Teddy Oscar, Abuja
An attempt to kidnap some pupils of Divine Mercy International Academy School at Nyanya, Abuja on Tuesday by unknown gunmen only ended up in hijacking an empty school bus.
The incident is the third ugly visitor to residents of Nyanya and its environs, who now live in fear of the unknown.
Prior to the failed kidnap attempt, Nyanya had suffered two bomb blasts on Monday, April 14 and Thursday, May 1 (May Day).
But the failed kidnap attempt, which comes a day before the World Economic Forum (WEF) on Africa 2014 begins in Abuja, is thought to be a diversionary ploy by terrorists, who could have another target in mind.
It was learnt that parents and guardians were making frantic calls to know the whereabouts of their children and wards, respectively.
Some of them were seen rushing to the school to personally take the children home.
In the frenzy that ensued, the principal of the school, calmed rising nerves, saying that no pupil was kidnapped from the school.
The principal, who spoke on a popular radio programme, however, hinted that it was only an empty school bus that was hijacked.
Reports say that no pupil or member of staff was hurt, but the gunmen snatched the school bus.
?We do not know, if they are members of Boko Haram or, if they are robbers. The sad thing is that parents do not want to know, if it?s Boko Haram or not. Many of them are coming to take away their children out of panic,? an official of the school was reported to have said.
Meanwhile, there?s turmoil in the environs as men of the army and police comb Jikwoyi, Karu, Nyanya etc in search of the hijacked bus.
As Abuja prepares to host WEF from Wednesday, the Federal Government has declared Wednesday, Thursday and Friday work free days to discourage heavy movement of people.
Despite the May Day bomb blast last Thursday, government urged delegates due for WEF ?not to let terror win? by staying away from the scheduled forum.
?We want to state categorically that the President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan administration will not be diverted nor will it give in to these nefarious acts of terrorism. The government has taken the strongest measures to ensure a safe forum. We ask participants not to let terror win,? Dr. (Mrs.) Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, finance minister and coordinating minister of economy, said in a statement on Friday.