In Ondo To Attack Before I Was Arrested – Boko Haram Suspect

Mohammed Bashir, a Boko Haram suspect arrested last Sunday in Ondo state, yesterday disclosed that members of the group were planning to strike in the state when he was nabbed by security operatives.

Bashir said some members of the dreaded group were now residing in different parts of the state having escaped from the northeast, the center of their operations.

“I was arrested while looking for a place to eat. I was with other members of the group looking for food. Some of us are in different parts of the state.

“We were planning to attack people and facilities. We were even planning to strike when I was arrested by the law enforcement agents.

“My colleagues are in Nasarawa and some other states in the north. But a sizeable number of us has relocated to the south west. We are many in Ondo state,” he said.

The 20-year-old Boko Haram member was arrested by men of the state police command at Isua-Akoko in Akoko Southeast Local Government Area.

He was nabbed at the place where Idris Babawo, another member of the sect on the wanted list of the military, was arrested last week.

Bashir spoke at the Police Headquarters in Akure, the state capital, after being paraded among other suspected criminals by the Commissioner of Police, Olugbenga Adeyanju.

The jihadist said members of the group were fond of killing for pleasure, adding that he had killed two persons since he was initiated into the group.

Bashir, who spoke in Hausa through an interpreter while narrating how he joined the group, said: “I was sent away by my father in Kano state. He expressed concern about my silence and cold attitude at home.

“I was later asked to come home by my mother who was receiving treatment at a psychiatric hospital in Kano state for ear problem.

“I used to be a herdsman before I was recruited into the Boko Haram sect. I became a member about eight months ago. I was captured in the forest while gracing my cattle. I was later initiated into the sect.

“I’ve killed two persons since I joined the group, one child and a man. Killing people was normal to us. We Killed for pleasure most of the time.”

He said some influential people in the country were behind the group, adding: “They are the ones who supply weapons we use for our operations.”

The suspect, who urged other members of the group to lay down their arms and stop killing people, said he had repented since he was arrested.

He begged Federal Government for pardon, saying: “We are two children of my parents. If I am killed, my parents will be left with only one child. He is the one that goes to farm with my father.”

Adeyanju said Bashir was arrested on Sunday by a special anti-crime patrol squad along Ifira road in Isua, adding that after interrogation, the suspect confessed to be a member of the dreaded Boko Haram group.

Osun Commissioner Condemn Ondo On Soccer Fracas At Ijebu-Ode

The State of Osun Commissioner for Social Protection, Sports and Special needs, Comrade Biyi Odunlade has condemned in strong term the spurious and blatant lies concocted by the Ondo State Commissioner for Youths and Sports, Mr. Saka Yussuff Ogunleye, on the fracas that occurred between players and supporters of Sunshine FC Akure and Osun United FC in Ijebu-Ode.

Comrade Odunlade made the condemnation on Wednesday at a Press Conference organised by the Ministry to brief the Press and the Public on the Events that led to the imbroglio.

The Commissioner explained that poor officiating, the unruly behaviour of sunshine FC Coach, Duke Udi and the support of Sunshine FC by Ijebu-Ode based Remo FC and Gateway FC also of Ijebu-Ode, paved the way for the violence which led to the destruction of properties, while some Osun players and supporters were seriously injured.

He went further that the Ondo state Commissioner for youths and Sports ought to have gathered information from reliable sources instead of relying on false information given by the officials and players of Sunshine FC before addressing the Press, and giving false information to the public.

Comrade Odunlade stated that the State Football Association has already written a formal letter of complaint to the Nigerian Football Federation for necessary action.

While speaking at the Press Briefing, the State Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Mr. Adelani Baderinwa said that the attack on Osun players and supporters by Sunshine FC and he allies has nothing to do with an earlier attack on the State of Osun Commissioner for Regional Integration, Mr. Bola Ilori in Akure by some political hoodlums as being insinuated by some people.

Mr. Baderinwa particularly frowned at the unprofessional attitude of some journalists who reported the incidents, and he advised them to be objective and allow balance in their stories.

