The pupils and teachers of the Apostolic Faith Montessori School in Emure Ekiti kidnapped on January 29 have regained their freedom.
The schoolchildren were released earlier on Sunday. However, the driver, who was also among the abductees, was killed and burnt by the assailants.
Efforts to reach the police spokesman in Ekiti State, Abutu Sunday, were unsuccessful, but sources in the community confirmed their release.
A senior police officer also confirmed the release of the victims to Channels Television.
While the abductors had demanded N10 million each before releasing the 10 victims, he was however silent on whether any ransom was paid.
When asked about the driver, the officer said his charred remains were recovered in the bush.
The Ekiti State Government has also confirmed the release of the victims.
The Special Adviser (Media) to the Governor, Olayinka Oyebode, said the pupils and their teachers were released on February 4 and brought to the Elemure Palace around 4 am.
“However, the driver of the school bus was reported killed in the custody of the kidnappers,” the governor’s spokesman added.
Describing their release as timely, the Ekiti State Governor, Biodun Oyebanji, thanked President Bola Tinubu for his support that led to the rescue of the victims.
“The Governor while congratulating the children and their families, expresses his profound appreciation to President Tinubu for giving specific directives that put the search and rescue mission on top gear.
“He also thanks the security agencies for their collaborative efforts during the search for the students, just as he extends appreciation to Ekitikete home and abroad for their support during the security situation experienced last week,” the statement read.
“Noting the traumatic experience of the children in the kidnappers’ den, Governor Oyebanji has directed the Commissioner for Health and Human Services, Dr Oyebanji Filani to take the children to the state Teaching Hospital, Ado Ekiti for proper medical treatment and post-trauma therapy.
“The Governor, who kept vigil with Senate Leader, Senator Opeyemi Bamidele till 3.00 am to ensure the release of the children, acknowledges the solidarity shown by his colleague governors, former governors of the state as well as religious leaders, and traditional rulers.”
The governor also restated the determination of his administration to stamp out crime and criminality from the state by making the environment unbearable for criminals operating under whatever guise.
He stated that the killers of the two Ekiti traditional rulers would be fished out and made to face the maximum weight of the law, urging the people of the state to remain vigilant and report any suspicious movement in their communities to the authorities.