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#YobeMassacre – Leadership Newspaper Publishes the Names of the Deceased | National Human Rights Commission Statement

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Today, the Leadership Newspaper published the names of the students killed at the Federal Government College in Buni-Yadi, Yobe State.
This is a timely reminder that these were indeed real people, not just a number or a statistic but real young Nigerians whose lives have come to an untimely end.

Roll Call Tragedy
In addition, the Chairman – Governing Council of the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), Chidi Anselm Odinkalu has released an official statement on the Yobe Massacre.

***

On the 25th of February 2014, un-known persons presumed to be elements of the Jama’atu ahlus sunnah lid da’awati wal jihad (JALISWAJ), perpetrated a mass atrocity in which they killed tens of learners at the Federal Government College, (FGC) Buni-Yadi and abducted an equally shocking number of female learners.

There is no way to minimize the shock and tragedy of these events. The perpetrators clearly do not wish Nigeria well. Words are not enough to condemn them and their conduct. To the parents of the affected children, words are equally insufficient comfort or condolence. This is every parent’s worst nightmare. Condolences are also due to the Government and People of Yobe State and to the Federal Government.

Education a basic right guaranteed in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights, and the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. These children were killed in exercise of this right. The pursuit of education cannot be cause for the mass murder of innocent children.

FGC Buni-Yadi is one of a network of 104 so-called Unity Schools, begun in 1966 by the Federal Government and accelerated in the 1970s to foster national unity in Nigeria through learning and enlightenment. It truly hurts that children whom we sent to school as symbols of our unity as a country have become sacrificial offerings in some people’s project towards dis-unity. This must not be allowed.

Confronting this requires collective leadership at all levels. At a time like this, it is necessary for political leaders across parties to sink differences, reassure the country, and discover in adversity such as this the will to forge common purpose.

Sybolisms do matter. In memory of these children and all others lost in the ongoing situation in the north-east and as the institution of government closest to the people, our National Assembly should re-convene urgently in plenary. The plans for the Centenary celebration must reflect the tragic backdrop of the country at this time. A suitable period of national mourning will not be out of place. In the interim, proposals for the transfer of children in the eight Unity Schools in Adamawa, Borno and Yobe States to other schools outside the region should be taken seriously.

Many official reports, including the Marshall Dike report (2009); Galtimari Report (2011); and Turaki Committee Report (2013) already contain far-reaching proposals for addressing the situation in N.E. Nigeria. The Federal Government and the governments and people of the states in the Lake Chad area in N.E. Nigeria deserve the support and ideas of all citizens, well-wishers and friends of Nigeria as they work to bring an end to these atrocities.

***

This massacre of innocent young Nigerians is so tragic. It is easy for us to lose hope in our country’s present and future.

21 Comments

  1. Hurperyearmie

    February 27, 2014 at 10:42 am

    Hmmmmmm these so called leaders are just not bothered with all these killings and bloodshed they still go ahead to do centenary celebration na wa o!!!!!!!! i just pray that the spirit of these young people find peace

  2. MOI

    February 27, 2014 at 11:11 am

    worthless celebration called the centenary….another way to embezzle funds. this same centenary celebration was celebrated last year in different states such as PHC,EDO ETC..
    IT IS BECAUSE SOMEONE CLOSE TO THOSE IN POWER DIDN’T NOT DIE THAT’S Y THEY ARE NOT BOTHERED.
    When dana crashed and some big wigs died they immediately took actions by closing it down.
    even if gej doesnt do anything the curse on his head is enough to last him and his generation a life time

  3. whocares

    February 27, 2014 at 11:24 am

    This is just tooo sad. After reading this I went on to other news sources, and apparently the men gathered the female students, and told them to go and marry and ignore education, then they went on to killing the young boys. I cannot imagine what some parents are going through now. These children were, and are too young to be killed in such a brutal manner. Yet what is the next step? A centenary celebration to mourn…
    This is not the first or the second killing of this kind, yet there were no armed guards in northern boarding schools, or the pretence of one. Have you seen images of some of the northern states? It breaks your heart to look at it. The kids look malnourished, the people hopeless, and their lands have been ravaged by these monsters. Yet no concrete action is being taken to help them.. sometimes I think republic should indeed break, and let each faction look after their own if they will do a proper job of it.

