NEITHER the official reaction, nor the reasons adduced for the killing of more than 40 students of tertiary institutions in Mubi, Adamawa State, can excuse another round in the loss of lives.
It is becoming normal for Nigerians to be killed in this manner and typical for governments to blame one sect or the other for it.
The fact remains that hundreds of Nigerians are dying in a way that should provoke tougher measures from government. A new dimension to the massacre in Mubi should necessitate this.
Police confirmed that the attackers had a list of their victims. They had the luxury of calling out their victims before killing them. How did they compile the list? Who were their targets? What was the motive?
The attackers obviously had enough intelligence on their victims. It takes some work to know where targets would be in a hostel complex that harboured students from three institutions. More information would be required for the attackers to know they could execute their task without any interference from the security agencies who again have been outwitted.
Soldiers in house to house searches on Wednesday should not expect that the attackers would have waited after the Monday attack.
Slow pace of responses in assisting those attacked or repelling attacks have placed attackers at advantage in these encounters.
The motive for the gruesome attack is important in resolving this matter. Was it a reprisal attack for the military’s recent arrest of some alleged members of an extremist sect?
Or could it be linked to the students’ elections that were held a day earlier? Whatever it is, the attack was planned and executed to the letter.
Calling out of the students, shooting or slitting their throats were deliberate actions and the attackers had time to please themselves.
Curfew, imposed in Mubi following other killings including 13 indigenes of Adazi-Nnukwu, Anambra State, last year, has not had the expected impact.
Where were the security agencies when the killers executed their plan? How did they evade security? How effective is the curfew?
More questions would be asked as the new dimensions of the latest attack unfolds. It is not enough to suggest the attacks were related to the students’ elections or the arrests of extremists.
The security agencies should work more on stopping these attacks rather than explaining them.
The heightened security activity around Mubi is not the answer as it is not a guarantee to stop attacks on Mubi or other locations.
Emphases should be more on measures that would stop the attacks, not futile chasing the attackers long after they have gone. Nigerians deserve protection from these attacks, government owes them that protection.