From left: Secretary to the Ogun State Government, Barrister Taiwo Adeoluwa; Deputy Governor, Chief (Mrs.) Yetunde Onanuga and Principal, Nigerian Tullip International School, Mr. Yunus Dogan when the deputy governor led a delegation of government officials to the school yesterday following the kidnap of some of its students and teachers
By Leke Adeseri, South West Editor, Evelyn Usman & Daud Olatunji
LAGOS — The eight students and two staff of the Nigeria Turkish International School, Isheri, Ogun State, who were abducted on January 13, 2017, have regained their freedom.
They were released about 7.30pm yesterday after ransom was paid.
Available information had it that parents parted with between N4million about N10 million each to secure the release of the students and staff. The Police high command yesterday morning had assured apprehensive parents and relatives of the victims, that their wards would be released in 24 hours.
This assurance might not be unconnected with the move of the Inspector General of Police, Ibrahim Idris to personally take over the rescue operation of the victims and subsequent apprehension of those behind it.
Vanguard gathered that the visibly angry IGP, was concerned about the condition of the victims who have been kept at the kidnappers den for 12 days.
As at yesterday, the Assistant Inspector-General of Police in-charge of Zone 2 Command comprising Lagos and Ogun states police commands, Mr Kayode Aderanti, visited Ogun State. Shortly after leaving the Ota farm of former president, Olusegun Obasanjo , he told newsmen that the police were closing in on the kidnappers, adding that the zonal command was doing all it could to rid Ogun and Lagos states of criminals.
He said : “We are working assiduously towards getting the children back . In a matter of 24 hours or there about, they will be out. Just give us sometime, we are working seriously on them.
‘’My visit here is to let them know that I am here to put in my best, to support the structure on the ground, to work closely with my Commissioners of Police, who have been doing a hell of a job and to ensure we put up a very good security architecture in Ogun state such that everybody will go about his or her duty without fear”
Multiple confirmation of release
Vanguard obtained multiple confirmation of the victims release last night. The AIG told Vanguard; ‘’We thank God the ordeal is over. Now we can concentrate on bringing the abductors to book.’’
According to him; ‘’The victims were released close to their school around 7.30pm.
The school’s Public Relations Officer, Mr Cema Yigit told Vanguard, with a lot of excitement in his voice, that; ‘’Yes they’ve been released but I cant give you much details now. But a statement will be issued later.’’
Another staff of the school who craved anonymity said all the 10 victims were released.
‘’However they were all taken to an undisclosed hospital to determine their state of health and stabilise them emotionally.’’
According to Ogun State Police Public Relations Officer, PPPRO, Abimbola Oyeyemi ;’’The victims were released last night and we are expecting them at the police command, Eleweran, Abeokuta tomorrow (today).
Parents besiege school
It was further gathered as soon as the news of the release of the victims filtered to town, parents of the affected students and the staff as well as other parents thronged the school premises.
According to the source it was jubilation galore as the parents, teachers and the management could not hide their happiness.
Statement from school
A statement issued by the school, signed by Yigit read; “We wish to inform the general public that the kidnapped students and staff of the Nigerian Tulip International Colleges (NTIC) Ogun state, have regained freedom.
The victims were released this evening after a painstaking collaborative effort by the relevant security agencies in the country.
The management of NTIC wishes to express our gratitude to the relevant security agencies for their efforts in securing the release of the three students, one Turkish teacher, a cook and three supervisors.
“ We also wish to extend our appreciation to the government and good people of Ogun State for their support throughout the difficult period. The role of the Ogun State Government is highly appreciated.
“Our special appreciation also goes to President Muhammadu Buhari, the Inspector General of Police, the Director-General of the Department of State Services, the Chief of Army Staff, and others too numerous to mention for their efforts.