It will be recalled that the second leg quarter final match in this years’ AITEO Cup between Sunshine FC Akure, and Osun United Osogbo, which took place on the twenty third of September 2017 at Dipo-Dina stadium, Ijebu-Ode ended in a fiasco in which six Osun supporters and players were seriously injured while Five buses belonging to the State of Osun were vandalised by Sunshine FC players and Supporters, including their allies in Remo Stars and Gateway FC, Ijebu-Ode.

Group Condemns Attack On Bola Ilori In Ondo

The Ondo state chapter of Asiwaju Grassroots Foundation, AGF has expressed its unreserved condemnation of the unwarranted attack against the person of the Osun state Commissioner for Regional Integration Hon. Bola Ilori describing the act as a serious embarrassment to Ondo state and a serious dent on Ondo state credential of civility.

The group in a release issued in Akure and signed by the state co-ordinator Mr. Olanrewaju Akinkuotu said: “the despicable act is totally alien to Yoruba culture of upholding human dignity and civility towards one’s guests”.

“The APC Zonal Consultation on restructuring was advertised as an open invitation event and all Nigerians were encouraged to be in attendance to share their opinion on the future of Nigeria. Its therefore strange where the logic that Bola Ilori should not have attended the event came from. If anything, the scenario has portrayed the Ondo Government functionaries that anchored the event has lacking in basic understanding of what their mandates were”

“To the best of our knowledge, Hon. Bola Ilori is a Nigerian and that grants him the basic right to be at the event. When you now add that to the fact that he was there as part of the delegation of another sister state duly invited for the programme, then the harassment suffered by Hon. Bola Ilori smacks of arrant lack of sense of accommodation of divergent opinions which is the hallmark of true democracy. This is undemocratic and brutish totally unjustifiable and we condemn it in its entirety.

“We are also surprised and embarrassed by the acute display of lack of tact by the Ondo state commissioner of Information. What any knowledgeable government functionary would have done was to immediately condemn the attack and distance the government from the act even if they are the actual sponsor. The rationalization of the violence by the information commissioner has in a big way escalated what could have been better managed. We sincerely believe that our Governor Bar Rotimi Akeredolu (SAN) is not part of this dishonourable act but mere thoughtless action of some overzealous aides”

“This is not the first time Oranmiyan would intervene in Ondo politics. We remember that the same Oranmiyan with the same flag the information Commissioner tries to cast aspersions against in a bid to defend a miscreant who tore Hon. Bola Iloori shirt was in Ondo state in 2012 to campaign and set up structures throughout the state to support our current Governor Bar. Akeredolu, simple search on google would have reveal this to our commissioner. Our information Commissioner should not be seen to be helping the governor source more enemies, we should all promote unity and good neighbourliness”.

“We hereby call on law enforcement agents to immediately arrest and prosecute the perpetrators of the attack and their sponsors. The allegations against the Secretary to the state government should also be investigated. We call on leaders of APC to immediately intervene in the matter to prevent further escalation of the unwarranted crisis. The possibility of what this sad event can lead to is beginning to manifest with the condemnable violence between Sunshine stars supporters and Osun United where Sunshine stars suffered two injuries and about six Osun Government buses were destroyed in the fracas. Whoever thinks it cannot get beyond this if no effort is made to intervene would only be playing ostrich” AGF concluded.

Osun United: Ondo Govt. Distortion of Fact Shocking, Unfortunate – Odunlade

BEING TEXT OF PRESS CONFERENCE ADDRESSED ON WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 27, 2017 BY THE STATE OF OSUN COMMISSIONER FOR SOCIAL PROTECTION, SPORTS AND SPECIAL NEEDS, COMRADE BIYI ODUNLADE ON THE ATTACK ON PLAYERS, OFFICIALS AND SUPPORTERS OF THE OSUN UNITED FC BY PLAYERS AND SUPPORTERS OF SUNSHINE FC, AKURE AT THE DIPO-DINA STADIUM, IJEBU-ODE, OGUN STATE ON SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 23, 2017

 

Protocol!

