The Oyo State government has raised the alarm that kidnappers now perpetrate their criminal act by wearing school uniforms to abduct school children, particularly in Ibadan, the state capital.

It stated that this is a new method adopted by kidnappers, and admonished parents to sensitise and warn their children and wards to be security conscious by rejecting free rides from strangers.

This is contained in a circular letter, Ref No: EDU 215 T18/166, from the Office of the Permanent Secretary, Oyo State Ministry of Education, Science and Technology and dated 27 October, 2021.

The circular was addressed to the state chairmen of TESCOM, SUBEB, Executive Secretary (BOTAVED), zonal and local inspectors of education, all principals and headteachers of public and private schools, all private school owners and parents in the state.

The circular, signed by the Permanent Secretary, Mrs. A. B. Atere, was titled “Need To Be Security conscious And Reject Free Rides Offered By Strangers”.

The state government said the warning became necessary following a security report on the new method adopted by kidnappers, wearing school uniforms similar to that of the children in their vehicle(s) and they would offer to help unsuspecting school children to their school(s).

It further stated that, once the innocent children enter the vehicle(s) of the kidnapoers, they zoom off to unknown destination(s).

The circular reads: “I am to inform you that the Special Services Department (Office of the Executive Governor) has reliably informed the ministry of the new strategy of kidnappers in Ibadan Metropolis.

“According to the information, the kidnappers wear a similar uniform as the child(ren) in their car and offer to help unsuspecting school children to their school. Once the innocent children enter the vehicle, they zoom off to unknown destination.

“Consequent upon the above, all stakeholders are enjoined to sensitize/warn their wards or children under their care on the need to be security conscious and reject free rides offered by strangers.”

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