The four female students injured in the Maiduguri schools massacre have been recounting their ordeal, explaining how their teacher was murdered in their presence by gunmen suspected to be members of the dreaded Boko Haram sect.
It was a Monday morning, the beginning of a new week.
The day had started well like other previous days at Shehu Sanda Kyarimi Government Day Senior Secondary School, located at Customs area of Maiduguri metropolis. Students in the SS 3 class filed into their classroom.
A few minutes later, their teacher emerged and introduced some teasing remarks with a mixture of jokes as his attention-catching method. The interesting jokes threw the class into a frenzy. But sadly, two unusual guests, who came to carry out some bizarre assignment, brought the euphoria into an abrupt end. “The two strangers (gunmen) just appeared at the door and it was like our malami (teacher) suspected something bad was coming. They called him outside and he was trying to go and then they fired at him.
Everybody jumped up and there was confusion. They started shooting again. That’s all I know,” Hadiza, one of the victims of the Monday attack at the Shehu Sanda Kyarimi Government Day Secondary School told Gov Kashim Shetima, who visited them at the University of Maiduguri Teaching Hospital (UMTH).
She said they were hit by stray bullets from the sporadic shooting by the gunmen as they attempted to flee the classroom after their teacher was killed, adding that the students would miss their economics teacher, who was gunned down before their very eyes.
Medical personnel in the hospital said Hadiza had a fracture on her leg from gunshots. While Hadiza could still recall the tragic incident as she lies on her hospital bed, the three others seem to be too weak to talk. Gov Kashim Shettima, who expressed his sympathy to the families of the affected student during his visit to the hospital on Tuesday, promised the readiness of the state government to handle further treatment of the female students if the need arises.
“I assure you we will foot the bill and other expenses even outside the country if there is need for that, but the hospital has assured us that they can handle the situation for now,” he said. While condemning the attack, he said the government would empower the parents of the students to ensure they get out of their coma.
He gave out N200, 000 to each of the students and equally extended similar gesture to other patients in the hospitals as well as four soldiers affected by the Tuesday bomb explosion. Earlier in the day, the governor had visited the four schools attacked by suspected Boko Haram men where six people, including three teachers, were killed in the early morning shooting. He announced a donation of N2 million to the families of the deceased teachers.
“The monetary donations were not to compensate the already killed teachers but to enable the family members of the deceased and survivors cushion their financial need,” he explained. Some gunmen suspected to be Boko Haram members on Monday morning invaded four schools in the Maiduguri metropolis.
They included Mafoni Government Day Secondary School, Ali Askiri Primary and Junior Secondary School, Shehu Sanda Kyarimi Senior Secondary (Day) School and Yelwa Central Primary School. At Mafoni Government Day, a female administrative staff of the school, one Hadiza Abdulmalik and her two guests were shot dead while the Arabic teacher/assistant headmaster at Ali Askiri Primary school was also gunned down.
Yelwa Central also lost one of its teachers in the school massacre while a teacher at Shehu Sanda Kyarimi was killed. The teacher was said to have gone into hiding some months ago after receiving threats from suspected Boko Haram members. “He ran to his village at Gozamala because of the fear that he might be killed.
He was there for about two months and returned barely a month ago when the gunmen came,” the head teacher of the school told the governor.