A heartbroken father of one of 59 schoolboys slaughtered in Buni Yadi, Yobe State, by the jihadist group, Boko Haram, last February, has spoken of how the distraught families were abandoned by the government that has yet to send them even condolence letters till date.
The young students were massacred as they slept in their dormitories at a Federal Government College in the troubled state.
Armed Boko Haram fighters burst into the school hostels and set them on fire, before shooting to death pupils who attempted to escape.
Fifteen-year-old Ahamad Gulani was one of the 59 students murdered that night. The whereabouts of two other students remain unknown till date.
Wednesday was exactly one year since the attack.
Isa Gulani, Ahamad’s father, told PREMIUM TIMES that he and his wife have remained inconsolable since the incident, and that all the affected families had been abandoned by the federal government.
He said what has remained most painful is the revelation that the Nigerian military received information of the planned attack, hours ahead, but failed to act to save the children.
“What pained us as parents is that we heard that prior to the attack a military check point close to the school was relocated,” he said. “These are the things we cannot understand, we are confused; what could that mean?”
Mr. Gulani spoke of how the family has been troubled by the memory of their lost son.
“I still have him on my mind always, I feel very sad because the Federal Government up till now for the past one year, we haven’t heard from them,” he said. “The school is a Federal Government College, and yet, neither the Federal Government nor the Ministry of Education since then did say anything; not even a condolence.”
He said some old boys of the Unity School had tried to put some things together but the bereaved families never heard from the association again.
He commended the Yobe State Government for the little effort shown to him and the other affected families.
Ahamad Gulani was a science student in his Senior Secondary School class, SSS 3, who dreamt of becoming a medical doctor, his father said.
“He was a very intelligent boy. Since he was in JS 3, my son will always tell me, daddy if I grow up I want to be a medical doctor,” Mr. Gulani said.
Mr. Gulani is now left with two girls. One of the daughters who will turn six by March, continues to ask her mother when Ahamad will return home, a probe that always leave her mother devastated, Mr. Gulani said.
“Even yesterday when I reminded her that today will be one year since we lost Ahamad, she wasn’t herself all through.
“When I told her, she started crying, I tried to calm her down but throughout today she wasn’t herself,” he said.
Mr. Ahamad said two of his friends lost their younger brothers, and another friend lost his two children, in the attack.