* A press statement by the Christian Association of Nigerian-Americans.
CANANUSA.ORG-NY-July 8, 2013
OVER the weekend in Yobe State, Nigeria, about 42 Secondary School killed students and one teacher were killed by suspected Boko Haram terrorists, forcing the state government to immediately shut down all schools in the state.
This latest massacre by the terrorist group happened in Yobe State, which is one of the three states where the Nigerian federal government had earlier declared a state of emergency. (The two others being Borno and Adamawa States.)
According to media reports, many of the victims were actually burned alive and eyewitness accounts spoke of gory sites in the school premises were this attacks were carried out.
Many of the parents reportedly were anguished as they carried out the horrible assignment of identifying the charred bodies of their own children! Many other students were also said to still be missing having ran to the bush during the attack.
CANAN shares in the deep and profound pain of those who have lost relatives in this brutal terrorist attack. For the umpteenth time, we renew our call on the US State Department for the designation of Boko Haram as a Foreign Terrorist Organization, FTO.
We are also particularly worried that this level of attack was conducted successfully and effectively under a state of emergency. This is really disturbing!
Besides, there are also claims in the media that this attack may have been a “reprisal by the Boko Haram Islamists for the killing of 22 sect members during a military raid in the town of Dogon Kuka on Thursday.”
It is a significant setback for the emergency rule declared in Yobe State.
CANAN calls on the government to urgently do the needful by investigating exactly what happened and ensure justice is done swiftly. This will send clear deterrent messages to the terrorists who may be regrouping as they could see the Yobe killing as a boost.
But a quick and thorough probe of what happened on the other hand would be reassuring and show that the federal and the state governments, including the Nigerian Armed Forces are indeed capable of protecting lives and property, especially under an emergency rule condition.
Anything short of that would be an unmitigated disaster to government’s ability to do its primary duty of protecting lives and property and could make mincemeat of the reputation of the entire Nigerian security apparatus.
CANAN NATIONAL SECRETARIAT
Bay Shore, New York 11706