 

Good morning gentlemen of the press. We are here to address you on the unprovoked, senseless and barbaric attack on the innocent players, officials and supporters of the Osun United FC by the uncultured and violent Sunshine FC, Akure and the thugs they mobilized to the Dipo-Dina Stadium, Ijebu-Ode, Ogun State on Saturday, 23th September, 2017.

 

This press conference might not have been necessary but for the deceit, mischief and ungodliness of the Ondo State Commissioner for Youth and Sport, Mr Saka Yusuf Ogunleye who had alleged at a press conference that supporters of the Osun United FC attacked the Sunshine players and injured some of them in the process. We considered this allegation as a blatant lie, vituperations from the pit of hell and desperate attempt to lure the unsuspecting members of the public into misconstruing the true report on the brutalization of our players, officials, supporters and fans. The real aim is to turn the story against us to earn unjustified public sympathy. The Commissioner also made fruitless effort to politicize the show of shame and display of savage thuggery by the Sunshine FC by linking it with the reprehensible attack on the State of Osun Commissioner for Regional Integration, Hon. Bola Ilori by thugs suspected to have been sponsored by the Ondo State Government officials recently at another event in Akure. If we may ask, where does sport event relates with political activities?

 

May I quickly establish the fact that hooliganism and violence are synonymous with the Sunshine Stars of Akure as it has caused untold hardships and pains on many Nigerian clubs in the past and get banished from its Akure home ground. It should be noted that the Sunshine Stars FC, on the account of thuggery displayed in one of its recent matches was banished to Ijebu-Ode for its own matches because of the hooliganism and vicious hacking of the players, officials and supporters of opposition teams. With the event of last Sunday, it is obvious that the leopard will never change its skin. The Sunshine Stars displayed its crudeness at its highest, as they launched attack on the Osun United FC players, officials and supporters when it was obvious we were on the victory run.  It is worth knowing and noting that the fact that the Ondo Commissioner for Sports, Mr Saka Ogunleye who cooked up the lies against Osun United FC supporters was not in Ijebu-Ode with us. It is a big shame, fraudulent and absolute disgrace to all that is good and Omoluabi ethos that he could comfortably weave together mischievous and malicious lies told to him and present it as the account of event he did not witness. If Mr Ogunleye could publicly lie, the way he did against the viciously attacked innocent supporters of the Osun United FC, then, we dare say that he lacks the integrity and credibility to be part of any upright administration.

 

THE TRUE STORY

On Saturday, 23rd September 2017, Osun United FC and Sunshine FC had played the second leg match of the AITEO Cup at the Dipo-Dina Stadium, Ijebu-Ode. The match started at 4pm smoothly with supporters of both sides cheering their clubs peacefully. The Osun United FC had defeated Sunshine FC at the first leg match played at Osogbo City Stadium on Wednesday, September 20, with a lone goal.

The second leg match at Dipo-Dina stadium was on peacefully till the interval (half-time) when Sunshine FC Coach, Mr Duke Udi and supporters of the team started embarrassing and harassing officials, players and the supporters of Osun United.

 

The officiating teams were not spared from the verbal venom. It was later discovered that the referee of the match, Mr Ferdinand Udoh from Akwa Ibom State, had been obviously compromised by the Sunshine FC and its allies. In showing his decided bias to the Osun United, Referee Udoh issued 6(six) yellow cards to players of Osun United FC and also awarded a questionable penalty against our team. The controversial penalty afforded the Sunshine FC to score the second goal, while Osun United had one goal. Despite the unwarranted, satanic and pre-meditated penalty, the supporters of the Sunshine Club did not stop the verbal assaults on our supporters, apparently they prepared to intimidate and unleash terror on us.

 

The match continued until the injury time when the referee allowed an offside for the Sunshine FC to score its controversial third goal, while he denied Osun United a direct Free-Kick which might have given another goal advantage to make the match a 3-2 result and put the aggregate at 3-5 in favour of Osun United FC. This did not go down well with supporters of the Osun United FC and they began to shout on top of their voices in protest. The supporters of the Sunshine FC who had been hauling abusive words on the Osun United supporters quickly seized the opportunity and launched a physical attack on them, leading to pandemonium. Of course, the match got disrupted and the story is what we are telling now.

