By Tunde Oguntola, Henri Tyohemba, Abuja & Aza Msue and Isaiah Benjamin, Kaduna
There have been angry reactions from across the country over yesterday’s announcement by the Kaduna State government that bandits had killed three of the students of Greenfield University in Kaduna State who they had abducted on Tuesday.
LEADERSHIP Weekend gathered yesterday that two the three deceased undergraduates had been identified as Dorathy Tirnom Yohanna and Abubakar Yusuf Sanga.
Abubakar Yusuf Sanga, the son of one Yusuf Muazu from Sabon Gida in Gimi district of Numana chiefdom, Sanga local government area of Kaduna State, has been buried in Kaduna according to Islamic rites.
The bandits had raided the private university located at Kasarami village off Kaduna-Abuja Road in Chikun local government area of the state on Tuesday night and kidnapped 23 of the undergraduates from their hostels.
The Kaduna State government yesterday said three of the students had been shot dead by the bandits.
Samuel Aruwan, the commissioner for internal security and home affairs, said the remains of the three students were found Friday in Kwanan Bature village, a location close to the university, and were evacuated to a mortuary by himself and the force commander, Operation Thunder Strike, Lt. Col. M.H Abdullahi.
Governor Nasir el-Rufai condemned the killing, describing it as sheer wickedness, inhumanity and an outright desecration of human life by vile entities. He went on to say that the armed bandits represented the worst of humankind and must be fought at all costs for the “violent wickedness they represent.”
Aruwan added: “Evil, the governor further said, would not triumph over God-given humanity.”
He appealed to citizens to come together against the “forces of darkness challenging national security and the very existence of the Nigerian state.”
“The governor, on behalf of the government and people of Kaduna State, sends deep condolences and empathy to the students’ families and the university community, as he prayed for the repose of their souls,” Aruwan said, adding that the government would keep citizens informed about further developments.
Nigerians on social media (Twitter, Facebook) expressed sadness over the death of the students, calling on the federal government to halt the menace and praying for their forgiveness.
A former vice president, Atiku Abubakar, on his official Twitter handle yesterday said it was heartbreaking to learn of the killing of the students.
Atiku said it was time states were granted constitutional roles in the management of security.
He said: “How long shall we continue to lose precious souls? May their families and friends be comforted. It is time states were granted constitutional roles in the management of security.”
The senator representing Kaduna Central, Senator Uba Sani, on his Twitter handle, said he was deeply saddened by the news of the killing, describing it as a clear affront to the nation.
He said the killing showed that there was a grand design to destroy education in Nigeria.
“What is happening goes beyond picking on students for economic gains,” he said.
Sani urged the quick implementation of the safe schools initiative by the Federal Ministry of Finance.
“This is the time for the service chiefs to demonstrate their seriousness in confronting and destroying criminal elements levying war against our country and laying siege to our communities.
“If our education system is destroyed, the future of our country will be bleak,” he said.
“I am deeply saddened by the news of the senseless killing. This is heartbreaking. It is an outrage and a clear affront to our nation.
“My condolences to the relatives of the murdered students and the government and people of Kaduna State,” he said.
A Twitter user with the name, Kennedy Tare-Otu @TareotuIV, said, “Students being abducted is now a routine that comes like rain in its season.
“This is the country that is debating about cows in the National Assembly, a country not willing to do anything about her own citizens’ demise. God help us,” he said.
@chengerHabib on his Twitter handle said, “Our thoughts are with the family of the three students that lost their lives.”
Chris @Krisabah said the killing of the students was the beginning of the end of banditry and Boko Haram in Nigeria.
“Mark my words. There are some types of crimes that attract the wrath of the international community. This is one of them.
“Pressure will now be mounted on the Buhari government to do the needful and stop the romance with terrorism. Watch!” he said.
@Toosin prayed for the families of the students for the fortitude to bear the losses.
“When has it become a crime to go to school in Nigeria? This is one case too many. This government has failed in protecting the lives and property of her citizens,” he added.
Twitter and Facebook users lamented the failure of the government to protect citizens, calling on security agencies to do everything within their powers to bring back the remaining students.
A number of tweets included nothing but the barest of information such as, @Adacampbell: This country fails its citizens every day; may their souls rest in peace… No word from the CSO or commander in chief. The Nigerian government is busy standing by terrorist sympathisers while citizens are being killed by terrorists.
“@TalesbyMunLight: Terrorist just killed three of the many abducted Greenfield University Students. As usual the state and federal government will condemn the act and that’s it. I am pissed and angry to my bones. Yan banza Yan Wofi.
“@Truthfully83: What is being done to arrest the situation? What is @elrufai doing? Dear God? He’s taken his own child out of public schooling for over a year now and is home- schooled. How are we living like this, @elrufai @MBuhari @PoliceNG @HQNigerianArmy WHAT IS BLOODY GOING ON? 3 Killed?
“@am felixx: Nigeria was not like this, may God punish the initiators of Boko Haram; may they know no peace. Boko Haram sympathizers, may they know no peace.
“@Ojstan: My deepest sympathy to their families; this is why everyone needs to make sure we don’t have a terrorist sympathiser in the government or cabinet.
“@Lawehilegbu: Quite sad. I hope this Nigeria comes to an end. The carelessness and recklessness of our past and current leaders are responsible for all these. This is no longer Nigeria. The presidency pretends all is well. Does the “#rock” block your ears, assuming they don’t watch @channelstv?
“@WhiteAmadasun: Just imagine students who were sent to the university with their parents’ money were abducted and brutally murdered by terrorists a.k.a. bandits. Yet, the likes of Pantami whose Islamic extremism teachings inspired these terrorists are still a minister (sic) in PMB’s Regime.
“@dukemarshall91: What kind of nonsense is this. Innocent lives being wasted for nothing my God!. May their souls rest in peace. Amen.
“@bello bayo: My heart goes to the families and friends of the three abducted students of Greenfield University that were killed. I appeal to the governor of
Kaduna State, @elrufai and all security agencies to do everything within their powers to bring back the remaining abducted students.”