Many students travelling at the weekend to sit for the Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination, UTME, in Borno State, were reportedly killed by the dreaded Boko Haram sect, in various attacks believed to have claimed over 200 lives in the past two days.
The UTME, conducted by the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB) was held nationwide yesterday. The students, according to sources, lost their lives as the sect embarked on multiple attacks that affected no fewer than four communities in the state.
Sources disclosed that the insurgents laid in ambush for the students, who were in eight vehicles and who were on their way to Biu from Maiduguri, to write the exams. It could not be ascertained if all the students in the eight vehicles were killed during the attacks.
Reacting to the incident, the Senator representing Borno Central, Zannah Ahmed, told journalists on Friday that at least 210 people have been killed so far in the attacks that lasted between Thursday night and Friday morning. Ahmed said he smelt a rat as some of the attackers mostly wore military uniforms and spoke English language, contrary to the traditional Hausa and Kanuri languages usually spoken by the insurgents.
The two-day attacks, he said, were unleashed on communities such as Dikwa, Kala Balge, Gambulga and Gwoza.
The senator complained, lamenting that the military authorities in Gamboru did not respond to the distress call from the locals of Kala Balge when the insurgents besieged their community.
Ahmed said he had to speak up because the rate at which his people were being massacred on daily basis had become worrisome, saying “what happened in Borno is beyond understanding.
“It is a must for me to speak since the people’s lives are involved and they are my people. All these are happening in my constituency and it will be wrong to keep quiet. I feel so much pained and would not have spoken but definitely my conscience will not let me do that,” he lamented.
Senator Ahmed further disclosed those who massacred about 210 persons in his area stormed the communities in two armored personnel cars and seven double cabin pickups.
He said they descended on a Teachers College in Dikwa, killing seven people, before burning down the school library and administrative block.
According to him, Kala Balge was the most hit community as 60 people were killed there by the insurgents. From Kala Balge, he said the attackers proceeded to three other towns where no fewer than 150 persons were slaughtered.
Efforts to contact the Director of Defence Information, Maj. Gen. Chris Olukolade, on the latest attacks proved abortive as he could not be reached on phone.