By Aideloje Ojo
A vigilant staff of the Niger state government-owned Maryam Babangida Girls Science College, Minna, yesterday raised alarm that foiled attempt by two unidentified gunmen suspected to be Boko Harram to attack the school, while the students were at Assembly at about 7:30am.
Blueprint learnt that the staffer, a female teacher, was rushing to early morning Assembly devotion of the school through a footpath when she ran into the men who had apparently drugged themselves with Indian Hemp.
The men, she said, when they sighted her and commanded her to return back to where she was coming from if she wants to be alive.
This, it was learnt, led to pandemonium as the student ran for safety but the school authority alerted the police, Military, and the SSS, whose quick arrival, helped to calm the students down.
Speaking with newsmen in her office, the Principal of the School, Hajiya Fatima Madugu, confirmed the incident, saying that the information given by one of the teachers at 7:30 am saved the school from being attacked.
She explained that when the information arrived that two men disguised as students and getting prepared to join the assembly, it created a lot of panic among the students and teachers, but quickly, the military, the police and the SSS were alerted and on arrival, their presence assisted in calming down the situation.
The female staff whistle blower, Mrs. Bezat Doma, said she followed the footpath (short cut) to enable her get to school early and meet up with her 8:00 am lesson, only to be accosted by two unknown men that asked her to return home, if she wants to be safe.
“I was really scared, when I saw them almost dressed in the school uniform. They have already worn the trouser, shirt and about to put on the Hijab, when I sighted them and it was because of the smell of Indian hemp that made me looked around. And one just walked to me and said, ‘go home, there is no school today. Go if you love your life’, and I just took off my shoes and ran back. But, instead of going home, I went to inform our principal on the assembly ground.”
However the state Police Public Relations Officer, DSP, Ibrahim Abiodun Gambari, said the men in question were lunatics, whose presence early that morning created fears in the school.
But this police version had not convinced residents of Minna that Boko Haram had not entered the city after they struck in Kontagora barely 24 hours earlier in a female suicide bomb attack that killed a student of Federal College of Education (FCE), Kontagora
The letter was said to have been dropped in the staff room of the school by faceless people, but this had prompted high level of security by soldiers and other agencies
As precautionary measure, the Commissioner for Education, Danladi Abdulhameed, yesterday directed all schools in the state to stop convening morning assemblies or mass gathering of students