Monday, 8 July 2013

President Jonathan Describes Yobe Killings As 'Wicked & Barbaric'

President Goodluck Jonathan on Sunday described the killing of 29 pupils of Government Secondary School, Mamudo, Potiskum, Yobe State, as wicked and barbaric and vowed to flush our perpetrators of violence out of the country.
“The killing is barbaric, completely wicked. Anybody who will target innocent children for any kind of grief will certainly go to hell,” the President said in a statement by his spokesman, Reuben Abati.

The presidential condemnation came on the heels of the closure of secondary schools in Yobe as a result of the killings of the school pupils in Mamudo.

Governor Ibrahim Gaidam who described the killing as “cold-blooded murder”  when he visited the attacked school on Sunday ordered all secondary schools in the state shut until the beginning of next academic session in September.

The pupils and one of their teachers were murdered by suspected members of the violent Islamic sect, Boko Haram whom the security forces had been waging war against since the declaration of state of emergency in Yobe, Adamawa and Borno states on May 14 this year.

Abati added, “Mr. President wants to assure Nigerians that these kind of desperate Nigerians will be flushed out of the system.

“Mr. President is committed to the issue of the protection of lives and properties of all Nigerians and he wants to assure Nigerians that the war against terrorists has been launched and will continue and the Nigerian government is determined to put an end to this menace.

“The President sympathises with the families affected and he stands by them at this moment of grief. The killing is most unfortunate, most regrettable and Mr. President wants to assure Nigerians that any attempt by any group to undermine this government will be resisted.”

Apart from the President, Nigerians on Sunday expressed outrage at the killing of the young pupils with the Senate President David Mark calling for a definite halt to the spate of killings by members of Boko Haram and other violent groups in the country.

In a statement made available to our correspondent on Sunday, Mark said, “Even in war situations, children and women are protected. Killing children is akin to cutting down the future of a people. This is inhuman, barbaric and unacceptable to any right thinking member of the society.

“For no reason, the lives of these promising children were needlessly cut down by the heartless people. This cannot be a way of life. Enough of this bloodshed.”

He urged the security operatives to step up their surveillance and monitoring activities to halt the trend and bring perpetrators to justice.

Senator Mark assured that the National Assembly would continue to give priority attention to appropriation to the security operatives to carry out their duties without hitches.

Meanwhile, the killers appeared to have shifted attention to defenceless young persons.

Suspected Boko Haram members had on June 17, 2013, killed nine pupils sitting for the National Examination Council examination at the Ansarudeen Primary/ Secondary School located in the Jajeri ward of Maiduguri metropolis in Borno State.

On June 16, gunmen suspected to be members of the group killed seven pupils of a secondary school in Damaturu, the Yobe State capital.

The President of ASUU, Dr. Issa Faggae, described the attack on the Yobe school on Saturday as unfortunate.

Fagge said that the government should pay attention to insecurity by addressing socio-economic problems.

 “It seems the approach taken by government is not providing a lasting solution to the insecurity. Nigerians have been impoverished over the years. The resources of the country are not used for the common man. Nigerians have also not been availed of quality education to ensure they can stand on their own and create jobs,” he said.

President of the Colleges of Education Academic Staff Union, Mr. Asagha Nkoro, described the killing as gruesome.

He noted that the level of insecurity in the county was frightening.

Nkoro said, “It is high time the government and everyone in the political class faced this issue sincerely with the fear of God and stop further drama and manifestation that reflect a show the so called politics with human life.

“We call on government to stop all forms of social celebration and promote soberness while we trust God for forgiveness and divine intervention to stem this ugly trend.”

The Congress for Progressive Change, described the killing as mindless.

The CPC National Publicity Secretary, Mr. Rotimi Fashakin, in an interview with one of our correspondents, said the party abhorred violence of any kind.

He stated, “There is no religion that encourages the senseless killing of people. We condemn it in the strongest possible terms.

“No religion can be forced on Nigerians as a state religion; we are a secular state and will remain so. Look at Egypt where they are largely Arab, I am sure most of the people who poured into Tahir square in opposition to the way in which their President was ruling the nation went out to protect the secularity of their country.”

Also, the Senate Leader, Chief Victor Ndoma-Egba, SAN, and a member of  the National Democratic Coalition, Chief Mike Okoye, condemned the killings.

While Ndoma-Egba, representing Cross River Central, andOkoye said the act represented the height of wickedness.

“It (the killing) is a most heinous and condemnable act not only against the youth, but youth seeking education and enlightenment and therefore the future. All of the country must rise together against these barbarians,” Ndoma-Egba said.

Okoye said, “The act is devilish and not only devilish but satanic. I believe that government should rise to the occasion. The civilized world should also rise to the occasion and eradicate this evil. Those who conducted this devilish act have dead souls and demented spirits and are not worthy to be counted as human beings in any civilized society.

“Government must immortalise their names as heroes. They will forever remain our heroes. May Our Lord Jesus Christ receive the souls of the faithful departed? May they rest in perfect peace?”

The Minister of Interior, Mr. Abba Moro, condemned the gruesome killing and describsed the murder as “barbaric, crude and unacceptable” in a statement by his Special Adviser on Media, Mr. George Ubong, on Sunday.

Moro was quoted as having said that the killings were unimaginable and had no justification whatsoever.

He said that it was rather unfortunate that people could wreak such havoc with the sole intent to instil unnecessary fear and pain in Nigerians.

The minister stressed that those behind the killings had no reason for their action in view of the decision of the Federal Government to set up a Presidential Committee under the leadership of the Minister of Special Duties, Mr. Kabiru Turaki (SAN) to engage repentant leaders of the sect in dialogue and to consider the possibility of granting amnesty to them.

He called on the leaders of the insurgents to embrace the Government’s offer of dialogue and refrain from the mindless waste of human lives in the country.

 He stated that the activities of Boko Haram members were inimical to the image of the country.

 He said that the country was in need of “all the goodwill of its global partners, all the foreign investment it can muster as well as the environment conducive for developments.”

 The minister who sympathized with the families of the late students called on Nigerians to cooperate with security operatives by rendering relevant information that could lead to the prevention of such heinous killings and arrest of the culprits.

 Source: Punch Nigeria

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