Posted by News Express | 30 September 2013 | 7,778 times
Governor Ibrahim Gaidam of the north-eastern state of Yobe wept yesterday over the massacre of students of the School of Agriculture, Gujba, by Boko Haram even as President Goodluck Jonathan disclosed that the tragedy had left him depressed.
Gaidam could bottle up his emotions, bursting into tears as he visited the Damaturu Specialist Hospital, where the injured students are recuperating. The governor’s emotions welled up when he saw five critically injured students, three of whom have fractures, one an abdominal injury and another a bullet wound. He then gave way to tears when he came face-to-face with 40 corpses of students of the School of Agriculture, Gujba, massacred in their sleep by Boko Haram gunmen over night on Saturday.
Meanwhile, President Jonathan lamented heavily about the dastardly murder both during the 53rd Independence Anniversary Interdenominational Church Service at the National Christian Centre, Abuja, and during last night’s Presidential Media Chat broadcast live on television stations.
The Nigerian leader discosed that Boko Haram’s activities were no only embarrassing but also depressing him and his administration. He said during the media chat that he called an emergency meeting with the service chiefs, at which he directed them to meet and come up with ideas on how to step up the efforts aimed at curbing the attacks and killings by the insurgents which he described as “embarrassing.”
Said Jonathan: “Like I said earlier today, sometimes one needs a lot of courage to move on. My seat as the President can be very hot and can also be very cold.
“I held a meeting with service chiefs on the killings of students in Yobe State before coming for this media chat. We discussed and resolved that we must do more.
“You will agree with me that incidence of attacks came down after I declared state of emergency in some states but it is coming up again. I have asked the service chiefs to meet again now and see what we can do to stop these embarrassing attacks.”
Earlier at the Independence Anniversary church service which had as theme “Living with certainty in uncertain times”, Jonathan said: “Today, you will agree with me that if you were in my shoes, you will lack words to say. We had this programme in mind when we went to bed last night that by this time, we would all gather here to thank God for what he has done for this great country.
“But then, only a few minutes after midnight, reports came in that about 21 students were murdered in Yobe State by a group that described themselves as Boko Haram.
“If you are wearing my shoes, what courage will you have to stand here before Nigerians? What message will you send to Nigerians and the parents of these people, our future leaders, students of a college of agriculture?
“Will you say that the killing of these students is political? The students belonged to which political group? People who killed them don’t even know them. Will you say it is ethnic cleansing? They belonged to which ethnic group in Nigeria?
“Will you say it was based on religious belief or what? These killed students, are they Christians, Muslims or what? This is the situation almost on a daily basis. It’s quite depressing!
“But having listened to the message of the CAN President (Pastor Ayo Oritsejafor), you will agree with me that all of us have hope. By God’s grace, we will get to where we want to get to as a nation.
“The journey of a nation is just like the journey of an individual. We will encounter obstacles. Sometimes, it gets darker when you are getting nearer. The challenges we are seeing now are very transient and we will surely get over them.
“No Boko Haram or any group can suffer this country. We may suffer pains just like Jesus Christ said at critical moment that though the spirit is willing, the body is weak.
“I believe these challenges are the creations of the devil to slow down our development as a nation but we have reached the turning point where we must all move to join the developed society.”
•Photo courtesy Daily Trust shows two of the injured students in their hospital beds in Damaturu.
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