The University of Maiduguri in embattled Borno State in northeast Nigeria will remain open in spite of a suicide attack on campus on Monday that killed four people including a veterinary medicine professor. The blast, that killed Prof Aliyu Mani and wounded 15 others, took place at the university’s mosque and is said to have been carried out by a teenage girl.Seven others were also killed in separate suicide attacks in Maiduguri on the same day.
Prof Abubakar Njodi, the university’s vice chancellor, said they would not be cowed by the Islamist terror group, Boko Haram, and declared that academic activities in the institution would go on. “The aim of Boko Haram is to make us close the university, but we will never do that,” Prof Njodi said when Maj-Gen Lucky Irabor, the commander heading ‘Operation Lafiya Dole’ (peace by force) whose mandate is to flush out the terrorists, paid him a condolence visit.
“I can convince the senate, the management and the university community to close the school to save lives, but if we do that, we are not helping. “If we run, that means there is nobody they (army) should be fighting for. We should stay put and resolve it.’’The terrorists, he said would be frustrated if the university continued its operations.
Condemning the attacks
Nigerians have condemned the Monday attacks led by President Muhammadu Buhari who said the appalling violence on a revered place of worship shows that the perpetrators have no true understanding of Islam.In a statement issued by Mr Femi Adesina, the presidential communications advisor, the president expressed his condolences to the university community and families of the victims.
The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), expressed shock and suspended a press conference it had planned to hold after a meeting of its National Executive Council in Kano.ASUU national president, Prof Abiodun Ogunyemi, said: “We are upset with the unfortunate development in Maiduguri.’’
While condemning the attacks, the National Parents’ Teachers’ Association of Nigeria (NAPTAN) called for urgent deployment of security personnel to institutions.Mr Adeolu Ogunbanjo, a deputy president of NAPTAN, urged the Federal Government to tighten security in and around primary, secondary and tertiary institutions in the country.
“Tertiary institutions and schools have become soft targets because there are no armed security personnel guarding them,’’ he said.