Quick: call another international conference on “Islamophobia.”
Yobe State Specialist Hospital yesterday received 15 more corpses of students killed by suspected Boko Haram members during an attack on the College of Agriculture in Gujba local government area of Yobe State. The corpses were in addition to about 50 bodies earlier brought to the hospital’s morgue two hours after the attack by the sect members.
A hospital ambulance conveyed 12 bodies while students provided security escort to the hospital. Dead bodies were picked from the surrounding bushes.
A source from the hospital told LEADERSHIP that, apart from the 50 students killed in the attack, 15 more corpses of students were brought to the hospital. “We collected 49 on Sunday and today another 15, bringing the total death toll to 64. And the fact is that we did not take into account bodies recovered in the bush, and our people are still in the morgue for received corpses,” he said.
Speaking on the injured students, the source said, “I cannot tell you the exact number of the injured in yesterday’s attacks. I am certain that many students were brought here, Sani Abacha Specialist Hospital, Damaturu, for treatment, while now we have 64 bodies of the students at the hospital morgue for further identification by the hospital authorities and parents.”
Eighteen students of Government Secondary School, Mamudo, were killed by the same Boko Haram gunmen on July 6, 2013, while the Buni-Yadi attacks of last Thursday claimed the lives of three persons, including the wife of a police officer.
After Islamists killed 40 students in a dormitory attack, Nigerian authorities are taking measures to improve security around schools, including stepping up patrols and putting armed soldiers outside them and guarding school buses.
Government sources told Reuters on Monday that the move is aimed to restore confidence in the Western style schools that have been scenes of bloody massacres by Boko Haram militants fighting for an Islamic state, and who are seen as the main security threat to Africa’s top oil producer.
A presidency source told Reuters President Goodluck Jonathan met senior security aides late on Sunday to discuss how to respond to the latest deadly shift in tactics by the insurgents.
“In the meeting they decided to provide special security cover for schools in the northeast and some other places prone to possible attacks,” the source, who was present but who declined to be named, said.
“The president is not happy … He directed security chiefs to work out a new strategy so this doesn’t happen again.”
Gunmen stormed an agricultural college in Gujba area of Yobe State, in northeastern Nigeria, on Sunday, dragging students out of their beds and shooting them dead – the latest evidence that a military offensive against Boko Haram since May has so far failed to quell the north’s worsening violence.