Four out of the six abducted students of the Lagos State Model College, Igbonla, Epe, who were abducted in May have resumed school.
But on Monday, September 11, four of the students – Judah Agbaosi, Faruq Yusuf, Isoaka Ramon and Peter Jonah – put the ugly incident behind them and were visibly happy to return to the school.
The students were in high spirits when a team of the Lagos State Ministry of Education led by the Permanent Secretary Mr. Adesina Odeyemi, visited the school on Tuesday.
While speaking during the media tour to the school, Mr. Adesina Odeyemi 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.”
Noting that pupils in the school were psychologically prepared for studies, he said, “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.”
Expressing confidence over the security of their school, the four abducted students, who said the remaining two kidnap survivors would resume soon, urged their colleagues to turn out massively for studies.
One of the abducted students, Agbaosi Judah, who spoke with journalists, said:
“I resumed yesterday (Monday) and feel very happy to be back. I can tell you that I’m very okay and know that nothing bad will happen again. I am no longer scared. God is our protector.”
He noted that the school management had put adequate security and other measures in place to boost their confidence as they settle down for learning.
When asked if he would change school if given the opportunity, he said: “I will not because I really like the standard here. Besides the school encourages student to have relationship with the teachers.”
On his part, Farouq said they felt more secure with the efforts made by the state government, while Peter said he was motivated to resume because of the standard of the school.
As at Tuesday, September 12, the Punch reports that only 20 pupils had resumed in Junior Secondary School 1 out of the expected 229, while 205 pupils had resumed in Junior Secondary School 2 and 3 classes out of the expected 431.