Suicide bomber kills 48, injures 79 students in Yobe


A suicide bomber on Monday morning detonated a bomb at Government Science Technical College, Potiskum, Yobe State, killing 48 students on the spot and injuring 79 others.

It was gathered that the suicide bomber dressed in the school uniform and with a school bag stormed the assembly ground by 7:30 a.m. and detonated the bomb that snuffed life out of the students and injuring many.

The casualty figure was 48 as obtained in the hospital records, meaning it could be higher.

A senior student in Class 2E, Mohammed Audu, narrating the incident said: “We gathered for a rountine weekly morning assembly when I heard a heavy sound which threw me far away. I got wound on my forehead; I was rushed to the hospital by some good Samaritans.”

The school was porous, not fenced and there was no proper security in the compound of the school, it was gathered.

Military personnel were said to have rushed to the scene of the blast but were chased away by angry mob, which started throwing stones at them saying, “We do not have confidence in you; we do not want you here.”

The eye witness said the soldiers quickly fled in their vehicles while the victims were conveyed to the hospital by good Samaritans.

Thousands of people were trooping to the hospital to check their relations while others were at the blood bank to donate blood to the victims.

At the scene of the blast were dismembered bodies such as intestines, heads, legs, while blood flowed like water. Also scattered all over the place were shoes, books, bags and clothes.

A Community Leader in the area who is the Emir of Fika and Chairman Council of Chiefs, Dr. Muhammadu Ibn Abali Muhammadu Idrissa, condemned the bomb blast saying, “it is wickedness, it is unfurtunate, how can you kill innocent school children? This is inhuman, I commiserate with the families of all that lost their lives and the injured, let us keep praying for peace”.

Meanwhile, President Goodluck Jonathan has commiserated with parents of the students killed and vowed to punish the perpetrators no matter how long it takes him.

An Aso Rock statement said the President also extended his heartfelt commiserations to the government and people of Yobe State on the death of the students in a heinous bomb attack believed to be the handiwork of the terrorist group, Boko Haram.

“The President condemns the dastardly murder of the students on their school assembly ground as they prepared to begin another week of study in pursuit of a better life for themselves and their families.

“He assures the grieving parents and people of Yobe State that no matter how long it takes, the Federal Government will ensure that all those responsible for the senseless murder of so many promising youngsters and the continuing acts of terrorism across the country are brought to justice and made to pay for their atrocious crimes.

“The President similarly assures all Nigerians that in spite of seeming setbacks, his Administration remains fully committed to winning the war against insurgency and terrorism,” the statement said.

He further affirmed that Nigeria, with the dedication of its national security agencies and the continued support and co-operation of all patriotic citizens, would ultimately overcome the current security challenges imposed by domestic terrorists and their foreign allies.

Reacting to the incident, the former Governor of Kaduna State, Balarabe Musa, on Monday said the rising cases of bombing across the country have clearly shown that President Goodluck Jonathan has lost total control of the country.

Balarabe therefore urged the President to take the path of honour by resigning or allowing himself to be constitutionally forced out of office through the process of impeachment.

Speaking to Daily Independent shortly after the blast in Yobe he said it behoves on Nigerians to seek ways to protect themselves since the Federal Government has failed to do so.

He also enjoined Nigerians to proffer solutions on how to put an end to insurgency in the country and stop putting their hope in assurances by the government.

“The president has clearly shown that he is incapable of administering the affairs of the country. Nigerians have to find ways to protect themselves and find a lasting solution to the problem. The president is not capable; he is incompetent and everything he says is unbelievable”.

“He told us that his government was negotiating with the insurgents and that a ceasefire has been agreed. But now we know that there is nothing like any ceasefire, even from government sources.

“It shows the president is no longer in control of the country and does not know the actual situation of the country. Elsewhere, in any other country, he should have resigned by now. But I think he is now waiting to be forced out constitutionally, which is very possible,” he said.

Former Vice President Atiku Abubakar also condemned the suicide bombing attack.

The former Vice President in a statement by his media office on Monday said the latest bombing which claimed young  Nigerian school children is one too many.

He added that the dastardly act once again underscored the need for the government at all levels “including our elders and opinion leaders to find a permanent solution to the problem of insurgency which has ravaged our country for the past five years.”

Atiku noted that the tragic incident in Potiskum is not the first time in Yobe State and indeed in the troubled North-East region that innocent young people are subjected to violence and untimely death for the simple reason that they want an education.

“One expects that knowing the anti-education mind-set of the perpetrators of these heinous crimes, the relevant authorities should have done their bit to ensure that at least, our educational institutions are provided with additional security,” Atiku said.

Atiku appealed to the perpetrators of this crime and similar ones in the past to have a rethink and refrain from taking life which none of us can create.

He expressed his condolences to the government and people of Yobe State, the management, staff and students of Government Technical Science College, Potiskum, the parents and guardians of the affected students and all those who may have been adversely affected by the senseless murder of the innocent students.

The United States has also condemned endless attack on innocent Nigerians by Boko Haram.

The US Embassy said: “The United States condemns in the strongest terms the incessant attacks on defenseless civilians this past week, including on the occasion of Ashura in Potiskum in Yobe State and in Gombe, Gombe State on November 3; in Malam Fatori in Borno State on November 6; in Azare in Bauchi State on November 7; and most recently again in Potiskum on November 10 by a suicide bomber who killed many students.

“While final numbers are not known, scores and scores of persons have been killed or injured in these attacks.”

The statement enjoined the Federal Government to investigate the attacks and bring the perpetrators to book.

In another development, a foreign military helicopter on Monday crash landed in a swampy area of Damare in Girei Local Government Area of Adamawa State, near the River Benue Bank.

The crashed helicopter it was learnt had a five-member crew on board and were said to be Americans Military personnel who were said to be among other foreign security personnel assisting the Nigerian Military in the on-going fight against Boko Haram insurgency in the North East.

An eyewitness who resides next to the crash site but who preferred anonymity told correspondents that the chopper helicopter hovered the area for about 30 minutes before it finally dropped to the ground with a loud sound that kept everybody panicking.

He further disclosed that that he first rushed to the crash site and started assisting the occupants before the arrival of military and other security personnel to the site.

He further said before arriving the crash site, all the people on board, except the pilot pulled themselves out of the wreckage of the helicopter.

The eyewitness claimed that after all the members on board were pulled out of the wreckage, he overheard one of them directing that the helicopter should be set ablaze, but others ignored the call and opted to rescue him.

Sources said that the five people on board of the ill-fated helicopter were among the 40 American soldiers who just arrived the country to assist Nigerian Military in the ongoing fight against the insurgents’ attacks in Adamawa, Borno and Yobe states.

The source said the team visited Mararaba-Mubi on Sunday for an on the spot assessment of the situation.

When journalists visited the site of the crash, stern looking military personnel cordoned the area.

The military barred everybody including journalists from getting close to the site.

The Defence Headquarters (DHQ) has confirmed the crash of the Military patrol helicopter  in Damareia subsurb in Yola, Adamawa State.

But the DHQ explained it was “a Nigerian Air Force Helicopter with call sign Shark 23 on a training mission which executed a controlled forced landing 4 minutes after take-off at the runway approach end of Yola International Airport today at about 0930hours.

“There is no casualty recorded as all the crew members have been recovered to the base.

“The Nigerian Air Force Headquarters has already set up an investigation panel to unravel the circumstances that led to the incident.”

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