There was huge outcry yesterday against the perpetrators of the attack on Yobe College of Agriculture, with the Europen Union (EU) describing it as “horrific”.
It promised to support the Nigerian governmemt to combat the deadly Boko Haram sect.
The spokesperson of the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and Vice President of the European Commission, Catherine Ashton, said in a statement:
“The High Representative condemns the horrific terrorist attack perpetrated today in Yobe State and those that took place on
previous days and weeks in Northern Nigeria in Abuja and elsewhere. Her thoughts are with the victims and their families.
The High Representative reiterates the EU’s firm rejection of such unjustifiable violence, whoever the perpetrators. Today’s attack clearly targeted children and students. Those responsible for this and all other attacks must be brought to justice and be held responsible for their acts.
The EU stands firmly with Nigeria in the fight against terrorism, under the principles of the rule of law, including full respect and protection of human rights.”
Senate President David Mark, Northern states governors and former Vice-President Atiku Abubakar, among others, mourned the students and urged the government to reassess its security apparatchik.
Mark commiserated with the government and people of Yobe State.
He also condoled with the government and people of Niger State over the ill-fated boat mishap in the Niger River near Malilli village in which no fewer than 42 souls have been confirmed dead.
Mark in a statement by his Chief Press Secretary Paul Mumeh, bemoaned the Yobe attack and urged the perpetrators to hearken to the voice of reason and sheathe their swords.
He 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 ravaging our land.”
The Northern States Governors Forum (NSGF) urged security agencies to halt the senseless killing of defenceless citizens and attacks on places of worship and educational facilities by Boko Haram.
The forum was disturbed about the wanton killings of several innocent people since 2009 when the sect began acts of violence in the Northern region.
Chairman of the forum and Governor of Niger State Dr. Mu’azu Babangida Aliyu also condemned the killing of 15 persons in Zangang community in Kaura Local Government Area of Kaduna State.
Aliyu, in a statement signed by his Chief Press Secretary, Malam Danladi Ndayebo, said, “The forum is particularly alarmed that the shooting dead of 38 students of the College of Agriculture, Gujba, Yobe State following the same pattern as the killing of 22 students and a teacher at Government Secondary School, Mamudo in the same state last July.”
The forum described the fresh attacks by the dreaded group as horrendous, callous and devoid of any shred of humanity.
It commiserated with the families of the victims and prayed God to grant eternal rest to the deceased and quick recovery to the injured.
The forum called on security agencies to do more to protect the lives and property of citizens and also ensure that those behind the violence are brought to justice.
The forum reiterated its pledge to continue to work with other tiers of government to bring an end to security challenges confronting the nation.
Atiku described as senseless and tragic, the murder of dozens of students gunned down in their sleep.
In a statement issued by his media office yesterday, Atiku underlined his disposition to the spate of instability in the country with a quote from the late American civil rights hero, Martin Luther King Jr: “Those who love peace must learn to organise as effectively as those who love war.”
Atiku continued: “As a father, I am deeply saddened by these senseless murders. These were young Nigerians studying agriculture with a goal of helping to feed our nation.
“We must urgently review our strategy for confronting these cowards. The murders at the Gujba College of Agriculture are further proof we need to rethink how we provide security for our nation.
“We must organise ourselves better to provide dignity and security for Nigeria. To defeat terror, we must use much more potent, unbeatable weapons: democracy, education and opportunity.”
“Nigerians have lost faith in their government because of this lack of vision in the management of the nation’s political, economic and social affairs.”
The former vice president enjoined leaders not to seek elective offices simply for the sake of power if they lacked the vision to push economic growth, which in turn, creates employment and greater prosperity for the citizenry.
According to him, the economy is central to every aspect of national life and demands vision-driven leadership to move forward.
“Our economy has weakened in the past few years, with crippling unemployment, especially among our youth. Nigeria has become unable to deliver the goods and services to give our people a decent standard of living and dignity.”
Atiku restated his commitment to working with willing Nigerians to make a difference and expressed concern at the unchanging shambolic state of national infrastructure and the deteriorating state of education in the country.