Sanwo-Olu’s govt evacuates 3-week-old baby, Lagos students from Plateau

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The Lagos State Government has evacuated a three-week-old baby, the mother and undergraduate students of the state’s extraction studying at the University of Jos (UNIJOS), from Plateau.

The evacuation became necessary following recent attacks and killings on the plateau.

The first set of evacuees, comprising 64 UNIJOS students, the three-week-old-baby, and the mother, Manya Banfe, a 200-Level student, arrived in Lagos on Friday afternoon.

Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Mr Gbenga Omotoso, said the evacuation showed that government had the capacity to respond to emergencies when they affected people of the state.

Omotoso represented Gov. Babajide Sanwo-Olu, at the reception of the evacuees.

Sanwo-Olu - Lagos - Plateau attacks
R-L: Chief Press Secretary to Governor Sanwo-Olu, Mr Gboyega Akosile; representative of the Governor, Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Mr Gbenga Omotoso; Permanent Secretary, Office of the Special Adviser to the Governor on Education (OSAE), Mr Kasali Adeniran and Director, Monitoring, OSAE, Funmilola Olajide addressing the first set of Lagos student evacuees from Jos shortly after their arrival, at the State Secretariat, Alausa, Ikeja, on Friday, Aug. 27, 2021.

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He said that the exercise was in line with government’s commitment to safety and security of indigenes and residents of the state.

Omotoso added that welfare packages had been arranged for the students to return to their families safely, stressing that it was noteworthy that none of the Lagos State students died during the crisis and during the rescue operation.

He urged them to observe COVID-19 safety protocols and not to lose touch with their studies as they returned to Lagos.

Also speaking, the Permanent Secretary of Office of the Special Adviser to the Governor on Education, Mr Kasali Adeniran, said that the evacuation was another landmark achievement of the state government.

Lagos students - Plateau
Cross section of the first set of Lagos student-evacuees from Jos shortly after their arrival, at the State Secretariat, Alausa, Ikeja, on Friday, Aug. 27, 2021.

The students who were so excited to have been evacuated from crises scenes in Plateau State thanked Gov. Sanwo-Olu and his officials for rescuing them from what they described as “war zone’’.

Speaking on behalf of the students, a 200-level student of the Department of Religion and Philosophy, Clinton Shotikare, thanked the governor for coming to their rescue.

“On behalf of other students, I am saying a big thank you to the Lagos State Government, especially the governor of Lagos State, Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu.

“We appreciate the governor and the state government for evacuating us from Plateau State. We feel happy, honoured, grateful and safe. We feel the impact of government,’’’ Shotikare said.

He said that they had been experiencing tense situations and sleepless nights since the beginning of the crises in Plateau.

The student urged the Lagos State Government not to relent in its efforts to rescuing other Lagos State indigenes, especially students who were still stranded on campus and in towns.

A student of the Department of Pharmacy, UNIJOS, Christiana Edward, also appreciated Gov. Sanwo-Olu for evacuating them from Jos.

“I am really grateful for what Lagos State Government has done for us. We are so thankful. Some of us had even lost hope when 24 hours curfew was declared in Plateau State. But Lagos State governor came to our rescue and evacuated us from Jos.

“We, the students of University of Jos really appreciate Lagos State Government. We appreciate Gov. Sanwo-Olu for his goodwill and hard work at ensuring our safe arrival to our friends, families and loved ones.

“We pray that God will continue to bless and strengthen you,’’ Edward said. (NAN)

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