#BounceExclusive: Does Ambode Value The Lives Of Public School Children?
When gunmen stormed Lagos State Model College, Igbonla in the Epe Area of Lagos during morning assembly and abducted six students, it raised a lot questions about the security of children within public school premises.
The kidnappers had on May 25 attacked the school premises firing gun shots to scare the students and teachers.
The abducted students spent over 4 months in the den of the kidnappers before regaining freedom.
The incident was not the first time students of the school were taken and held against their will.
On October 6, 2016, four students and the school principal and his vice were kidnapped on the same assembly ground.
In that incident, police operatives swiftly rescued two of the victims, while the kidnappers demanded N100m ransom for the others.
It is not clear if the ransom was paid but the victims were freed, five days later, on October 11, 2016.
Worried by the spate of kidnappings in public schools, the state government in September said it will commence the deployment of day and night guards to enhance security in public schools across the state.
The Deputy Governor Idiat Adebule, who also doubles as the Commissioner for Education, said this at a meeting with the Head Teachers of primary schools and Principals of secondary schools.
Adebule said that the issue of security has been the state government’s ultimate concern since schools vacated on July 11.
Status Quo Unchanged
But when Bounce News visited some public schools within the metropolis, it was discovered that 30 days after the announcement, the proposed security personnel must be ghosts.
At the Rauf Aregbesola Nursery and Primary School, Akowonjo, only one aged security guard was on ground.
The Head Teacher of the school, Mrs Adebimpe who spoke to Bounce News said the school is yet to be assigned any security guard from the state government.
“I’m aware of the security arrangement by the state government but we are yet to see them. I learnt the security personnel will be mainly officers of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) but we are yet to see them", she said.
The Vice Principal of State High School, Ipaja, Mr Akinwale, who spoke on the matter, said that the school has been waiting endlessly to see the security personnel.
He stated that the school went as far as checking with the Education District Centre and was informed that the Ministry of Education is working on the distribution.
Another principal of a Grammar School in Egbeda who does not want her name mentioned said, only one NSCDC official has reported to her school.
She said the NSCDC official reported to the school late September and since then has refused to show up again.
Are the lives of our children in public school not worth protecting like the state officials working at the governor's office in Alausa?
Will we have to wait till another set kof innicent children are kidnapped before we wake up from slumber?
Are we joking again?
We hope the state government expedites action on this so as to forestall future occurrence of kidnapping in the schools.