Ambode reveals who’s behind Lagos kidnappings

Features & Reports

Lagos State Governor, Akinwunmi Ambode on Friday said some kidnappings in the state were the handiwork of enemies within and vowed to rescue six students of Model College, Igbonla who were abducted by gunmen over three weeks ago.

Ambode spoke at Lagos House in Ikeja, Lagos, Southwest Nigeria when he received on courtesy visit members of the Lagos State Council of Obas and Chiefs led by the Oba of Lagos, Oba Rilwan Akiolu.

Speaking specifically on the children that were kidnapped at the Lagos State Model College, Igbonla-Epe, Ambode said at the moment, he would not want to divulge details of efforts being made by government to end kidnapping and other crimes in the State, but expressed optimism that the efforts would yield positive results.

“Like I said somewhere yesterday, I don’t like running government on the pages of newspapers because sometimes when we do it, it will jeopardize what we are doing on security which is why we have been very tactical about doing media trial in things like this.

“But just to let our monarchs know what we are doing, I feel very bad each time I hear about this but again life and safety first, thereafter, we will deal with other things. But to let you know truly that sometimes, some of these kidnapping issues are actually from enemies within but I just pray that when the children comes back, we will be able to talk about those things and so I just ask people to give us some time as we gather intelligence,” he said.

While reiterating the commitment of his administration to frontally address security issues in the State, Ambode thanked the traditional rulers for supporting his efforts to ensure safety of lives and property in the State.

“I want to thank you for your support in terms of security. You are part of the security architecture of Lagos State because without you, we will not get the information we are using to reach out to the police and I also want to thank you for supporting our Neighborhood Safety Corps initiative.

“Like I said, it is about neighborhood safety and we have seen the hands of all our monarchs in the operation of the corps. We believe strongly that we need to put more efforts in the Neighborhood Safety Corps to make sure that this issue of kidnapping and other criminal activities become a thing of the past within the shortest possible time,” the governor said.

However, Ambode commended the measures taken so far by the Acting President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo and by extension the Federal Government to quell tensions generated by agitation from some ethnic nationalities seeking to break away from Nigeria, saying that the unity of the country should be of paramount importance to all.

Ambode said as a State, Lagos would continue to support every effort made to keep the unity of the country especially by maintaining peace and accommodating all.

Speaking against the backdrop of earlier comments by Akiolu to the effect that the Council of Obas and Chiefs in the State were solidly in support of the peaceful co-existence of people in the country, he said the oneness of the country was of the essence, and that it was important for every segment of the country to promote the unity of the nation.

He said: “I also want to join the Chairman of Council of Obas and Chiefs in Lagos State to reiterate our support for the Federal Government to keep the unity of Nigeria and also uphold the tenets of the Constitution. We are very happy that all our traditional rulers in Lagos believe in oneness of Nigeria.

“We are happy also that we are very accommodating. We are also happy that we allow people from other tribes to live with us and we are ready to do everything to support the Acting President and the Federal Government in general that every effort they make, we will ensure that Lagos remains peaceful and then Nigeria remains peaceful.”

Earlier, Akiolu commended Ambode for his efforts so far, and prayed for him to have a successful tenure of office, saying that the giant strides of the present government were appreciated.

He also said that monarchs in the State were very much in support of the peaceful co-existence of the country, adding that every tribe is welcome in Lagos.

“The peaceful co-existence of everybody is what we are after in Lagos and I have to say that Lagos is home to all,” Akiolu said.

Besides, the monarch reiterated the call for Lagos to be granted Special Status, saying that doing so would be to the overall benefit of the country.