Condemnations have continued to trail the Monday night killing of over 20 students of Federal Polytechnic, Mubi, Adamawa by some unknown gunmen as the Senate on Tuesday spent over three hours to deliberate on the killing of the innocent students.
The mournful state of the Senate forced the postponement of the budget presentation by President Goodluck Jonathan till yet to be fixed date. The Senate Leader, Senator Victor Ndoma-Egba who announced the postponement said no specific date has been fixed for it.
Reports said the killers stormed the Adamawa State University, the Federal Polytechnic and the School of Health Technology where over 40 students were allegedly killed.
Three students of the University of Maiduguri were also said to be murdered on Monday in their private apartments at 202 Housing Estate by yet to be identified assailants who sneaked into the area to perpetrate their evil mission.
The Senate President, David Mark while presiding over the plenary said that capital punishment is still part of the nation’s laws and the situation at hand presents an opportunity to test capital punishment.
He said, “capital punishment is still in our statute and this is an opportunity for us to test capital punishment.
The Upper chamber while condemning the killing of innocent students and people in Mubi Polytechnic urged the federal government to expeditiously apprehend the perpetrators and bring them to book.
Senator Mark who presided over the motion on the Mubi killings sponsored by Senator Mohammed Bindo Jibrilla (Adamawa North) described as unacceptable the orchestrated killings of innocent youth and called on government at both the state and federal level to take up responsibility for the incident.
“Every state government has responsibility to protect the lives and property of the people. We have to tackle these specific killings of people. This is totally unacceptable. Those involve in this killing must be arrested and brought to book.
This is an opportunity to test capital punishment in our law as quickly as possible. We should not be lamenting on this matter. I think these are very serious security challenges and we should go headway to tackle it”, he said.
The senate after observing one minute silence for the deceased commiserates with the government and people of Adamawa State.
In his contribution, the Deputy President of the Senate, Ike Ekweremadu describing the killings as a very sad day for the country noted, “Let us just imagine that we are the parents of those killed in the attack. You can imagine the pains because some of them are the last hope of the parents.
Deputy Leader of the Senate, Senator Abdul Ningi said the blame should not be placed on the door step of security operatives, but rather on the complete absence of leadership.
“I believe that this is a complete absence of leadership when people who are not supposed to be in government suddenly found themselves in governance. Democracy in Nigeria has only ushered in election not responsibility and accountability.
“Over a year ago, when this incident started, how many people have been convicted? All we here is arrest and arrest, if you know the workload of security agencies in Kaduna, Kano, Maiduguri and other then you will not blame them.
“Those who are to be blamed are the political class; I mean all of us who has not been able to go beyond tribal politics. The issue is boiled down to ethnicity, religious and tribal sentiment.
“The attitude of the average Nigerians is the cause of this incident. We invited security operatives here to defend how they spend the money they said it is a security matter. I hope democracy is not trying to say to Nigerians that anybody can do whatever he wants and go scot free. Those who are arrested are found on the streets the following day”, he said.
In the same vein, the National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) in its reaction, described the killing of its members as cruel and barbaric.
The students’ umbrella body said it was still in a shock over the incidence and could not comprehend what was the motive of the perpetrators of the dastardly act even as it described the 52 independence anniversary as a black independence celebration.
This was as the association announced a three day national mourning throughout the campuses of tertiary institutions to honour their departed colleagues.
In a statement released in Abuja yesterday by the national president of the association, Comrade Dauda Mohammed, NANS said it has given a seven day ultimatum to Adamawa state government to fish out those who carried out the killing.
The association said it was particular about the timing of the attack which according to it came immediately after the state government relaxed a curfew imposed on the town of Mubi few days before the attack.
NANS in the statement added that it would deploy all legitimate means to unravel the circumstances behind the gruesome murder of the students.
The statement reads in part: “The entire Nigerian students’ community particularly the leadership of NANS are still in shock and yet unable to phantom what could be the motive of the perpetrators of this ignoble act of terrorism.
While commiserating with the families of the bereaved, the Polytechnic community and the entire Nigerian students’ community, we are categorically demanding for an immediate probe into the circumstances surrounding the attack while giving a 7day ultimatum to the Adamawa state government to fish out the perpetrators of the heinous crime.
Our ultimatum to the Adamawa state government is borne out of the conviction that there were insiders involved in the massacre of our students considering the fact that these killings took place just immediately after the state government relaxed a curfew imposed on the town of Mubi few days before the attack.
In the meantime, we have declared a 3days of National mourning on all our higher institutions in honour of the memory of our departed colleagues while we are determined to employ all legitimate means to unravel the circumstances behind the gruesome murder of the students.
Our hearts keeps bleeding and we shall not relent until the perpetrators of the crime are brought to book”.