Authorities of the University of Jos have faulted reports that seven students of the university died in the bomb blast that rocked the city last Tuesday, saying the school did not confirm it to anybody.
Speaking on behalf of the school authorities, the university’s Deputy Registrar, Information and Public Relations, Mr. Steve Otowo, said: “The school authorities can only confirm the death of two of its students; Francisca Nwafor and Michael Ogbole, both 500 level students of Medical Laboratory Science Technology Department of the university.”
He said the students had completed their lectures and were passing by when they got caught in the unfortunate bomb blast.
“Though the Students’ Union leader told me that there are five other students missing, we cannot confirm them dead yet since there is no evidence to back such claims.
“We can only advise parents to get in touch with their wards, and be sure that they are alive and safe; they may have travelled out of school or gone somewhere, no one can say. So it will be wrong to conclude that the five students are dead,” Otowo added.
He said the remains of Ogbole would leave Jos for his village in Benue State tomorrow (today).
Meanwhile, ahead of federal and state governments, an Abuja-based organisation, Neighbour-to-Neighbour Initiative (N2N), has taken the lead by donating relief materials to the victims of the bomb blasts.
The organisation donated about 100 bags of maize, millet, sugar and beans to the Plateau State Government for onward distribution to the victims.
At the state’s specialist hospital, where the representatives of the Chief Medical Director, David Ayuba, and Bingham University Teaching Hospital (BUTH) both in Jos received them, the group donated toiletries, detergents, soaps and other items to the authorities of the hospitals.
Making the donation, Director for Women and Mobilisation of the organisation, Hajiya Aisha Lemu, said they decided to make the donation with love, believing that it would go a long way towards alleviating the plight of the victims of the blast.
They condemned the bomb blasts, and prayed fervently that such unfortunate incidents do not happen again because there was no place where violence pays and brings peace in the world.
“We are praying as women and mothers. We should unite and expect people to tell government their grievances whatever they are and sit together and find solutions to them instead of killing innocent people,” she said.
Responding on behalf of the state government, the Commissioner for Environment, Mr. Sylvanus Dongtoe, thanked the group for the good gesture and love shown, adding that the materials would console the injured victims.
He admitted that insurgency was a global issue, but that they were not happy that it happened in the state. “It is a global thing now, particularly in Nigeria. This thing is happening virtually in all nooks and crannies and it is our belief that this thing will stop as soon as possible.”
He appreciated what the international community was doing by showing concern, adding that the Neighbour-to-Neighbour Initiative was not left behind to really sit down and come up with the idea like that.
Dongtoe assured the organisation that the materials donated would be honestly given to the victims of the violence, stressing that they would continue to pray for peace to reign in Nigeria.
He told those who carried out the dastardly act, who think that they would succeed in dividing the country, were wasting their time.