Security agencies have arrested over 100 suspects, including students, in Mubi and adjoining communities over Tuesday’s killing of 26 people, many of whom were students of the Federal Polytechnic and the School of Health Technology, Mubi in Adamawa State, a source said yesterday.
The Adamawa State Police Command failed to give the exact number of those arrested and their identity saying that doing so at this stage would jeopardise investigation.
But a source within the security circle said over a hundred suspects had been arrested while others were still being hunted. Also, a source in the students’ affairs unit of the Federal Polytechnic, Mubi said one of those killed was among the newly elected executive members of the Student Union Government.
The spokesman of the police, DSP Muhammed Ibrahim, only told our reporter that “many arrests” had been made, and that investigators were on the trail of many suspects in connection with the killings, adding that full details on the arrest will be announced in due course.
He said there was insider factor in the crime because many of the victims were called by their names before they were hacked down.
“The force headquarters would come out with more information on the incident. Investigation into the killings is in progress but honestly there is insider factor because majority of the victims were killed after the assailants had called them by their names,” he said.
“It will be wrong to say all the people arrested are guilty or are directly connected with the crime. We have many people in our custody but those found innocent would be released. I will not tell you the actual number of arrest made,” he said.
Secretary to the Adamawa State Government (SSG), Mr Kobis Ari Thimnu yesterday confirmed in a statement the killing of 25 people in Mubi on Tuesday, giving details that varied slightly with that of the police.
The statement said: “four of those killed are students of the College of Health Technology Mubi; seven other persons are members of Federal Polytechnic Mubi community of whom one is a student of the institution...Fourteen other citizens of the town lost their lives in the tragedy.
The police on Tuesday said 19 of those killed were students of the Polytechnic Mubi; three from the School of Health Technology; then a security guard attached to the polytechnic; a retired military man and a civilian.
Our correspondent reports that some of the corpses have been taken to the Specialist Hospital in Yola for autopsy while families of the deceased were seen some making efforts to recover the bodies of their loved ones for burial.
“I am finished, my hope is gone,” a middle aged woman said as she wailed in front of the hospital source told Daily Trust. He said the Mubi Specialist Hospital’s morgue was a gory sight as some of the victims were being conveyed to the morgue on stretcher in the pool of their blood.
“You could see that some obviously died of gun shots while some appeared to have been slaughtered like rams,” he said.
Governor Murtala Nyako has condemned the attack carried out late at night while most of the victims were asleep.
Maijama’a Adamu, the Chief Press Secretary to Nyako quoted the governor as saying, “The killing is condemnable and heinous. There is no justification for it and we wish to call on law abiding citizens not to take the law into their hands.”
“The state government will give security forces all the support they need in carrying out investigation that will lead to the arrest of the people behind the attack,” the governor said.
The governor’s spokesman said a high level delegation has been dispatched to Mubi to commiserate with authorities of the affected institutions and the families of the deceased.
Similarly the Senate and the Arewa Consultative Forum condemned the killings and urged the federal government to apprehend the perpetrators.
The Senate lamented over the slow reaction of the government to crimes, maintaining that since there is a constitutional provision for capital punishment, it has to be quickly enforced as part of the measures to fight terrorism.
A source at the Federal Polytechnic Mubi said both Muslims and Christians were carefully identified and killed. “Some of them were shot with assault rifles while others were slaughtered with knife,” the source said.
Meanwhile, almost all students of the polytechnic have vacated the campus following the indefinite closure of the institution which coincided with the commencement of examination.
Witnesses said lecturers and instructors who live in the staff quarters of the institution have also fled with their families.
“As you can see, I am now in Yola because it will be risky for me to stay in the campus because nobody knows what will happen next. We hope the mystery will be unravelled soon,” a lecturer, who does not want to named, said.
He said some of those killed are students that recently won executive post in the students’ union government (SUG) election held in the school.