Two students of University of Maiduguri were reportedly killed yesterday following an attack on their off campus hostel on Bama Road in Maiduguri metropolis.
An eyewitness who spoke to LEADERSHIP by telephone, said the attack was carried out by some unknown gunmen who stormed the area around 4:30pm and opened fire on the students, killing them on the spot.
It was not clear what the motive of the killing was, or who were behind the killing, but it had semblance with the massacre of over 46 students in Mubi on Monday night.
Again, a lone bomber has hit a brothel, Cosmopolitan Hotel on Uche Road, Sabon Gari area of Zaria.
LEADERSHIP gathered that the bomber escaped after attacking the hotel. At the time of filing the report, it was unclear if anyone was killed but seven persons were said to have been injured.Meanwhile, the Joint Task Force (JTF) yesterday made some arrests following a house-to-house search in Mubi, Adamawa State, in a bid to find those responsible for the massacre of 46 students.
Only yesterday, President Goodluck Jonathan ordered security agencies to carry out an in-depth investigation into the deadly act by unknown gunmen.
For his part, Senate president David Mark y advocated death sentence for those behind the Mubi massacre and other terrorist gangs in the country.
The umbrella of Nigerian students, the National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS), has condemned the killings, describing it as senseless and criminal.
“The military is doing house-to-house searching,” Mr. Abubakar Ahmed, head of the Red Cross in Adamawa State, told Aljazeera last night
AlJazeera said that security agencies had cordoned off the area in which the students were killed, including the college.
Yushau Shuaib, National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) spokesperson, said it was not clear whether the attack was the work of Boko Haram, a group blamed for previous deadly assaults, or the result of alleged dispute between rival political groups at the institution.
Officials also pointed out that the attack could be related to a student election that was recently held at the school. Shuaib said initial reports indicated one of the victims was a candidate in the poll.
“The killers went from room to room, slaughtering them one by one,” said witness Mohammed Awwal, who was not harmed in the attack. “Some were shot, others killed with machetes.”
The police were said to be investigating whether the killings might have been motivated by a political feud inside the college.
“What we do know, speaking to the police and emergency services, is that these students were attacked in the dead of night. Many of them were fast asleep when these gunmen stormed their dormitory,” the source said.
“The emergency services are saying that sometime ago there was some kind of a disputed election at campus … and it’s believed that this could have been some kind of a premeditated attack by those involved with the polytechnic.”
“’The reason they say this is because names, individual names, were actually called out by the gunmen before the students were attacked.”
Presidential spokesman Dr. Reuben Abati told journalists: “The president described the incident as tragic, sad and shocking. He has directed security agencies to investigate the matter to get to the root because this kind of incident where people are called out and shot is really shocking.”
He added that Jonathan has since sent his condolences to the families of the victims and the authority of the institution.
Mark advocates death penalty for terrorists
The president of the Senate, David Mark, yesterday strongly advocated death sentence for masterminds of the Mubi massacre and other terrorist elements in the country.
He also demanded quick apprehension of the Mubi murderers for prosecution.
Mark’s outburst was against the backdrop of the Senate’s resolution to condemn the attack in the strongest terms.
They urged the federal government to expeditiously apprehend the perpetrators of the act.
The senators also decried the recurrent tendency of government to forget to tackle terrorist attacks to a timely and conclusive end until another attack occurs.
Speaking on order of urgent national importance raised by Senator Jibrilla Bindawa (PDP, Adamawa), Mark said: “On the specific issue of Mubi killings, I think it is a pity that people will go from one room to the other calling names, dragging them out and killing them, slaughtering them. I think it is totally unacceptable.
“Even if it is just attacking the symptoms now, those involved must be arrested and brought to book. I know that this is a democracy and, with due respect to all of us, capital punishment is still in our statute.
“This is an opportunity for us to test it and to use it as a deterrent to others, and that has to be done as fast and as speedily as possible. It is not that crime doesn’t take place in other countries; they do but it is the reaction of government and the speed at which those who are involved are arrested and tried and punished.
“But when it happens in this country, we just tend to forget it and wait for the next one to happen. I think we have gone beyond this point of singing these songs of lamentation. We should not be lamenting, I think we need to act and government needs to act as fast and swiftly as possible.
“Terrorists will succeed once they can stop you from what you want to do. Now parents will be very scared sending their children to universities and polytechnics. Today it is Mubi; who knows where – when it is going to happen in the next town?
“How many policemen can you put in various universities and polytechnics in this country? It is absolutely impossible. It does not matter how much you fund the security agencies.
“There are very serious security challenges and we should address them.”
Continuing, he said: “The people who are involved now, that is, those who have lost their lives, have done so not as a result of their own fault. Every state government today has some responsibility towards providing security to those who live in that state. Federal government also has the same responsibility. “
While some senators who spoke faulted security agencies for the occurrence, others blamed the political leadership, stating that the security agencies were over-stretched.
Killings barbaric, senseless – NANS
The National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) has also described as barbaric and senseless the attack on innocent students who were studying hard to contribute to the development of their country.
Speaking to journalists, the senate president of NANS, Kolade Olaoluwa, urged the security agencies to do everything within their power to ensure the perpetrators are brought to book.
He said: “We wish to condemn this attack in its entirety. Why would anybody in his right senses attack innocent students who are harmless? This is inhumane and the most barbaric thing to do. Our condolences go to the families of these fallen comrades and it is our prayer that those responsible will be brought to justice.”
He said the federal government must also ensure they provide adequate security in schools to ensure that students learn in a secure and peaceful atmosphere.
Fish out killers, ACF tells security agencies
The Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF) yesterday told the security agencies, to as a matter of urgency, fish out the killers of students in Mubi.
According to the northern socio-cultural organisation, the news of the attacks and killing of thestudents of Federal Government College, Mubi, was very shocking to all lovers of peace, humanity and sanctity of life.
A statement made available to LEADERSHIP and signed by the ACF’s spokesman, Anthony Sani, said the killing of the students was shocking because the young students could not possibly be part of what might have caused any perceived grievances.
“The attacks are, therefore, condemned as barbaric for what they are,” he added.
How it all happened – survivor
Meanwhile, more facts have emerged on how the gunmen attacked the students.
A student of the institution, who wanted his identity hidden, narrated how he crawled to safety that night amidst gunshots.
He said the attack, which lasted about two hours in the off-campus accommodation situated atYelwan Tsamiya in Wuro Patuji area of Mubi NorthLGA of Adamawa State, was carried out arbitrarily with the gunmen breaking into rooms and shooting victims after asking them questions relating to their identity.
The student said he could not identify the attackers because he was hiding in a room.
In an adjoining room, a victim was heard admitting to be an indigene of Taraba State momentsbefore he was killed by the attackers, the student said.
A second victim was heard claiming to be a retired civil servant before he was shot, the survivor added.
He also said all those who tried to escape were shot in the pandemonium that followed the attack, adding that he had to crawl for safety amidst gunshots.
SOURCE: LEADERSHIP NEWSPAPERS
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