 

Bad enough, it was discovered that the supporters of Gateway FC and Remo Stars FC joined forces with those of Sunshine FC to attack Osun United Football Club. For the benefit of hindsight, Osun United had earlier defeated Gateway Football Club of Ogun State in the 2017 League (week 28) on Saturday 9th September 2017 by 2 goals to nothing, thereby cutting short their aspiration to get promoted to the Nigeria Professional Football League. This blow was fatal to the Ogun Gateway Football Club, hence their resolve to join forces with Sunshine FC. Also, Remo Football Club of Ogun State had also been a victim of Osun United FC’s defeat in the recent past. Their supporters were in the Stadium that day (Saturday 23rd September) supporting Sunshine FC as a matter of vendetta against a ravaging Osun United FC.

During the attack, the second goalkeeper of Osun United FC and the captain of the team, Akeem Olalere, a.k.a Kebu were grievously injured by the attackers. Five of the buses that conveyed Osun United FC and supporters to the stadium were vandalized by the supporters of the Sunshine FC in league with those of Gateway United and Remo Stars. The supporters of Sunshine Stars, Gateway United and Remo Stars were so unruly that it took the combined efforts of soldiers and the police to quell the uproar and came to our rescue and returned normalcy. The attackers actually held Osun contingent hostage for hours.

 

The case was reported at Igbeba Police Division at Ijebu-Ode. Six of the Sunshine FC Supporters and three supporters of the Osun United FC were arrested by the police. Some hoodlums from Ijebu-Ode who were caught in the act of vandalisation were also arrested, with particular reference to a non-Yoruba speaking female staff member/athlete of Ogun State Sport Council who was caught vandalizing the buses. However, the arrested Osun United Supporters were released on Sunday, 24th September, 2017.

 

The greatly obvious bias, misconduct and compromise of the officiating referee, Mr Ferdinand Udoh, has been reported to the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF).

 

Gentlemen of the press, that is the true accounts of what transpired at the Dipo-Dina stadium during Osun United Match with Sunshine FC. We have both video and photo evidence to buttress our claims and we challenged Ondo State Commissioner for Sport to produce the pictures of any of its vehicle vandalized.

 

We refuse to be deceived by the pictures of two faceless people published in yesterday’s Tribune newspaper to portray the victims of the attack by the Ondo Youth and Sport Commissioner.

 

It is unfortunate that Ondo State Commissioner for Youth and Sport, Mr Saka Yusuf Ogunleye could stoop so low to the level of lying to defend the indefensible – the uncivilized, criminal, and barbaric actions of the uncultured players and supporters of the Sunshine FC. It is not the first time they were caught in such behavior and like we noted earlier, the leopard will not change its skin. And we emphasize that this deliberate attack in football has nothing to do with the other deliberate attack on Hon Bola Ilori in Akure by the political attack dogs set on him, allegedly by officials of the Ondo state government, as stated by the victim, Ilori himself. We note too, that attack on fellow human being/s, be it on the field of play or on the campaign rostrum is reprehensible, condemnable and ungodly. It is unfortunate that Ogunleye, the tale telling man is a cabinet member in the administration of a Senior Advocate of Nigeria.

I will like to end this address by saying that Osun United FC and its supporters have always been peaceful and professional as a football club unlike our neighbor Sunshine FC which is known for thuggery. We reject any attempt to smear our image by some unscrupulous elements, no matter how highly placed.

 

Thank you for listening.

 

Comrade Biyi Odunlade

Commissioner for Social Protection, Sports and Special Needs

State of Osun

 

Attack On Bola Ilori Is Attack On Osun People, Government

State Government of Osun has described as barbaric, reprehensible th‎e attack on its Commissioner for Regional Integration, Hon. Bola Ilori by sponsored political thugs at Restructuring programme in Akure, the Ondo State capital on Thursday.

Ilori was part of the delegation that  presented the position of Osun at the All Progressives Congress (APC) public forum on true Federalism and Restructuring in its mission to get the views of the people of Ekiti, Ondo and Osun.

