Explosion rocks Gombe State University
By John Bulus
Explosion yesterday rocked the Administrative block of the Gombe State University, Gombe prompting a colossal destruction of both the building and many valuable items in the building.
The block also houses the Senate, Council Chambers as well as the office of the Vice Chancellor of the University.
According to sources from the University, the incident occurred at about 8:30, Thursday night when workers and staff had closed and left office.
Though there were no human casualties, the items in the office which included chairs, tables and sensitive documents were burnt by the fire that ensued in the explosion.
Some students of the University who spoke to Vanguard said sporadic gunshots around the senate building and the second gate of the University preceded the explosion.
The incident caused unusual panic and resulted to an immediate mass exodus of the many students who fled the school on the heels of the explosion.
A fleeing female remedial student who craved for anonymity told this reporter that running home for safety in the company of other students that night was not easy as they took a great risky flagging down a vehicle whose driver they did not know to take them home.
The Vice Chancellor of the University, Professor Abdualhi Mahdi responding to a question from Vanguard said that “there is nothing that I know about it. Just as you are seeing it, is the way I saw it too. It happened yesterday night. So I wouldn’t know what actually happened”.
On whether there were casualties, the VC said “no, there were no casualties. Not a single person. It happened at night when everybody must have left”.
Professor Mahdi whose office was in the building read no meanings into the explosion as whether he was the target. He said that the fire which started on the outside roof of the building would have been extinguished if fire fighters were readily available.
His office particularly got lucky as the fire didn’t get inside. But the windows of his office were shattered by the vibration of the explosion on the building.
Meanwhile, the State Governor, Alhaji Ibrahim Hassan Dankwambo has visited the scene to ascertain the level of damage. He later told the Press that the perpetrators of the act are not to be fished out by the security agencies who are currently investigating the incident.
Governor Dankwambo inspected the explosion site with his Deputy, Mr. Thainda Jason Rubainu, the Speaker of the State Assembly, Rt. Hon. Inuwa Garba, the State Commissioner of Police, the Commandant of the 301 Artillery Regiment in the state and a host of other government functionaries.
It could be recalled that Gombe State has witnessed serial bombings and explosions since the beginning of the year.
While many said that there has been speculation about an imminent attack on the University, it is not clear if the yesterday explosion was part of the attack.
It is also not known whether the university which has scheduled Monday for the commencement of its first semester exams will continue go ahead with the date.
No arrest has been made of the attack yet just as the security agencies including the Police have intensified patrol and increased surveillance especially in the state capital.