Sporadic gunshots heralded kidnapping of our staff, students -Principal Turkish int’l school
The Management of Nigerian Turkish International Colleges, NTIC, located in the Isheri area of Ogun State, has given a blow-by-blow account of how some students and staff of the school were kidnapped by gunmen. From left: Secretary to the Ogun State Government, Barrister Taiwo Adeoluwa; Deputy Governor, Chief (Mrs.) Yetunde Onanuga and Principal, Nigerian Tullip International School, Mr. Yunus Dogan when the deputy governor led a delegation of government officials to the school yesterday following the kidnap of some of its students and teachers The Principal of the school, Yunus Emre Dogan, told newsmen, yesterday, that the gunmen came into the school and started shooting sporadically. It was gathered that the gunmen stormed the premises of the school, which is located in a swampy, bushy area, around 9.20pm on Friday, and made away with eight persons including three regular students and two others who were preparing for Joint Admission and Matriculation Board, JAMB, exams, and three members of staff. Dogan said the abductors immediately made their way into the female hostel where three students were kidnapped, alongside the house mistress and a Turkish teacher who teaches mathematics in the school. A cook was also taken away from the kitchen.
According to him, the abductors dug a big hole through the fence of the school from where they escaped into the bushy, swampy area. Dogan explained this while playing host to the deputy governor of Ogun State, Mrs Yetunde Onanuga, who led other members of Ogun State Executive Council to the school for an on-the-spot assessment. Security operatives including the Assistant Inspector General of Police, AIG, zone II, Kayode Oluranti; the state Commissioner of Police, Ahmed Ilyasu; the State Director of State Security, DSS, Kabiru Sanni, were all on hand to assess the situation.
Meanwhile, parents have insisted that the school would be shut down for two weeks within which they expected better security measures to be put in place. The parents, who thronged the premises of the school while this report was being filed, said the remaining students have been traumatised and would need some break before activities could pick-up in the school again. One of the parents whose child was kidnapped, Ahmad Ajani, said he got the news in the midnight and that his girl was involved. Ajani, who described the incident as sad and unfortunate, said his child, Hanatullah Aderinto Ajani, 22, was in the school to study for the JAMB exams before the incident. He said, “Somebody called in the midnight that something happened here and my daughter was involved, I had to come down this morning and the Police Commissioner addressed us assuring that they would work on it and that everything would be alright very soon. “I am very sad but prayerful that they should be rescued on time. As I am standing, I am traumatised, you can imagine a girl of 22 preparing for university and somebody took her away; it is a big loss.” Confirming the incident, the Police Public Relations Officer in the state, Abimbola Oyeyemi, said the Police have begun a manhunt for the kidnappers. Oyeyemi said, the Police, in conjuction with other sister agencies have been given a mandate to rescue the victims unhurt. He said “It is true that some gunmen went to the school and kidnapped five staff and two students, all female. “They went to the school last night (Friday) and kidnapped them. The Police have launched a massive manhunt for the kidnappers.
“The Police Commissioner and other sister security agencies have visited the scene and are working on the matter. The sole mandate is to rescue the victims unhurt”. Addressing the aggrieved parents, the Deputy Governor said the government was on top of the situation to ensure the safe return of the kidnapped students, adding that the government had immediately put security measures on ground. She said, “We are here to express our concern and symphaty. It is unfortunate that this is happening barely few days on school resumption. When we heard about it, we quickly sprang into action, hence the urgent visit. “Our government has put necessary security measures in place for the rescue of the abductees.
Ogun State is already in action. Let me reassure you that we are going to rescue the victims soon.” She appealed for calm, urging the parents not to take panic actions by withdrawing their children from the school. “It’s unfortunate, the state is aware and we are doing the work; we will do all that is possible for the safe return of the children.
The FG is aware and it has also assured us that very very soon, they would be rescued. “It’s not the time to start taking children out of the schools; the security operatives are all on ground to ensure safety of life and property of the school. We will do all that is possible to make sure the school is safe and the school authority is also doing what is possible to ensure that the state is safe.” Another parent, Funmi Tijani, blamed the management of the school for not putting up enough security measures including lighting up the area. She said, “We parents jointly resolved and agreed that we have to take away our children at least for the first one week, until we are convinced about perfect security arrangement in place. “The road is not tarred, no security light, bushes all around; last year, the school was closed down for two weeks because of flood.
What we are saying is that ‘let there be adequate security. “We are taking our Children away, we’ve agreed amongst ourselves to take our children away for a week, my daughter saw them, witnessed the whole scenerio and she’s traumatised – psychological, they are not balanced, you don’t expect me to leave her behind.” As at time of filling his report, both the management and parents said that they are yet to be contacted by the kidnappers. An official statement by the spokesperson of the NTIC, Cemal Yigit, read: “At about 9.30pm local time, a group of people armed with dangerous weapons gained entrance to the girls’ section through different means and held hostage three female supervisors, a female cook, a female teacher (Turkish) and three students.”The school security noticed some movement on the CCTV camera at the girls’ section and promptly deployed security personnel and alerted the relevant security agencies in the area as customary”. He added that upon hearing the alarm raised by the security, the armed invaders opened fire on the security staff and managed to escape through a very dangerous route with the hostages.”The security agencies are currently on their trail as the whole area has been cordoned off. We wish to assure parents and guardians that the students and teacher will return to safety soon as everything possible has been deployed to ensure that our teachers and students return unhurt by God’s grace”.