Gov Aregbesola in a press release signed by his media adviser, Mr. Sola Fasure described the attack as barbaric, reprehensible and an assault on the Sovereignty of the state.

While calling on law enforcement agencies to ensure that the perpetrators of the attack are brought to book, Aregbesola said whoever is behind this undemocratic action must be fished out and prosecuted.

The Governor also wondered whether the comment of Ondo State Commissioner for Information and Orientation, Mr. Yemi‎ Olowolabi, that the Osun Delegate was the aggressor who had come to the venue of the event to cause trouble, was diplomatic enough.

He noted that such remarks is capable of causing disaffection between the two sister states, who have lived without any rancour towards each other for years since the creation of both states.

According to the Statement , Ilori represented the state and as such ought to be accorded all the respect and courtesy  due to the State of Osun by both government of Ondo and the security agencies.

He said, “The statement credited to Hon. Yemi Olowolabi that ‘what happened is sad but it is avoidable. It is apparent the Osun delegates came prepared with thugs, charms, ammunitions cudgels to an event which was supposed to be an all APC event’ was highly undiplomatic and not expected from a commissioner of that status.

“This state of affairs was far from the truth as Olowolabi made people to believe. The Osun delegate simply went armed with their intellect to marshal the position of the state.

“Why would a delegate ‎go with dangerous objects to a conference on restructuring when Ondo and Osun are not at war or in confrontation over any issue.

“Ilori represented the government and people of Osun. Therefore, he deserved to be accorded the courtesy and respect due to the state. He deserved to be protected by the government of the Ondo as well as security agencies at the. Venue of the conference.

“All these safety measures were not put in place. Rather Hon. Ilori was exposed‎ to attack by some top government official, who reportedly had axe to grind with Ilori over election matters in the state.

“The attack on Ilori is barbaric and reprehensible, to say the least. It is no doubt an attack on the entire people and government of Osun, whom Ilori represented at the meeting. We condemn in strong terms this affront on the people and Government of Osun, which the attack on our delegate signposted.”

Hoodlums Attack Osun United Fans, Vandalise 8 Buses In Ogun

By Toba Ajisafe

 

Terror was unleashed on fans of Osun United Football at Dipo Dina Stadium Ijebu-Ode, Ogun state when suspected supporters of Ogun and Ondo football teams damaged the government buses that conveyed the team and wounded some fans.

 

According to a source, identified as Ambassador, who posted the pictures of the damaged buses on a Whatsapp platform ‘Osun Media and Allies Forum’ said “Thousands of our teaming fans are presently under siege of this hoodlums and held hostage.

He wrote “Osun United Fans saw hell today when Ondo and Ogun football supporters connived to unleashed terror with maximum beating to the supporters of Osun United, vandalized their vehicles at Dina Dipo Stadium, Ijebu Ode.”

 

When he was contacted on phone, he was not answering his call as at the time of filing this report.

 

The Spokesman of the Team, Mr, Tunde Shamsudeen confirmed the incident to OSUN DEFENDER on phone.

 

He said they were attacked immediately after the match and eight vehicles belonging to the team were vandalised.

 

He however noted that both the team and the fans did not sustain any injuries as claimed.

 

It would be recalled that Osun State Commissioner for Regional Integration, Mr. Bola Ilori was attacked by suspected thugs in Ondo.

Ondo: Attack on Bola Ilori Barbaric, Irresponsible – Oranmiyan

The Oranmiyan Group, a socio-political organization in the State of Osun, has described as barbaric and condemnable the unprovoked attack and attempt on the life of Mr. Bola Ilori, the Osun State Commissioner for Regional Integration by the agents of Ondo State Government during the All Progressive Congress (APC) South West Consultative Restructure meeting, held in Akure, Ondo, State Capital on Thursday. 

The Oranmiyan in a press statement signed by its Youth Leader, Mr. Olajide Sadiq on Friday, said the indifferent posture of the Ondo state officials at the event was highest level of irresponsibility that any government officials could have drifted into and that such impunity is capable of derailing the democratic development in Nigeria.

Olajide who spoke in strong term said it is cruel for anyone under any guise to attack another, adding that the attitude of the security personnel attached to Ondo state Deputy Governor, Hon. Agboola Ajayi was far from posture expected of the security agents.

