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Boko Haram Threatens To BomB 2O UNIBEN, UI,And 18 Other Universities

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DISSATISFIED with its unchallenged bombing
activities in the North, Boko Haram has threatened to extend the reign of terror
to southern parts of the country.

Leaders of the sect said yesterday that their radar was now on University of
Ibadan (UI), University of Benin (UNIBEN) and 18 other universities, which they
said they would bomb between yesterday (September 12) and September 17.

Boko Haram sent an e-mail last Thursday to the mail box of UNIBEN Registrar,
notifying the institution of its resolve to bomb the university as part of its
agenda to stop western education in the country. Last week, there was a bomb
scare at the Lagos State Secretariat, Alausa.

Screening of vehicles at University of Ibadan following a bomb scare in the
institution, Photo; Kehinde Gbadamosi

In the purported e-mail, the Islamic Sect gave September 12 to 17 as the
target date to detonate bombs at the higher institution, warning that the
message was “not a threat, but a notification which must be strictly adhered
to.”

The sect declared that it had listed University of Benin alongside 19 other
universities where it planned to explode bombs within the stipulated period it
gave, saying “Western education must stop in Nigeria. May Allah bless us.”

In order not to be caught off guards, UNIBEN authorities yesterday beefed up
security at the two campuses of the institution. Security personnel thoroughly searched every car moving in and out of the institution.


It gathered that against the backdrop of the threat, several students of the
university have voluntarily stayed away from the institution as a precautionary
measure to avoid being victims of the planned bomb blast.

Contacted yesterday, the University Public Relations Officer, Mr. Harrison
Osarenren confirmed the receipt of the Boko Haram threat e-mail message.

However, there were indications yesterday that many of the students were
unaware of the threat as lectures went on smoothly.

Relatively, UI management also confirmed Boko Haram’s threat to bomb the
university between 12 and 17 September.

The rumour was confirmed yesterday by the Acting Vice Chancellor of the
university, Pro. Elijah Afolabi Bamigboye while speaking with newsmen at the
institution

The threat led to serious panic among the staff and students and there was
heavy security presence at the main entrance that is opposite Ugbowo Shopping
Complex.

Many staff and visitors going into the campus were subjected to thorough
search by security operatives who were armed with AK 47 rifles and bullet proof
jackets.

Motorists entering the institution waited many hours in a traffic snarl and
this affected all vehicles coming from Ojo end of the road.

Prof. Bamigboye, who said he too was subjected to thorough search, said the
security beef-up was necessary to check any eventuality.

His words: “We heard rumours that a group which detests education is likely
to descend on institutions where education is being imparted. We heard that UI
is top on the list. When we heard the rumour of threat to bomb UI, we did not
want to take chances. We’ve heard of experiences in the past, especially the
recent bombing of the UN house in Abuja as well as the Force headquarters which
left several people dead. The essence is to sensitize the community and to alert
the people on the rumour. We directed the security department to step up
screening of all vehicles into the campus. My car too was subjected to thorough
search this morning.”

The don condemned the threat and the accompanying traffic logjam saying it
was not the best for the institution’s image now that some foreigners were
preparing to come.

“You can imagine if such international people were to come to UI now and face
this traffic snarl. Of course, they will go back and who knows, they could go
back to their country to spread the information that Nigerian universities are
not safe,” he lamented.

For a host of southerners, it used to sound like news from distant lands even
though it was so close as newspapers, television and radio stations buzzed with
reports of deadly bomb explosions detonated by the dreaded Islamic Sect, Boko
Haram, in many Northern cities including Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory,
FCT.

For about a year now, counting from the October 1, 2010 Independence Day twin
bomb explosions in Abuja, Boko Haram had stepped up its campaign to stop western
education in Nigeria with a series of bomb blasts including a recent car-bombing
of the Police Headquarters, Abuja and the bombing of the United Nations office
in Abuja, which claimed scores of lives and with property worth millions of
Naira destroyed.

Source: Vanguard

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