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13 Sep 2017

Undeterred by their experience, four of six kidnapped pupils of Igbonla resume in school

Four out of the six pupils of the Lagos State Junior and Model College, Igbonla, who were abducted on Thursday, May 25, 2017, resumed in their school on Monday.
The pupils spent 65 days in their abductors’ custody.

They, however, expressed confidence over the security of their school.

Those that have resumed are Yusuf Faruq, Agbaosi Judah, Isiaka Rahmon, and Jonah Peter, who are all in Senior Secondary School 3.

When our correspondent visited the school on Tuesday, most of the classrooms were not filled up.

During the visit, a security tower was under construction, while security officers moved about, and fences have been raised higher.

It was learnt that only 20 pupils have resumed in Junior Secondary School 1 out of the expected 229, while 205 pupils have resumed in Junior Secondary School 2 and 3 classes out of the expected 431.

When our correspondent visited the JSS 3 (a,b,c) class at 01.18pm, the pupils said their classes were merged because of the low turnout, while they had undergone lessons in Mathematics and Basic Technology.

Permanent Secretary of LASG Ministry of Education, Mr. Adeshina Odeyemi, said the kidnap incident was not responsible for the low turnout.

While speaking during a media tour to the school, he noted that efforts have been made to boost the confidence of parents, teachers and pupils.

He said, “The students have resumed and are having classes. We will have an increase in resumption before the week runs out. In the past, we know it takes about a week for public schools to have full resumption. I won’t say what we are experiencing is something extraordinary.

“The JSS 1 students have just been posted and I am sure their parents will bring them soon. The state government has done a lot to improve security in schools, and Igbonla is not exceptional.”

He noted that pupils in the school were psychologically prepared for studies, saying, “The students have been told where to assemble when there is emergency and the alarm rings. We have heightened the fence and security men are fully on ground.

“Four of the six kidnapped pupils have resumed and that is a sign that all is well and their courage is not defeated.

“When the ‘Igbonla Six’ came back, the LASG made them to go through some counselling and the last time I met them, they were already stable.”

The four kidnapped students, who said the remaining two kidnap survivors would resume soon, urged their colleagues to turn out massively for studies.

One of the kidnapped pupils, Agbaosi Judah, said they resumed back to the school to show that they were not intimidated by the incident.

He said, “We resumed yesterday (Monday) and I feel great. I am hopeful that nothing bad will happen again. We decided to come back ourselves because of our confidence in the school.

“If those of us that were victims of the crisis have the courage to resume and come back to the same school, what is stopping others? They have nothing to fear. I am not scared again, what else do I want to see that I have not seen before. God is our protector.”

Peter said he was motivated to resume because of the standard of the school.

“It has all ended,” Isiaka added.

On his part, Faruq said they felt more secure with the efforts made by the state government.

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