LAGOS — THE wanton killing of 40 students in Adamawa, yesterday, is the latest shocking reminder that Nigeria is fast drifting into a state of anomie reminiscent of Thomas Hobbes state of nature where life is said to be nasty, brutish and short.
According to news reports, the 40 students of the Adamawa State University, the Federal Polytechnic and the School of Health Technology, all in Mubi, Adamawa State, met their tragic end when their institutions were attacked by gun men at midnight. The attack was said to have lasted for several hours without any form of response from security agents.
Witnesses were quoted as saying that sporadic gunfire kept residents of Mubi awake while it lasted. At the end of it all, about 40 students lay dead, with another source confirming seeing several bullet-ridden bodies at the Mubi General Hospital, Tuesday morning.
According to reports, response from security agents came several hours later, when the Brigade Commander of 23 Armoured Brigade, Yola, Brigadier General John Nwoaga; the State Commissioner of Police, Mr. Geoffrey Okereke; Director of State Security Service, SSS, and other service commanders relocated to Mubi for on the spot assessment of the mid-night horror.
While the families of the victims try to come to terms with this brutal murder of their beloved innocent children, they may get scant comfort from the expected vacuous condemnation from officials of government at all levels which is the traditional response to the seemingly long serial of mindless killings of innocent Nigerians in recent time.
Although no group has, at press time, claimed responsibility for the bestial attack, this tragic development signposts a violent campaign taken too far. And the question may be asked: What end do perpetrators of this dastardly act actually want to achieve with the cold-blooded murder of these young, innocent and defenceless students? Again, another question that urgently begs an answer: What exactly is the ideology and rationale behind this kind of senseless and horrific killings?
In what way will this kind of carnage advance the cause of whatever group is responsible?
This is the time for all well-meaning Nigerians to stand up to condemn these barbaric killings before the nation slides into anarchy. The government must act decisively now. This is no time for rhetoric and half-hearted condemnation.
Indeed this tragedy is a mockery of President Goodluck Jonathan’s Independence anniversary assurance that: “Our security agencies are constantly being strengthened and repositioned for greater efficiency.” Another question to ask is: Where were the security agents when the students were being slaughtered?