MANY schools across the country closed, yesterday, to protest the abductions of schoolgirls by Boko Haram, the government’s failure to rescue them and the killings of 173 teachers by the Islamic extremists in recent years.
Families of some of the kidnapped girls and their supporters also planned to march, yesterday afternoon, to the presidential villa in Abuja, to protest the failure to rescue the girls more than five weeks after they were captured. Police in riot gear and fire engines with water cannon were waiting for the protesters outside the Aso Rock presidential complex.
In Jos, family and friends searched mortuaries and hospitals for people missing since two huge bombs hit a busy market and bus station two days ago. The death toll rose to 130, making Tuesday’s blasts in Jos the deadliest bombing yet committed by the Boko Haram extremists, though they have not claimed responsibility.
Many of the dead may never be identified, University of Jos student leader Dickson Odeh said after his group searched several hospital mortuaries. They were able to identify the bodies of seven students, some only from ID papers on mutilated bodies, but still are searching for others, he said.
“It’s horrible,” Odeh said in front of the Jos University Teaching Hospital. “Many bodies are burned beyond recognition.” Among those identified was Michael Obgole, a medical student. He “was ready to sacrifice at any time,” said a friend, Ejiro Otete “I think our generation will miss somebody like him.”
Inside the hospital, 23-year-old survivor Franklyn Anderson cried into her mother’s shoulder “Mommy, mommy that fire was terrible.” She said she got hit by the blast because she had a yen for fried yams and wandered into the market to find some. Lying beside a young woman whose legs were blown off, Anderson thanked God for her survival, intact. “I’ll pull through … because I know God is here for me, He gave me another chance, He gave me another life,” she said.