Former Lagos State Governor and leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC) Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, has sympathised with Governor Ibrahim Gaidam of Yobe State over Sunday’s murder of 41 students of the College of Agriculture in Gujba by suspected Boko Haram militants.
In an emotional letter sent to the governor, Tinubu said he was moved to “deep sorrow and anguish indignation” upon hearing the news of the tragedy. He said the wanton murder of the students “jars the conscience and reminds us of the sinister nature of the enemy our nation now faces”.
In one of the most horrific attacks carried out on defenseless people by the Islamic militants, gunmen on Sunday invaded the hostels at the school and shot dead more than 40 students while they were sleeping. The attackers also set the school buildings on fire as they retreated after the attack.
Tinubu wrote: “ I dare not ply you with words of false comfort and consolation for there is no genuine solace to be had at a moment like this. Evil crept through the darkness to snatch the lives of young people who were just entering the fullness of life. “Their purported crime was that they wanted to improve their lives and help the nation; for this, they should be commended. Instead, their lives were snuffed short,” the APC leader said.
Tinubu also assured the governor that though the grief is heavy, Nigerians share in the tragedy of this moment. “ You are the father of all residents in your state, thus you carry the heavy grief of a father; but you don’t carry this grief alone; all Nigerians grief with you. Those taken are our children too.”
The former governor also urged Gaidam and the people of Yobe State never to bow to the intimidation of the attackers but overcome this tragedy with determination and persistence.
Tinubu told Gaidam: “You must look beyond the death and spilled blood of these innocent children. In times like these, it is easy to give up and retreat into the shadows these evil forces have created. Yet we must be of good courage, we must forge ahead with our best plans and preparations for the people.”
The APC leader also warned of the dire consequences of giving in to terror. He urged the governor to remain steadfast in providing quality education, enlightenment and progress for the people describing the attack as a contest for the soul of the state and the nation.
“This is a contest for the soul of the state and the nation; we dare not lose it. These murderers seek to shutter the educational system in your state. Should they accomplish this, they will only attack another institution, then another, until all are flattened,” he said.
Tinubu called on the Federal Government and the law enforcement agencies to work closely with the state government to devise a strategy that better protects targeted institutions saying with the latest attack, it is now clear the acts of terror is not directed at a particular religion but to all Nigerians.While offering his assistance to Gaidam, Tinubu reiterated his commitment to standing by the people.
He said: “I want you to know that I stand by you, if there is anything I can do to help overcome this terrible moment, please call on me. You are my brother and I will come to help as a man does when his brother is in need.”