PRESS STATEMENT
By
INTER-FAITH ACTIVITY & PARTNERSHIP FOR PEACE (IFAPP)
ON THE SEPTEMBER 28TH 2013 SHOOTING OF STUDENTS & RESIDENTS OF COLLEGE OF AGRICULTURE, GUJBA & ITS ENVIRONS IN YOBE STATE

Dated: 04th October 2013

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  1. The conveners and members of IFAPP, a national platform for interfaith dialogue among Muslim and Christian clerics and leaders for the fostering of peaceful coexistence and development in Nigeria, are extremely shocked, distressed and alarmed by the dastardly acts of gunmen suspected to be Boko Haram sect members on September 28th who went on rampage in Gujba community, Yobe state where they opened fire on the students of the College of Agriculture, Gujba, at 3a.m. as they slept in their hostels and later moved to other houses and blocked the Damaturu-Maiduguri Road, where they killed residents and travelers at will leaving over 80 innocent persons dead. We wholeheartedly condemn this senseless act of brigandage.
  1. This latest terrorist action clearly suggests that the Nigerian government is not doing enough to protect schools, students and travelers in the north-east of the country given that this is not the first of its kind in the last 12 months. In addition to the tragedy of the frequent loss of innocent lives, the persistence of this nature and degree of insecurity can only serve to worsen the poor level of participation in formal schooling by children and adolescents in a part of the country with the highest level of illiteracy, and the accompanying poverty and disempowerment.
  1. We call on the federal government and its security agencies not only to investigate these deplorable incidents and make those responsible to fully face the weight of the law but to take more effective measures to prevent them.
  1. Based on our conviction that the overwhelming majority of Muslims in Nigeria are peace-loving and believe in the sacredness of human life, we admonish Nigerians especially non-Muslims not to view the planners and perpetrators of this grave and criminal act as genuine or well-informed adherents of Islam.
  1. We strongly urge Boko Haram (and its supporters, financiers and sympathizers) to put an immediate stop to all attacks on schools, students, and teachers as such actions cannot produce any positive outcomes or lead to the resolution of any of their grievances.
  1. IFAPP will continue to work hard at both national and sub-national levels for the peaceful coexistence of religious groups in Nigeria through an integrated set of educational and advocacy programmes, projects and initiatives that will enlighten adherents of both faiths, diffuse tension, and promote peace.

Signed: Mallam Nuruddeen Lemu & Rev. Fr. George Ehusani (Conveners)