    • Mz Socially Awkward...

      February 28, 2014 at 11:15 am

      @whocares, I was posted to Yobe state for my Youth Corp service year (and stayed there for most of that year). Your description of what many Northern states are like is really not far from reality. Sometimes, you almost want to pinch yourself and ask if you’re still in Nigeria…

  4. adelegirl

    February 27, 2014 at 11:38 am

    Anytime I read a story on another Boko Haram massacre I experience a gamut of emotions – from despair, to anger, to sadness, to depression, helplessness, etc. I am just heartbroken by this recent massacre.

    Good on Leadership for publishing their names. Wish they would also publish pictures as well. Most of us seem disconnected from the crisis maybe if names and faces were put to the victims, it will begin to really hit us.

    This government is way too casual about the killings in the north-east. And I can’t help but feel that it is because the majority of the elite political class feel largely unaffected by the crisis. Last year the International Criminal Court classified the conflict in the north-east basically as a civil war- they called it some other technical term which escapes me now but which effectively means it is a civil war. This kind of reminds me of how the Biafran war was going on in the south-east yet life was going as normal in Lagos- the then seat of power.

    I don’t care what else Jonathan does but if he does not stop the crisis in the northeast, doing whatever it takes, even if it means sacrificing his ambition Maintaining the sanctity of the human life supersedes any ambition he may have.

    I was so upset yesterday night when I tried to watch his centenary broadcast. The man looked half-dead, unfocused, barely coherent even though he was reading from a teleprompter. Haba! I couldn’t stick it more than 2 minutes and immediately changed the channel. The President and Commander-in-Chief has to show strength, confidence, assurance to instill hope in his people. Being President is so much more than being an administrator or a politician. Now he has started visiting churches attempting to whip up religious and tribal sentiments that largely won him sympathetic votes in 2011. Well, I can only hope and desperately pray that as 2015 approaches, people are wiser now!

    Meanwhile, something that has bugged me since this story broke is- this is the 3rd time Boko Haram is attacking educational institutes in Yobe- the 1st was a secondary school in Mamudo and then there was that college in gujiba or so. Why are parents, wards still sending their children to schools in state of emergency states especially those with such bad records of insecurity like Yobe and Borno? Why especially will any parent after the first 2 incidents still send their children to school in Yobe? Why???

    • Tincan

      February 27, 2014 at 12:00 pm

      Great response and great question in your last paragraph. I think also that the suggestion to transfer kids in Unity schools should be taken seriously. Infact, I think the only way that educational institutes in the directly affected regions should be left open is if they are guarded 24/7 by the army or at least police. I have been wondering about this. These are lives!

      As for Jonathan, I don’t think he has a clue or wants to have a clue. I remember the last time I was in Nigeria. I was watching the news and some minister or other was saying they knew who the sponsors of BH were, like she deserved a prize or something. So if the sponsors are known, why is nothing being done about these people. These people are prepared to sacrifice their own. I looked at the names and these are muslim kids, not christian. It means they (BH) will stop at nothing. Why does the so-called government not have the same attitude and approach to dealing with BH?

    • Fifi

      February 27, 2014 at 12:12 pm

      i hear you adelegirl but where are they meant to send their kids to? its really tragic…

    • adelegirl

      February 27, 2014 at 12:16 pm

      *meant to type guardians not wards.*

  5. Thatgidigirl

    February 27, 2014 at 12:25 pm

    Apparently they don’t want to wait for their reward of 17 virgins in paradise anymore, they want to get it here on earth. This is just sooooo sad and frustrating! To think that these children had to die first before the government decided to send military personell over….medicine after death! And we’re concerned about gay laws and centenary celebrations……..mcheew!

