The Ministry of Education in Oyo State has alerted parents and other stakeholders in the education sector to a new method adopted by criminals to abduct school children.
In a letter with the title ‘Need to be Security-Conscious and Reject Free Rides Offered by Strangers’, the Permanent Secretary, A B. Atere, said the ministry had been informed by its Special Services Department (Office of the Governor) of the new strategy by kidnappers operating in Ibadan, the state capital.
“According to the information, kidnappers wear a similar uniform as the child(ren) in their car and offer to help unsuspecting schoolchildren to their school. Once the innocent child(ren) enter the vehicle, they zoom off to unknown destination,” the letter reads.
The permanent secretary therefore enjoined stakeholders to sensitise/warn their wards or children under their care on the need to be security-conscious and reject free rides offered by strangers.
The letter was copied to the chairmen of the Teaching Service Commission and State Universal Basic Education Board; zonal and local inspectors of education, principals/headteachers of public and private schools, private school owners and parents.