With over 2,596 deaths in the first three months of the year, security experts and a cross section of Nigerians who spoke to our correspondent called on the government to put in more efforts to bring an end to the insurgency in the North Eastern part of the country.
When the onslaught by Boko Haram began sometime in 2009, not many had thought that the attacks would assume such a murderous dimension as it is today.
Of all the attacks perpetrated by suspected members of the dreaded Islamic sect, Boko Haram, in the North Eastern part of the country, one that has remained in the minds of people is the February 25, 2014 attack on the pupils of Federal Government College, Buni Yadi in Yobe State.
In the attack that lasted several hours, no fewer than 59 students were slaughtered by the sect members while some of the victims were burnt to ashes.
In what appeared as the height of cruelty, the Islamic sect members arrived the College at about 2am and set the locked hostels, where the students slept, on fire, before shooting and slitting the throats of those who tried to climb out of the windows.
A teacher in the school was reported to have said that the sect members hurled explosives and fired guns into one of the hostels. When the pupils were trying to climb out of the windows, they were caught and slaughtered like sheep by the terrorists while some had their throats slit. Those who attempted to run away were gunned down.
The insurgents burnt down all the 24 buildings and staff quarters in the school before attacking the students. Reports had it that the onslaught lasted several hours.
A Junior Secondary School 3 student, Aliyu Ayuba, who fled the scene with a bullet in his back, said the assailants who were young men and boys in military uniforms and plain clothes, ordered the students to gather in one room and started shooting sporadically. Aliyu added that his roommates were killed and some burnt inside the hostel.
The continuous killing of residents in the North Eastern part of the country by Boko Haram members has left no fewer than 1,614 persons dead in series of attacks by the Islamic group during the first quarter of the year.
The series of attacks by the sect have left many people dead, lives shattered, houses burnt with many rendered homeless, many are still missing and many people are living with varying degree of injuries. Notably, many Nigerians, including those in other parts of the country now live with the unpleasant memory.
The victims of the attacks are of no particular age group, as infants, adolescents, teenagers and adults have all been massacred, alongside the aged.
While the onslaught lasted, there was no intervention by security forces that were deployed on emergency rule declared in the three most affected states; Borno, Yobe and Adamawa states.
A few days ago, commuters who were waiting to board buses going to the city centre at the popular Nyanya park, the border community between Abuja and Nassarawa State, were hit by a bomb blast detonated by the suspected Islamic sect.
No fewer than 89 lives were lost in the attack with over 200 severely injured.
Boko Haram, which means ‘No to western education,’ has shunned several moves by the government to broker peace with it. The group had demanded for, among other things, the enforcement of Sharia law in the Northern part of the country and the Islamisation of Northern Nigeria.