“we don’t know from where the explosion and shooting occurred and we could not even run because it is dark and dangerous to do so. It happened around 2 a.m.; I was not asleep then”.
Thunderous sounds suspected to be from bomb explosions and continuous shooting around the University of Maiduguri scared students and staff on campus all Friday night. Many of the students and staff stayed awake till dawn.
The explosion, according to PREMIUM TIMES checks, started at about 2 a.m.
Some students said the sounds woke them up, while those that were awake and reading for the ongoing second semester exams said they were terrified.
A 200-level student of the University, Halima Abdul, told PREMIUM TIMES on phone that “we don’t know from where the explosion and shooting occurred and we could not even run because it is dark and dangerous to do so. It happened around 2 a.m.; I was not asleep then”.
Halima said the university’s Dean of Students Affairs visited them in the hostel in the early hours of Saturday to assure them of safety, even as he warned of dangers in trying to run from the school.
A security official who spoke to PREMIUM TIMES but asked not to be named because it was not his role to speak to the press said the shooting had nothing to do with the university. He said the shooting occurred in two villages about 12km away from university campus.
”What was heard as blast and the shooting had nothing to do with the University. There was an attack by these insurgents last night at Marimari and Gremari villages in Konduga Local Government Area. The villages were attacked as we gathered because the villagers had recently nabbed and killed some of the Boko Haram members; so they visited for a revenge. Though luckily the villagers were able to escape, but the attackers burnt down the two villages.
”The shootings being heard in the university was a friendly firing from soldiers in Dalori Quarters which is just some 2km away from the university campus”, said the security source who works with the Department of State Security, SSS.
At the university, visibly terrified students, especially those that had rounded off their exams, were seen pulling their bags hurriedly out of the campus, while those that still have papers to write were also spotted standing in groups looking terrified.
The university has remained largely immune from the attacks by suspected Boko Haram members on Maiduguri and other Borno communities.