The very sad news of how over 20 students of Federal Polytechnic Mubi, Adamawa were shot dead yesterday has left us in shock. While some news reports say 25 students were killed, others say the figure was as high as 40.
The spokesman of the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) Yushua Shuaib told Channels TV “Definitely there are casualties but we don’t yet know how many dead or injured,” he said.
What makes the news even more sad is the manner in which these students were killed. According to the BBC:
Reports suggest men in military uniform entered a hall of residence outside the main campus shortly before midnight and gathered the students outside their rooms. Some were shot dead and others stabbed with knives, and their bodies left in lines outside the buildings. Most victims were students called out by name by the gunmen, police said. A resident said the attackers went from door-to-door, shooting or stabbing.
Following the attack, the school has been shut down indefinitely. It is unclear who was responsible for the attack. Some have linked it to the radical Islamic sect, Boko Haram, while others say the attack may not be unconnected with the outcome of a students’ union election which pitched northern candidates in a bitter rivalry against students from south east. Some reports say that there was ethnic tension between the mainly Muslim Hausas and predominately Christian Igbos involved in the vote. But it is unclear how a students election dispute would have turned so violent.
Among the dead are Christians and Muslims. The gunmen were wearing solders’ uniforms, and called out the names of individual students before killing them. Some were shot, some were stabbed, some had their throats slit and their mutilated corpses were left lined up in the courtyard.
But whether it was a Boko Haram attack or an outcome of the students’ union election, it gives no excuse to the fact that the attack was said to have lasted for several hours without any form of response from security agents. How is it possible that people would raid a students’ hostel freely for hours and get away without any security response? Not even one of the perpetrators of the dastardly act was caught. Media reports say the police arrived at the scene hours after the attack.
The worsening security problems being faced by students of higher institutions in the northern states leaves little to be desired. Just a week ago, it was reported that gunmen invaded the University of Jos killing one student. As the security agencies continue to show their laxity, the people behind these mindless killings are getting bolder and bolder. How can they explain that innocent and defenseless students were murdered in cold blood and 24 hours later, no progress has been made in identifying the culprits.
Nigerians are tired of hearing of promises of a more secure country. It is high time for the government to wake up and take control of these barbaric killings. The issue cannot be over flogged. We need to keep talking and keep pushing until something is done.