Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode on Wednesday said his government will spare no effort to ensure the safe release of the three female students of Babington Macaulay Junior Seminary School in Ikorodu area of the state.
The girls were kidnapped by an armed gang who invaded the school on Monday evening.
The Governor in a statement signed by the Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Mr. Steve Ayorinde, condemned the unfortunate incident, just as he assured that the police and other security operatives have swung into action, with useful leads and with an unwavering determination to track down the perpetrators of the act and ensure the safe return of the girls.
“We have not been silent on this unfortunate development. In a delicate security matter of this nature, where young innocent people are involved and management of information demands utmost circumspect, we were convinced that swift and coordinated reaction, guided by intelligence reports on the part of the police, was a better and more sensitive approach to take, rather than a sensational, panic-stricken reaction,” Governor Ambode said.
He said the State Commissioner of Police, Mr. Fatai Owoseni, as well as the Assistant Inspector General of Police for the Lagos/Ogun Command were fully on ground at the scene and vicinity of the incident leading the entire coordinated effort involving every military apparatus.
“We believe in the capacity of the police to lead this rescue mission. I have had ceaseless briefing with them since the incident happened and God helping us, we shall spare no effort in securing the safe release of the girls and continue to secure the school and indeed every part of Lagos,” he said.
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Governor Ambode said the incident may not be unconnected with his recent visit to some parts of Ikorodu where he read the riot act to vandals and criminal gangs on the resolve of the state government to take the battle to their hideouts in a spirited effort to secure the pipelines.
“We believe this is a case of evil fighting back. But Lagos will neither succumb to threats of lawlessness nor bow to terror.
“Our resolve is very clear; we will assist the police and other security agencies in dealing decisively with this one unfortunate case and prevent future recurrence. We will deploy the resources at our disposal to safeguard every life and property within our care,” he said.
Governor Ambode also recalled a similar incident in Arepo area of Ogun State, where a senior staff of a leading telecommunications agency was kidnapped three days ago, saying that he has gotten assurance from both the Ogun State Police and Lagos Police Commands on their collaborative efforts to tame the menace of kidnapping and ensure return of order and safety.
He also commended the gallantry of the students of the school who put up a courageous resistance to prevent the abduction of their mates, just as he praised the mature and measured response of the school management in the wake of the incident.
“The state government is with you in bringing this unfortunate episode to a quick resolution. I wish to appeal for calm and support of every Lagosian. I urge them to be vigilant and helpful to the security operatives in this onerous task to rid the state of every form of criminality, cultism and terrorism,” Governor Ambode said.