Mari Ahmed, Maiduguri
An early morning blast today during prayers at the University of Maiduguri mosque killed a lecturer and three others.
The lecturer identified, as Mani Aliu is a Professor in the department of Vet medicine. He had gone, as usual to observe his morning devotion at the mosque located within the staff quarters of the university when the explosion that rocked the university, went off.
Eyewitness accounts say he died at the spot along with the three others said to be members of the university community, including children of the dead.
The Police confirmed the event. According to Borno state PPRO, Victor Isuku, “the explosion occurred within the premises of the University of Maiduguri during the early morning prayers by the Muslim faithful”.
Noting that investigation was ongoing he said the Commissioner of Police, Damian Chukwu had” mobilized to the scene for on-the-spot assessment of the situation there”.
Though no group has laid claim to the incident, investigation shows that the explosion has the trademark of Boko Haram.
Since their ejection from the Sambisa forest they have invaded the surrounding village and remote towns of the state. And because they are currently in disarray, they are not as coordinated as before to issue releases claiming credit for the attack.
Meanwhile the Vice Chancellor of the university, Professor Abubakar Njodi, said the institution would remain open despite the obvious antics of the Boko Haram insurgents.
Speaking during a condolence visit by the Theatre Commander of Operation Lafiya Dole of the Nigerian Army, Major-Gen. Lucky Irabor, the VC was quoted by NAN as saying that the college will remain open as part of joint effort with the military to eliminate Boko Haram.
He said: “If we run away, that means there is nobody they should be fighting for. We should stay and resolve it, after all the war is about us, western education.
“If we stay, the terrorists will be frustrated because that is their aim.
“What is the point of fighting for us if we run? We should stand our ground so that the military will be proud that the people they are fighting for are on ground.
Therefore, our decision is not to close the university. We want to assure you our theatre commander, the university remains open and we will continue with our examinations tomorrow.
We suspended the exams for today because we want the military to come and access what happened,”
Responding Mr Irabor said: “As we have already said and will continue to say that there is frustration in the Boko Haram camp,” the major general said.
“They have tried severally to bring sorrows and pain to the university and the rest of the communities and have failed.
“We, therefore, enjoin you not to be deterred. This is a clear sign that the end of Boko Haram has come.
“The people should, therefore, continue with their normal life to let the Boko Haram know they have failed.
“We should let them know that the extent of their stupidity and callousness do not have any impact on us anymore, ”