Calling on the Inspector General of Police, Mr. Ibrahim Idris to investigate the attack and bring to book those responsible for the gruesome attack, The Oranmiyan warned that attack on its leader must not be swept under the carpet.

We considered it as rude, criminal and flagrant disrespect to rule of law and complete infringement on the right of Mr Bola Ilori, the deliberate and planned attack on the state of Osun commissioner by the suspected contracted thugs of the Ondo State government who nearly murdered Bola Ilori during a forum designed to be platform to chart a better course for our party, APC and Nigeria at large facing apparent secession and devolution agitations from all parts of the country.

“Without any hestiation, Ilori attack at the International Cultural and Event Center was premeditated and state organised as the commissioner who never had any encounter with anyone was openly attack, manhandled and almost stripped naked despite heavy presence of security details of the Ondo State Deputy Governor, Hon Agboola Ajayi and Secretary to the State Government Hon. Ifedayo Abegunde.

“In the process of the attack, several members of Oranmiyan Group and other stakeholder’s from the State of Osun were severely molested and beaten. Despite several entreaties, the Deputy Governor and SSG watched with pleasure while their security details also ignored the brutal attack until the hoodlums took over the venue and began to attack known faces from Osun.

“Oranmiyan group considered the attacked supervised by top government officials as highest level of irresponsibility with public office, and impunity that capable of derailing the democratic development in Nigeria.

“We however call on the Inspector General of Police to specially investigate the police personnel deployed for the conference particularly the security details of the Ondo State Deputy Governor and the SSG who openly supervised and aided the attacks and attempt on the life of Bola Ilori. It is also important to arrest the perpetrators who openly displayed firearms and injured participants at the conferences.

“The dexterity and braveness of the thugs pose a serious danger to the peace of Ondo, and if not timely checked; only God knows who will live to tell another story.

Osinbajo In Akure To Attend National Council On Niger Delta Meeting

The Vice President of Nigeria, Prof Yemi Osinbajo, has arrived Akure, the capital of Ondo State to attend 2nd National Council on Niger Delta meeting.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Osinbajo would deliver the keynote address at the event and later meet with communities of riverside areas of Ondo State.

Osinbajo, accompanied by the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Usani Usani, was received on arrival by Gov. Oluwarotimi Akeredolu.

Also on the vice presidents entourage were the Minister of State, Niger Delta Affairs, Prof Claudius Daramola, and Sen. Victor Udoma, Chairman, Niger Delta Development Commission.

He touched down at the Akure airport amid tight security provided by the police, Army, Civil Defence Corps and road marshals among others.

Others at the airport to receive the vice president were the Speaker, Ondo state House of Assembly, Mr Bamidele Oleyeloogun, Secretary to the State Government, Ifedayo Abegunde and other top government officials.

Akeredolu Wants FG to Expand Amnesty Programme

The Ondo State Governor, Oluwarotimi Akeredolu on Saturday urged the Federal Government to expand the current amnesty programme to accommodate more youths in the Niger Delta region.

Akeredolu made the call when the Special Adviser to the President on Niger Delta Affairs, Maj.-Gen. Paul Boroh (Rtd) visited him in Akure.

The governor said the Federal Government could take a cue from Ondo State, which created a University of Science and Technology in Okitipupa, where people could learn how to build boats and take engineering courses.

“It is unnecessary to send them out of the country.

“A university can be set up here; the one that can teach them to build flying boats and other things that will make them to be useful to themselves and the area.

“So many things can be learnt from the university. Let us integrate more of them into the amnesty programme; let us engage them to reduce youth restiveness in the region,” he said.

Earlier, Boroh said he was happy with the relative peace in the ijaw area of the state.

Boroh said he was in the state because of the summit of the National Council on Niger Delta and to assess other issues.

NAN

65 Days After, Six Kidnapped Lagos Students Released In Ondo

Exactly 65 days after the six male students of Igbonla Government College, Epe, Lagos, were abducted from their school premises, they finally secured their freedom yesterday.

