagos state government and security agencies for the speedy rescue of the kidnapped students describing it as “commendable”.
The party said the rescue efforts proved the competence of the present government in governing a huge and complex state as Lagos as well as the massive investment the Ambode administration has made in security of lives and property in the state.
Lagos State Publicity Secretary of the APC, Joe Igbokwe, in a statement lauded the quick rescue of the girls and the arrest of the perpetrators of the crime has shown that the state was ready and prepared to deal with criminality .