The University of Maiduguri (UNIMAID) has engaged 50 hunters to curtail incessant Boko Haram suicide attacks on the institution’s premises and environs. This comes as three suicide bombers were confirmed dead in the early hours of yesterday while attempting to enter some locations in the institution.
The state Commissioner of Police, Mr. Damian Chukwu, speaking through the Command spokesman, Mr. Victor Isuku, in a statement in Maiduguri, said: “On May 18, 2017, about 11.50pm, three male suicide bombers with Improvised Explosives Devices (IEDs) strapped to their bodies, gained entry into the premises of university.
“In an attempt to enter the female hostels, they were intercepted by security operatives. One of the bombers hurriedly detonated his IED vest, killing himself instantly.
“The other two bombers detonated their explosives near a construction site of the varsity. “The two suspects were also killed in the explosions.” Isuku said three university security guards were injured, while officers of the Police Explosives Ordinance Department were deployed to campus to restore normalcy.
Similarly, Head of Media and Public Relations of the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), Mr. Sani Datti, in a statement in Abuja, also confirmed the attacks on Thursday and early yesterday.
Disclosing the decision to hire the hunters yesterday, the Secretary of Borno State Hunters Association (BOHAS), Bunu Bukar, told The Guardian in Maiduguri: “We had been in discussion with the university authorities on how to secure the premises and its environs for over three months.”
He said the discussion centred on the incessant Boko Haram suicide bomb attacks on campus, which necessitated the immediate engagement of 50 members of the association to secure the varsity.
Bukar assured that the association would not fail in its “commitments and dedication” to protect people’s lives and property in the university community.
On conditions of the engagement, Bukar said: “Our members will continue to work voluntarily until the university authorities formalise their engagement on its pay rolls.”
Datti said the vigilant university security and vigilantes group intercepted the suicide bombers before they could gain entrance into the premises. He explained that immediately the suicide bombers detonated their explosives strapped on them, resulting to injury of the two university’s security officers and two vigilantes.
The attacks occurred at a time the new Director General of NEMA, Mr. Mustapha Maihaja, was on a two-day visit to Maiduguri to meet with the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs).
He said Maihaja would also be meeting with leaders and stakeholders in the states to discuss ways of responding to the humanitarian needs of the affected persons, noting that the remains of the three suicide bombers were evacuated to the Specialist Hospital in Maiduguri.
The university had been attacked on several occasions by suicide bombers, resulting in over a dozen fatalities, including Prof Aliyu Mani on January 16, this year at one of the varsity mosques.