The boys, Peter Jonah, Isiaka Ramon, Adebayo George, Judah Agbausi, Pelumi Philips and Farouq Yusuf, who were abducted on Thursday, May 25, 2017, were finally released at about 3.30pm at Aboto Creek at Ilaje Local Government Area of Ondo State. 

Their release was a combined effort of the Rapid Response Squad (RRS) and Anti-Kidnapping Unit of the Lagos State Police Command led by CP Fatai Owoseni, championed by the Lagos and Ondo State Governments.   

The students were released to government officials led by the Deputy Governor of Ondo State, Hon Agboola Ajayi,  at Ajakpa Community in Ese Odo Local Government Area of Ondo State. A source said no ransom was paid before the students were released.

According to the source, the just released children were taken to the Presidential Villa, Abuja to meet with the Acting President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo 

Meanwhile, after the boys were rescued alive, they were first scheduled to be taken to the Ondo State Government House, in Akure, to been seen by Governor Rotimi Akeredolu, but that movement was later aborted. However, the governments of Ondo and Lagos later met and commended each other for the roles each played in the rescue. 

Speaking on the rescue through his deputy Dr. Oluranti Adebule, Governor Ambode said “The issue of security is a social contract that we have signed with the people of Lagos and we would ensure that we do not disappoint. As far as our schools are concerned, we are going back to the drawing board to secure our schools before the next academic session”.

The students were later moved from Ondo to Lagos and barring any unforeseen circumstances, would meet their parents at the Alausa Government house in Ikeja, Lagos.  

One of the happy parents, Mr. Ramon, who confirmed that he had spoken with his son on the phone, expressed happiness and excitement at the development. 

He said, “After I called the Lagos CP and was told my son and others were rescued, I was finally able to speak to my son Isiaka and he sounded fine. He assured me he was okay. My joy knows no bounds.”

It was gathered that the boys could have initially been released last week but for the presence of the police, who had tracked them down after they came out of hiding to demand for additional ransom.  

Having narrowed the search down to the creeks, the police had blocked all channels leading in and out of the creeks where the boys were held captive, thus scaring the gang further inside.

When it became obvious that the suspects would not surrender, the police were constrained to open up some of the channels to first secure the boys and that was what culminated in the release of the boys into the care of the Ondo State Government. 

As at press time, it was yet unclear if any other ransom was paid to finally secure their release apart from the initial deposit of N10million and the additional N20million to the gang, making it a total of N30million.

This is because the suspects had demanded for an additional N1.5million to transport the boys after the second tranche of N20million was paid to them. 

Confirming the incident, the Lagos State Commissioner of Police, Fatai Owoseni, said the boys had been released, but said 20 of the kidnappers died during gun duel with security forces, while eight policemen and four civilian volunteers sustained injuries.

He, however, disclosed that one civilian volunteer unfortunately died in the process of rescuing the students while a suspect, who attempted to capitalise on the situation to swindle the parents of the students by asking that they should bring ransom to Abeokuta, was arrested and was currently in police custody.

 It was also gathered that their final release was a culmination of underground work by the police operatives who were deployed to help in the rescue of the boys.  

Their freedom did not however come cheap, rather it was fraught with hopelessness and incessant broken promises on the part of the parents and a feeling of inefficiency on the part of the security operatives deployed to secure their release. 

Prior to their abduction, the six students were part of the student body that had woken up for the day’s activities without any premonition of what would befall them afterwards. 

Whilst at the assembly ground the next day, the militants had struck in their numbers and in no particular order made away with the six students. 

Although initial information had alleged that two members of staff were among those abducted, the picture became clearer later in the day after the school took stock. 

With that began the tortuous journey of what ended up to be 65 days spent in captivity, with little or no communication  on the part of the kidnappers to the parents, save for their calls for ransom, which later even stopped coming for a long while. 

The kidnappers had cut off communication when three of their members were picked up from Edo State by the Inspector General of Police Intelligence Response Team.

An attempt by police forces to brave the odds and enter the creeks where they were initially kept was rebuffed by the gang, although the police succeeded in killing several of them.

