Details of how gunmen massacred about 40 persons mostly students of tertiary institutions in Mubi, Adamawa state, on Monday night have emerged as Police confirmed yesterday that the assailants called out names of the victims before spraying them with bullets.
Also one of the students who survived but pleaded anonymity said the assailants came in military uniforms at about midnight and surrounded the compound where they lived after which they started taking the students outside requesting their names and shooting them at close range.
He said others cut the bodies of the victims with knives after which they lined up their mutilated corpses in the compound. He said it was not clear how they chose who to kill and those to spare adding that victims included Muslims and Christians.
Though the police said 25 persons were killed, residents insisted that they counted up to 40 bodies after the raid. The corpses have been deposited at the Mubi General Hospital.
The assailants were said to have stormed the Wuro-futaji suburb of the area which is populated mostly by off-campus students of the Adamawa State University, Federal Polytechnic as well as School of Health Technology, all situated in Mubi at about 11pm and engaged in the killing spree. Most of those killed were said to be students of the Federal Polytechnic.
An official of the Federal Polytechnic Mubi, who also pleaded anonymity, however said the gunmen shot sporadically at any moving person, for over one hour. He confirmed that 26 students of the institution were among those massacred in the attacks. The others he said were students of the other two institutions.
Scores who sustained gunshot wounds are said to be on danger list. A twenty four - hour curfew has already been imposed in the troubled town.
Though there were speculations that the gunmen were insurgents, there are indications that the attack may not be unconnected with disagreements over last Sunday’s Student Union Government elections, which was heavily contested on sectional divides. Residents who pleaded anonymity said some of those killed were mostly those deeply involved in the campus politics.
Adamawa State Police Command, Police Public Relations Officer, ASP Mohammed Ibrahim, said in a phone interview yesterday that among those killed were 19 students in an off-campus student housing area as well as other residents including a security guard and a retired soldier.
He said there were signs that there could be some internal factors but added that such could not be proven until after investigations.
“We are just leaving Mubi with the Commissioner of Police, and Brigade Commander. And it was 19 students that were killed… all in all it was 25 persons that were killed. Although the investigation is continuing, there are signs that there may have been some internal factors, but we cannot prove it until we complete our investigation”, Ibrahim said.
A spokesman for the National Emergency Management Agency Yushau Shuaib confirmed reports that some of the victims were candidates in the polls.
“The crisis in Mubi is suspected to have been fuelled by campus politics after an election at the Federal Polytechnic,” he said.
The bloody night raid is coming barely a week after the JTF uncovered bomb factories and arrested 156 suspected terrorists in Mubi and recovered explosives and other weapons including rifles, mostly brand new AK 47 sub machine guns.
Following the attacks, security agencies in the state have deployed additional security personnel to the area.
In the meantime as terrified students and other residents make attempts to leave Mubi, transport fares out of the troubled town have been hiked with taxis now charging up to N7000 as against the normal N1000.
To ease the challenge, the Emir of Mubi, Alhaji Abubakar Isa Ahmadu, provided six buses to evacuate students just as the polytechnic authorities have provided a truck to evacuate students to the state capital. All institutions in Mubi have also been shut indefinitely.