Abuja – President Goodluck Jonathan, yesterday, ordered the security agencies to fish out and prosecute those responsible for the massacre of 40 students of Federal Polytechnic, Mubi; Adamawa State University and the School of Health Technology, Mubi last Monday in their hostel in Mubi.
The presidential order came as the Senate condemned the killing and charged the Federal Government to invoke the provision of capital punishment in our statute on perpetrators of the massacre and other terrorists to serve as deterrence to others.
Adamawa Police Command has also announced that some arrests have been made over the killings, which were condemned by Arewa Consultative Forum, ACF and the Muslim Rights Concern, MURIC
Jonathan, in a statement signed by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Dr. Reuben Abati, described it as tragic, sad, barbaric and shocking.
According to the statement, “the President has directed security agencies to investigate the matter and get to the root because this kind of incident, where people are called out and shot is really shocking.”
He further disclosed that the Minister of Education, Professor Ruqayyatu Ahmed Rufa’i, had briefed the Federal Executive Council (FEC) on the killings.
Gunmen, last Monday, stormed the off campus hostel of the students of the higher institutions at Wuro Fatuje, in Mubi, Adamawa State, killing 40 students while many others sustained injuries. The gunmen who were said to be in army uniform reportedly called out the names of the students one after the other and slaughtered them.
While the Federal Polytechnic, Mubi lost 26 students, the other institutions lost 14.
Senate advocates capital punishment for terrorists
In its reaction, the Senate charged the Federal Government to invoke capital punishment on terrorists and those behind the massacre of the 40 students.
The upper chamber upon considering a motion, yesterday, moved by Senator Jibralla Bindowo, PDP, Adamawa North, condemned the killings, describing it as barbaric and unacceptable.
Senate President, Senator David Mark, expressed concern, saying the insecurity situation in the country had reached an alarming proportion.
Mark, however, disagreed with the notion that unemployment was responsible for the unmitigated killings and other insecurity problems in the country, maintaining that government must stop looking for excuses.
Mark also condemned the slow pace of government in tackling crimes, maintaining that investigations get swept under the carpet just as soon as it happens.
He said: “It is not that crimes don’t take place in other countries. They do. But it is the reaction of government, the speed, with which those who are involved are arrested, tried and punished accordingly. But when they happen in this country, after a week we just try to forget it and wait for the next one to happen.
“I think we have gone beyond the time for us to sing these songs of lamentation every now and again. We should not be lamenting. I think we should be able to act and government needs to act as quickly and as fast as possible. Terrorists will succeed once they can stop government from doing what government wants to do.
Senators were unanimous in condemning the massacre, as some of them blamed the worsening security crisis on lack of political will by government to tackle terrorism. Those who spoke against the killings were Mohammed Bello, PDP, Adamawa Central; Oluremi Tinubu, ACN, Lagos Central; Dahiru Kuta, PDP, Niger East; Joshua Lidani, PDP, Gombe South and Barnabas Gemade, PDP, Benue North-East.
Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu, blamed the incidenct on the failure of security.
According to him, “let’s just for a moment imagine that we are the parents of those students who were killed on Monday. Some of them were in their final year. What happened in Mubi is a failure of security. It is the inability to secure the people that gave rise to what happened. It is bad that at this level of our development, we cannot protect our people.”
Senators Tinubu and Matthew Nwagwu said the wanton killings were typical of a nation under siege by terrorists.
Nwagwu said: “It is barbaric. How long do we continue to watch this carnage? Last time it was corps members, then churches and then mosques. Very soon they will go for Senators. We are under siege and something should be done fast and fast enough.”
Also condemning the dastardly act, Deputy Senate Leader, Abdul Ningi, PDP, Bauchi Central said government must be held responsible because it had failed to protect Nigerians.
He said: “There is complete absence of political leadership that drives the state and the country. People who are not supposed to be governors are governors, ditto for lawmakers. When incompetent persons occupy positions of power, and are required to draw road map, what are they going to do?
“Since the problem started, nobody has been prosecuted. We only hear of arrests. The political class, all of us, have failed. We have not been able to go beyond ethnic and religious leanings to protect our country. We only have elections, no genuine government. The security agencies have to be held accountable for budgetary allocations made to them yearly.”
Police arrest some suspects
Meanwhile, Adamawa State Police Command had said it had made some arrests in connection with the massacre. The police spokesman, DSP Muhhamed Ibrahim, said, yesterday, that a number of arrests had been made and the Force Headquarters would come out with facts to inform the general public on what really transpired in Mubi town
According to thePPRO, “investigation into Mubi killings is in progress. The relatives of the students killed said the assailants called them out by their names before they were killed. Honestly, there is an insider in this killing. Really, we cannot rule out the possibility that the attack was carried out by one of these groups— Boko Haram, cultism, politicians— but investigation will reveal the real perpetrators of the crimes.”
Ibrahim explained that students who recently won an election were among those killed and this informed the thinking by the police that the massacre might be connected with the outcome of the students election, adding: “There was an election at the Federal Polytechnic Mubi and the second day after the winners were declared, the killing took place.
“There have been arrests but we cannot say that those arrested are the perpetrators of the crime. And we will not disclose the number of those arrested as we don’t want to jeopardize our investigation till investigation is completed before we inform the public.”
Adamawa govt condemns killings
Meanwhile, Adamawa State government has condemned the gruesome murder, and promised to work with security agents to bring the perpetrators to book.
The government described the incident as barbaric, saying a responsible government will not fold it hands and allow those who committed such act to go unpunished.
It’s barbaric – ACF
Also, the Arewa Consultative Forum, ACF, described the murder as “barbaric.” In a statement in Kaduna, yesterday, signed by its National Publicity Secretary, Mr. Anthony Sani, ACF said: “The news of the attacks and killing of some innocent students of Federal Government College, Mubi, is very shocking to all lovers of peace, humanity and sanctity of life.
“This is 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. Towards this end, Arewa Consultative Forum appeals to the security agencies and to all Nigerians, especially those around Mubi local government, with patriotic courage to go as far as efforts can go and fish out the perpetrators of the abominable attacks and bring them to justice as deterrence against any future occurrence.”
Height of bestiality —MURIC
An Islamic non governmental organisation, the Muslim Rights Concern, MURIC, also yesterday, condemned the attack, saying such action was the height of bestiality.
In a statement signed by the executive director of the group, Professor Is-haq Akintola, it said the attack was barbaric and “unthinkable that anyone would carry out an attack of this magnitude on an institution of higher learning.”
The group said: “What is most worrisome is the ease with which the attackers carried out the killings before melting into thin air. It is a serious indictment on our security agencies. This massacre further amplifies the helplessness of our security network. Nigeria is no longer safe. People are living in fear. The details of the attack further compounds our fear as it becomes difficult to point an accusing finger at any group.”
Calling on the government to look inward to identify pernicious policies which have caused “this animalistic behaviour,” it urged the government “to fill the empty stomachs of the hungry masses by creating job opportunities for this angry army of unemployed graduates.”