With their hideout in jeopardy, the gang had moved to the creeks in Ondo State and thenceforth cut off communication with the distraught parents of the kids, but this was after N10million had been paid. 

Barely three weeks ago, the gang had resumed communication and demanded for an additional N20million, which was paid and they again demanded for N1.5million for transportation. 

Meanwhile, the release of the boys came less than one week after Acting President Yemi Osinbajo, who was in Lagos last week, vowed that the children would return as quickly as possible. 

Ondo State Government yesterday said the release of the six kidnapped students of Igbonla Model School, Epe, Lagos State was made possible through the determined and conscientious efforts of the Acting President, the governments of Lagos, Ondo, Ogun, Delta states and the security agencies, including the Police, SSS and the Military. 

The Chief Press Secretary to the Ondo State Governor, Mr. Segun Ajiboye disclosed that in the last few days, the deputy governors of Ondo and Delta states had worked tirelessly to ensure that the students were released. 

Ajiboye said the students would be handed over to the deputy governor of Lagos State for further actions. 

He said the government commended Nigerians for their prayers, and charged security agencies to remain committed to their responsibility of ensuring the safety of the citizens 

In a press statement, Lagos State Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Mr. Steve Ayorinde congratulated the parents of the students and all concerned stakeholders over the development, just as he said the students would undergo series of medical tests and trauma therapy before they were reunited with their families.

“This is a welcome development and the State Government has always believed that the students would be released unhurt. The news of their release is therefore a confirmation of that belief and we are glad that they would be reuniting with their families,” Ayorinde said. 

He said the State Government remained resolute in its commitment to ensure the safety of lives and property of residents in the State and has already beefed up security in schools to prevent a re-occurrence.

“It is on record that the Governor Akinwunmi Ambode-led administration has invested massively on equipment and welfare of security personnel so as to ensure that the State remains safe for residents and investors.

“This Government has already taken giant steps to secure all our schools especially those in the suburbs and riverine areas and we are confident that the steps taken so far will go a long way in nipping a repeat of such in the bud,” Ayorinde said.

Ondo Lawmaker Donates Library, Ambulances to Constituency

Mike Omogbehin, the member representing Okitipupa/Irele Federal Constituency on the platform of PDP on Monday unveiled a well-equipped library for the use of Idepe High School, Okitipupa.

No fewer than 230 students from various higher institutions across the country who are from his constituency also benefitted from his N10,000 per-student bursary award.

The lawmaker also donated two Peugeot Partner ambulances and mobile clinics to Okitipupa and Irele Primary Health Centres.

Omogbehin in his address at the occasion said that he had always seen the votes of his constituents as an investment in him which prompted him to give back to it.

He added that his constituents needed better treatment, especially, in the area of education and healthcare which were parts of their yearnings and paramount to his ideals.

He promised to represent his constituents well at the National Assembly (NASS) by being the voice of the voiceless and move motions that would develop his constituency.

“I think my constituents deserve the best, especially, in education and healthcare because education is power as health is wealth, these I promise to give back to them.

“I promise to also engage youths in agriculture and skills’ acquisition as part of the dividends of democracy.

“I have also moved a motion on problem of erosion and power outage in our constituency which I believe will see the light of the day,” Omogbehin said.

Other empowerment materials distributed by the lawmaker include: 22 Bajaj and Suzuki motorcycles, six Constar generators, 12 grinding machines, 20 sewing machines, 12 mechanical screening machines and 12 modern vulcanising machines.

Some of the beneficiaries who spoke with NAN lauded Omogbehin for his gestures, saying that his investment in youths was an investment in the nation.

Mr Samuel Olagbegi, a student of the Ondo State University of Science and Technology, Okitpupa, said that the scholarship was a big relief to him.

Also, Miss Damilola Ogunbiyi, a student of the University of Ilorin, said that the lawmaker had invested in the nation by investing in youths.

Another beneficiary of a motorcycle, Mr Michael Atanda, lauded the politician for his gesture and urged other politicians to emulate him.

Many chieftains of the PDP, traditional rulers and residents of Okitipupa were present at the ceremony held at the Idepe Town Hall, Okitipupa.

NAN