14th January, 2020
By Jethro Ibileke
Gunmen suspected to be kidnappers abducted on Monday two teachers at Obi Primary School, Obi Camp, in Avbiosi community of Owan West local government area of Edo state, but only one captive remains with them on Tuesday.
The teachers, a male and a female, Mr. Dada Okuns and Mrs. Esther Alabi, were abducted, just after public and private schools resumed for academic activities after the Christmas holidays.
It was gathered that the gunmen stormed the school at about 10:30am, shot sporadically and ordered six teachers in the school to follow them.
Four of the six teachers escaped, but the gunmen succeeded in taking Mr. Dada Okuns and Mrs. Esther Alabi away.
However, Mr. Okuns was rescued later that night by security operatives, with the assistance of hunters and vigilance group.
It was gathered that Okuns who is the chairman of Nigeria Union of Teachers (NUT) in the local government area, was inflicted with machete cuts by the kidnappers.
The gunmen initially demanded for N1 million ransom on Mrs. Alabi, but later raised it to N15 million.
The Chairman of Owan West local government area, Mr. Frank Ilaboya, who confirmed the incident, assured that the female teacher would soon be released.
Ilaboya who spoke through his Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Hassan Otinau, said all efforts were being made to get the teacher released unhurt.
“We won’t relent until Mrs. Alabi is released unhurt. We are on top of the situation and there is hope that she will be out in no time.
“Our thoughts are with the immediate family at this moment of uncertainty. Yes, we feel their pains, but we just have have to keep up the tempo of our search as we did yesterday.
“Last night, the kidnappers made contact with the family and I personally spoke with Mrs. Alabi and urged her to be in good spirit that help was near.
“We will step up the search party this morning and no stone will be left unturned until the victim is rescued unhurt. I believe that with the combined efforts of all, we will get her out in no time.
“I want to commend the security agencies, the youths and other concerned members of the public who trooped out in their numbers to join hands in the search party. Thank you all for your efforts, it really shows the love that binds us together as a local government.
“I am personally pained by this ugly situation, where harmless primary school teachers are now targets of kidnappers.
“Yesterday was their first day at school after the New Year’s break, and their joy of reuniting with their pupils has been turned upside down.
“One thing I want to tell our people is that we will chase and chase these bandits out of Owan West, that is a promise and we won’t compromise on this.”