LAGOS—Gunmen suspected to be Boko Haram sect members yesterday went on rampage in Gujba community, Yobe state where they opened fire on the students of the College of Agriculture, Gujba, at 3a.m. as they slept in their hostels. They later moved to other houses, where they killed residents at will.
They also blocked the Damaturu-Maiduguri road and killed travellers.
At the end of the attack, 78 persons lay dead, while several others were still missing.
According to members of the community, soldiers arrived the scene two hours after the gunmen had left.
The gunmen were said to be wearing military camouflage with black bandanas round their heads.
An official of DamaturuSpecialistHospital, who requested anonymity, said “immediately after the attack, 40 bodies were brought to the morgue and all are believed to have been students of the College of Agriculture in Gujba.”
The number, however, increased as more bodies were recovered from the bush.
Military spokesman, Lazarus Eli told newsmen that security forces were at the scene, but that details on the number of dead and injured were not yet available.
He added that the early morning assault was targeted at the College of Agriculture in Gujba, YobeState.
“It was carried out by Boko Haram terrorists, who went into the school and opened fire on students while they were sleeping,” he added.
A police source, who requested anonymity, said that initial reports indicated the death toll could be higher, but he was not prepared to discuss figures.
Provost of the College, Molima Idi Mato, said: “They attacked our students while they were sleeping in their hostels. They opened fire at them.”
He said he could not give an exact death toll as security forces were still recovering bodies of students mostly aged between 18 and 22.
”The school’s surviving students have fled,” he added.
One of the surviving students, Idris, who would not give his first name, said: “They started gathering students into groups outside, then they opened fire and killed one group and then moved onto the next group and killed them.
“It was so terrible. They came with guns around 1a.m. and went directly to the male hostel and opened fire on them”
Ahmed Gujunba, a taxi driver who lives by the college said: “The college is in the bush, so the other students were running around helplessly as guns went off and some of them were shot down.”
Gujba is about 30 kilometres (18 miles) from Damaturu, the state capital.
Yobe has seen a series of brutal attacks targeting students in recent months, all blamed on Boko Haram.
By afternoon after the attack, scores of travellers were also killed, by suspected members of Boko Haram in YobeState.
The militants were said to have blocked Damaturu-Maiduguri Road, shooting indiscriminately.
An eyewitness, who was on his way to Maiduguri, told the media that at least 20 persons were killed.
The witness said: “The situation is terrible. They blocked our way, and were spraying people with bullets.
“Some of us managed to run into the bush. At least, 20 persons were shot dead in the three buses before us.”
NGF seeks end to attacks
Meanwhile, the Northern States Governors’ Forum, yesterday, urged security agencies to “take urgent steps to halt the senseless killing of defenceless citizens.”
Speaking through its chairman, Governor Babangida Aliyu of NigerState, the forum in a statement by the governor’s Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Danladi Ndayebo, also called for an end to “attacks on places of worship and educational facilities.”
It said: “The forum is particularly alarmed that the shooting to death of 38 students of the College of Agriculture, Gujba, YobeState, followed the same pattern as the killing of 22 students and a teacher at GovernmentSecondary School, Mamudo, in the same state last July.”
It called on security agencies to intensify efforts at protecting the lives and property of citizens, and also ensure that those behind the violence in the region, were apprehended and brought to justice.
Mark, Ndoma-Egba condemn massacre
Senate President, David Mark and Senate Leader, Victor Ndoma-Egba, have described the massacre of scores of students at the college by gunmen as a dastardly act and unfortunate as it has a negative impact on the future of Nigeria.
The Senate President and the Senate Leader in their separate condolences commiserated with the people and government of YobeState over the massacre
Senator Mark said: “Violence has never produced any positive result neither has it any solution to problems or grievances.
“If you have any grievances, the only way out is through dialogue. Resorting to killing others can only add to the problem and not solution.
“There are more than enough channels of communication and ways of redressing misgivings.
“These killings, especially innocent citizens are not part of our culture. They are truly alien to us. All right thinking members of the society must rise up to end this carnage raging our land.”