Two students of University of Maiduguri were reportedly killed yesterday following an attack on their off campus hostel on Bama Road in Maiduguri metropolis.
An eyewitness who spoke to LEADERSHIP by telephone, said the attack was carried out by some unknown gunmen who stormed the area around 4:30pm and opened fire on the students, killing them on the spot.
It was not clear what the motive of the killing was, or who were behind the killing, but it had semblance with the massacre of over 46 students in Mubi on Monday night. Again, a lone bomber has hit a brothel, Cosmopolitan Hotel on Uche Road, Sabon Gari area of Zaria.
LEADERSHIP gathered that the bomber escaped after attacking the hotel. At the time of filing the report, it was unclear if anyone was killed but seven persons were said to have been injured.Meanwhile, the Joint Task Force (JTF) yesterday made some arrests following a house-to-house search in Mubi, Adamawa State, in a bid to find those responsible for the massacre of 46 students.
Only yesterday, President Goodluck Jonathan ordered security agencies to carry out an in-depth investigation into the deadly act by unknown gunmen. For his part, Senate president David Mark advocated death sentence for those behind the Mubi massacre and other terrorist gangs in the country.
The umbrella of Nigerian students, the National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS), has condemned the killings, describing it as senseless and criminal.
“The military is doing house-to-house searching,” Mr. Abubakar Ahmed, head of the Red Cross in Adamawa State, told Aljazeera last night. AlJazeera said that security agencies had cordoned off the area in which the students were killed, including the college.
Yushau Shuaib, National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) spokesperson, said it was not clear whether the attack was the work of Boko Haram, a group blamed for previous deadly assaults, or the result of alleged dispute between rival political groups at the institution.
Officials also pointed out that the attack could be related to a student election that was recently held at the school. Shuaib said initial reports indicated one of the victims was a candidate in the poll.
“The killers went from room to room, slaughtering them one by one,” said witness Mohammed Awwal, who was not harmed in the attack. “Some were shot, others killed with machetes.” The police were said to be investigating whether the killings might have been motivated by a political feud inside the college.
“What we do know, speaking to the police and emergency services, is that these students were attacked in the dead of night. Many of them were fast asleep when these gunmen stormed their dormitory,” the source said.
“The emergency services are saying that sometime ago there was some kind of a disputed election at campus … and it’s believed that this could have been some kind of a premeditated attack by those involved with the polytechnic.”
“’The reason they say this is because names, individual names, were actually called out by the gunmen before the students were attacked.”
Presidential spokesman Dr. Reuben Abati told journalists: “The president described the incident as tragic, sad and shocking. He has directed security agencies to investigate the matter to get to the root because this kind of incident where people are called out and shot is really shocking.”
He added that Jonathan has since sent his condolences to the families of the victims and the authority of the institution.