Damaturu — “I was shot on my left leg, while I was sleeping. When I woke up, I could not walk and was later taken to the girls hostel where the insurgents gathered us with the female students. They selected some of the female students and went away with them, while they left some of us groaning in pain from gun shot”.
Those were the words of 14-year-old Ibrahim Musa Lampo, a JSS 2 student of Federal Government College, FGC, Bunu Yadi, Yobe State who was one of the lucky survivors of the Boko Haram massacre on Tuesday, which claimed the lives of 43 students. The insurgents also burnt the hostels, classrooms and more than 40 houses during the attack.
Ibrahim who recounted his experience while groaning in pains was receiving treatment for gunshot injuries at the General Sani Abacha Specialist Hospital, Damaturu.
His mother, Hajiya Hauwa Lampo, who was sitting beside him on the hospital bed lamented the inability of government to protect the lives of the innocent students. The mother passionately appealed to the Federal Government to “provide adequate security for all unity schools in Nigeria, particularly in the north eastern region of the country by constructing a fence that will shield the students from intruders. And if the government can not deploy adequate security personnel, they should despatch sniffer dogs into the schools to patrol every nook and corner and this will go a long way in curbing the insurgency.”
Ibrahim’s father, Mallam Musa Lampo, an immigration officer was still in shock over the incident and simply said: “I have committed everything into the hands of God.”
Boko Haram attacks
Thousands of Nigerians from the troubled North eastern states are fleeing into Niger Republic as the Boko Haram attacks heightens fears in the region.
A source in the North-East, yesterday, said tens of thousands of people have gone to Niger Republic to escape a wave of attacks and bombings by Islamist sect Boko Haram, which is fighting to carve out an Islamic country from the northern states.
The government in Niamey has granted them refugee status, but United Nations workers say it has also banned the construction of formal camps, fearing any structures could encourage an even bigger influx — or even bring fighters over the border.
“We’re living on the charity and hospitality of locals and aid organizations,” said 28-year-old Umara. “It’s difficult to feed my family. We eat once a day, twice at best.”
A spokesman for Niger’s Interior Ministry was not immediately available for comment. But Hassane Ardo Ido, General-Secretary of Diffa province, said authorities feared militants might infiltrate the camps and use them as bases. “We are trying to handle the situation and stop any act that could hurt our security,” he said.
The United Nations High Commission for Refugees, UNHCR, country representative in Niger, Karl Steinacker, said Niamey was particularly worried because most of the refugees came from the Kanuri ethnic group, a stronghold of Boko Haram.
“The authorities are worried the Nigerian insurgency might spill over into Niger,” he said.
Meanwhile, condemnations have continued to trail the massacre of the students.
Perpetrators should be swiftly brought to justice –UN Scribe
United Nations Secretary General, Ban Ki-Moon in a statement issued, yesterday, in New York, strongly condemned the brutal killing of students in Yobe. He expressed “sincere condolences to the bereaved families and hoped that the perpetrators would be “swiftly brought to justice”.
It’s declaration of war–Mark
Senate President, David Mark in his reaction described last Tuesday’s slaughter of over 40 students by Boko Haram insurgents as an open declaration of war on Nigerians.
Senator Mark who condemned the killing in a statement issued by his Chief Press Secretary, Paul Mumeh said that the insurgents had no justification to kill students who neither offended them nor committed any crime, saying “even in war situations, children and women were always spared.”
The Senate President said: “This open declaration of war on everybody especially defenceless students cannot be justified. This is inhuman, it is animalistic and barbaric. It is unthinkable that this is happening in Nigeria. It is also curious that under an emergency rule when security operatives should be on red alert, this mayhem still persists. Honestly, this calls for soul searching and I believe the security authorities must rise to this challenge.”
Killings wicked, horrendous –Tambuwal
Speaker of the House of Representatives, Aminu Waziri Tambuwal, also described the killings as ignoble, wicked and horrendous. In a statement issued in Abuja by his Special Adviser on Media and Public Affairs, Malam Imam Imam, Tambuwal tasked security agencies to redouble their efforts and change their tactics, especially now that those engaged in the killings had increased their attacks on softer targets. He said the only way to console the families of the victims and Nigerians was to fish out perpetrators of the dastardly act and bring them to justice.
Sultan condemns Yobe killings
The Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Saad Abubakar condemned the killing, saying it was a senseless killing perpetrated by criminals. “The barbaric and heinous attack is utterly condemnable in its totality,” the Sultan said.
He recalled similar attacks in the past and called on the Federal Government to wake up to its responsibility of protecting lives and property of Nigerians, especially the North East.
“Human lives are sacred and must be treated as so,” he said.
Killings extremely shocking — PDP
National leadership of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, on its part described as extremely shocking the massacre of the students of Federal Government College, Bunu in Yadi, Yobe.
In a statement, yesterday, PDP National Publicity Secretary, Chief Olisa Metuh, said that as a party, it has been grief-stricken since it received the news of the gruesome killing of the students.
Metuh who described the attack and killing of the harmless students as “monstrous and extremely shocking, said, “The massacre of these harmless students cannot be justified under any guise.”
President should visit Yobe State –APC
The All Progressives Congress (APC) on its part unreservedly condemned the horrific attack on the Federal Government College in Yobe state.
In a statement issued in Lagos yesterday by its Interim National Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, the party said the attacks, which were extremely gory even by the scorched-earth tactics of the terrorists, plumbs the depth of horror.”
APC called on President Jonathan to immediately visit the state to offer succour to the families of the victims and the state government.
Senate asks COAS to relocate to Maiduguri
The Senate on Wednesday directed the Chief of Army Staff, COAS, Lt-Gen. Kenneth Minimah to relocate his office to the 7th Division in Maiduguri and take urgent and appropriate steps to quell the killings by the Islamic sect, Boko Haram in Borno and other states in the North East.
The Senator George Sekibo-led Senate Committee on Defence and Army which said it regretted the Yobe slaughter advised the COAS to re-strategize on possible new ways of curbing the excesses of the terrorist group and also mobilise all available military resources and face the insurgents.
The Committee said, “We heard of your planned relocation to Maiduguri, we hereby as the Committee overseeing your activities, direct that your office relocate temporarily to the 7th Division in Maiduguri and that you take urgent and appropriate steps to quell the situation.
“From today, all schools and health institutions should be provided with special security, as we do not want a repeat of these killings of our innocent citizens.
Clerics condemn attack
Chairman of the Christian Association of Nigeria, CAN in the North East, Rev. Shuaibu M. Byal, called on President Jonathan to do something decisive to arrest the current madness, asking “or how many more innocent persons must be killed before the government comes to our aid?
In a similar development, the Prelate Methodist Church Nigeria, His Eminence Samuel Uche also expressed great shock and sadness over the gruesome attacks by gunmen suspected to be Boko Haram sect members.