The entire community of Ago-Tapa, Okokomaiko, in Ojo area of Lagos State was thrown into confusion last week following the kidnap of three four-year-old children. The three, two males and one female were identified as Chibuzor Nwosu, Bayo Adeyemi and Barakat Saka.
According to sources said that Chibuzor Nwosu, male, was kidnapped on June 24; Miss Barakat Saka, female, four-year-old got missing June 28, and Bayo Adeyemi, male, was abducted on June 28. Bayo, a pupil of Fazil Omar Ahmadiyya, Primary School, Okokomaiko, was said to have been kidnapped on his way home after the closing hour.
According to the report, the kidnappers’ inability to gain access to the school premises made them wait outside until the pupils were leaving for their respective homes.
In an interview with Vanguard, the chairman of the School Management Committee, Mr. Sheriff Adebayo, did not disclose the identity of the last victim, but lamented that the kidnappers abducted the pupil while returning from school.
He narrated that the child and his elder brother were on their way home when the abductors, who were in a bus, accosted them on the road and gave the elder brother N100 note, to buy candy and biscuits. The victim’s elder brother demanded to go on the errand with the victim, but they ordered him to leave his brother behind. On his return, he added that the child discovered the bus was leaving the scene. And because he is a child, rather than raise alarm, he ran home to alert the mother and before they arrived the kidnappers had disappeared.
His words, “immediately I heard about it, I called the Education secretary and he also said that was what he heard. And since then, I have set up community security to forestall future occurrence. Also, we have decided to hold Parent Teachers Association, PTA meeting to intimate parents on the need to bring their children to school and return after closing hour to pick their children. We believe with that, kidnappers will not have opportunity to have access to any child.”
A top official in Ojo Local Government, who spoke under condition of anonymity, lamented “it is true that one of the pupils was kidnapped last Tuesday after the close of school. Also, two others were kidnapped though they are not pupils of our school.
"The pupils closed at 1 pm and the mother returned to the school at about 1:57 pm with the victim’s elder brother, to report that her child has been kidnapped by some unknown me. And immediately we heard that, we swung into action to assist in the rescue, that is, we reported to the Okokomaiko police Station before we were directed to Ojo police station. And they promised to expedite action in the rescue.
"As at the close of work on Friday, we are yet to get any response from the police. The council has written formal report to the State Universal Basic Education Board, SUBEB, to alert them about the incident. The council has also called for a meeting of Head Teachers, to sensitize them on the need to be security conscious. Though we have beefed up security within our schools," he added.
Police Public Relation Officer, PPRO, Lagos Command, CSP Dolapo Badmus, said, "There are only two reported cases right now. The first is a 4 year old child that got missed from the school compound while the second got missing while playing in her grandma’s shop in a market place. The division is investigating the cases." She added.