  6. Zayt

    February 27, 2014 at 12:58 pm

    Yet our leaders are going about as if nothing happened. Insensitive idiots! Nigeria is just a depressing country….:'(

  7. @edDREAMZ

    February 27, 2014 at 2:45 pm

    May there souls R.I.P…….
    .
    .
    ***CURRENTLY IN JUPITER***

  8. Missy

    February 27, 2014 at 3:22 pm

    Too heartbroken to be coherent…

  9. Aibee

    February 27, 2014 at 3:53 pm

    Finally someone publishes the name of the ones we lost. Nigerians tend to act like the victims don’t matter. 20 girls kidnapped, 12 soldiers died, 49 students murdered, 80 people kidnapped, death toll rises to 159, 25 corpers killed in post election violence, etc. The victims remain statistics, mere numbers to us because our press doesn’t did deep enough to know who these victims are, what makes them tick etc. Remember how the Aluu 4 affected a large number of us? Why? Because we could put faces to the names, we heard/read their stories, met their parents and family in the media and felt to some extent like we knew them and that anyone of us could have fallen victim just by being in the wrong place. The media tends to treat the victims BH and other violent crimes in Nigeria like they are mere collateral damage, like they don’t matter. But these are real people – with names, faces, families, dreams, hopes and aspirations. They mattered to some people in their lifetime and they should matter to all of us. Our sense of humanity demands that they do. Its easy to do a google search of those who died in the 9/11 attacks, civilians and first responders. Can we get the samen info for victims of terrorism, ethnic violence, religious unrests, kidnappings and other similar acts?

  10. jcsgrl

    February 27, 2014 at 4:30 pm

    I have restrained myself from commenting on this issue because of just how hopeless I feel about the situation. Hopeless and Helpless more like it! I wonder if there is any hope in sight…things just seem to be getting worse. Just when you think the country has sunk low, it sinks even lower. Our govt do not give a CRAP. The legislators were there debating on budget until the legislator from Ekiti state interrupted them to deal with issues at hand and send military help to Yobe. These are young children, our children for crying out loud. BH has now changed tactics. They are now attacking muslims. Like @adelegirl I too wondered why parents will send their kids to such schools. Wetin dem go do? What are the options? They are attacking their own so you dont even know where their next line of attack will be. Will the entire citizens of yobe desert their state? God if ever you wish to, please intervene because this one don pass human understanding. In your might power, please show yourself strong on behalf of our country.

  11. Ivie

    February 27, 2014 at 4:32 pm

    They should relocate people living in such areas prone to attack temporarily…we have the money to build a refuge camp for them. So as to avoid another senseless killing! ahhh this pain is too much to bear! May the good lord comfort and console families and friends who were directly/indirectly affected. OH LORD OUR HELP IN AGES PAST I COMMIT NIGERIA INTO YOUR HANDS!we have no home but Our Nigeria….

  12. fedup

    February 27, 2014 at 4:45 pm

    Am just tired of being Nigerian. All this breaks my heart, who knows what is next.

  13. omada

    February 27, 2014 at 4:49 pm

    And yet the presidency is only concerned about centenary celebrations…

  14. omada

    February 27, 2014 at 4:54 pm

    “Aliyu was scared to go back to school after the last holiday. I forced him to resume not knowing he will never come back to me again” – Aliyu Yale’s father weeps.

    I can’t…I just can’t imagine their pain and anguish…

  15. Mrs Nwosu

    February 27, 2014 at 8:24 pm

    Really pathetic

  16. smooyis

    February 28, 2014 at 6:54 am

    For God’s sake if the federal police and military are not equal to the task. Let the state take care of the policing of their states while the federal police exists as plain clothed police to compliment them. We really need a change from our present ineffective system.

  17. Mz Socially Awkward...

    February 28, 2014 at 11:17 am

    I echo the hopelessness felt by many commenters on this page. It’s as if you’re watching monkeys partying it up in a cage (Aso Rock) while the zoo around them burns. What in the hell is going on with Nigeria? What next for us? Lord give me the strength to still see hope for my homeland.

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