Vandals and criminal gangs in Ikorodu, Lagos, may be responsible for the kidnap of three school girls from their boarding school, Akinwunmi Ambode, the governor of Lagos state, says.
Ambode said this on Wednesday in a statement released and signed by Steve Ayorinde, the commissioner of information and strategy.
Ambode said “evil” was fighting back but warned that the state government will no longer tolerate their activities.
“We believe this is a case of evil fighting back. But Lagos will neither succumb to threats of lawlessness nor bow to terror,” he said.
“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.”
The governor said he would ensure the three girls are rescued.
Three girls, students of Babington Macaulay junior seminary, were abducted by an armed gang on Monday.
The governor described the incident as “unfortunate”, saying 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”.
Ambode said his administration was handling the matter delicately because young people are involved and information has to be managed carefully.
“We have not been silent on this unfortunate development,” he said.
“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.”
The governor expressed assurance that the police would rescue the girls, adding that Fatai Owoseni, the state commissioner of police, was leading the rescue mission.
“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.
He praised the students who prevented the gang from taking more students, and the management of the school for their “measured response”.