Seven Suicide Bombers Unleashed on Maiduguri

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• Shetiima approves N50m for 27-km trenches,  allowances to special guards •Holds security meeting in VC’s office

Michael Olugbode in Maiduguri
The Boko Haram terrorist group has unleashed severdayen suicide bombers on Maiduguri, Borno State, killing nine people.
Three of the suicide bombers attacked the University of Maiduguri (UNIMAID) where a security officer was lost.
The details of the attacks on the town by Boko Haram last Sunday (Eid-el-Fitri night) and Monday were revealed by the state Commissioner of Police in the troubled state, Damien Chukwu, at a press briefing.

Chukwu said: “Sunday, June 25, 2017, at about 22.21hrs. A male suicide bomber gained entry into the premises of University of Maiduguri, and detonated PBIED on his body near the Rapid Response Services office building.
“The suicide bomber died while three university security personnel on duty were injured.

“One of the injured security personnel, a female (whose identity was given as Becky Edubi), later died while being attended to at the University of Maiduguri Teaching Hospital.”
He added that: “In another development at about 2230hrs same night, four female suicide bombers infiltrated Zannari community in Gwange general area of Jere Local Government Area. Two of the suicide bombers detonated PBIEDs on their bodies in two residential buildings.

The bombers died alongside eight other persons while 11 others were injured.
“The third bomber detonated his bomb, killing himself alone. The fourth female suicide bomber, identity not known, who was arrested also died the same night as a result of injuries she sustained.”

The police commissioner also revealed: “Yet in another development, today (Monday) at about 0408hrs, two female suicide bombers detonated PBIEDs on their bodies within the premises of University of Maiduguri.
“One detonated close to the Entrepreneurship and Skills Acquisition Centre killing herself with no other casualty.
“The other suicide bomber detonated behind Works Department complex also killing herself with no other casualty.”
He said: “EOD/SARS and patrol teams were mobilised to the scenes,” disclosing that: “The dead and injured were evacuated to University of Maiduguri Teaching Hospital.”

Chukwu added: “The EOD sanitised and rendered the various scenes and their neighbourhoods safe,” assuring members of the public that: “Normalcy has been restored.”
He said: “In all, 16 persons, including the suicide bombers died in the multiple explosions while 13 persons were injured.”

Meanwhile, the state Governor, Kashim Shettima, yesterday assessed different scenes of multiple suicide attacks on the university and approved the immediate release of N50million for the ongoing digging of trenches behind the university which covers 27 kilometres, through which Boko Haram insurgents have been accessing the school from in the dead of the night.

The governor had two weeks ago mobilised caterpillars to start the digging as a way of responding to previous attacks.
Shettima announced that he was releasing N50million not only to fund the digging exercise but also to support payment of allowances to special guards drawn from local vigilantes who are to work with the military in policing porous areas.
The trenches are being designed to make it impossible for insurgents to drive into the university and also create difficulty for  them to cross on foot while the military would take advantage of being at the top to neutralise insurgents.

Shettima said even though the university is a federal institution, it was also part of the state governments responsibility to intervene in securing lives and preventing the desire of insurgents to force the closure of the school.
Acting Vice Chancellor, of the university, Aliyu Shugaba, who conducted Shettima round the scenes, was elated by the governor’s intervention.

He revealed that the university has since put up a request of N2.8 billion to enable it fund the erection of perimeter fence round the exposed portions of the school.
The governor later went into the vice chancellor’s office and presided over   a security meeting that was attended by the Garrison Commander of the 7th Division of the Nigerian Army, the state Commissioner of Police and those in charge of internal security at the university.

During the closed-door meeting, measures where taken to increase number of armed security persons to be deployed for the policing of the porous areas.
The meeting agreed to contribute armed personnel from the army, local vigilante, university guards in addition to erecting additional points for distance surveillance and night vision surveillance gadgets.

The state police commissioner, Chukwu, gave an assurance that surveillance would be increased by the police.
The University of Maiduguri has come under occasional suicide attacks from the insurgents. Last Sunday night’s attacks carried out by seven suicide  bombers was the fifth in series happening in recent times.
The attackers were mostly women who blew themselves up.
The university is currently on break with students expected to be home in the next four months.
It is hoped that security should improve before their return.