Following the recent trend of female suicide bombers in the northern part of the country, an attempted attack on the Maryam Babangida Girlsâ€™ Science College, Minna, Niger State ,by two unidentified men dressed like women was foiled on Thursday by a member of staff of the school.
According to a teacher in the school who spoke with THISDAY, a female teacher was walking through a footpath leading to the school in the early hours of the day when she perceived the smell of Indian hemp and stopped to look around.
She was said to have sighted two men who had already changed into the school uniform and were about to wear their hijab, who ordered her to turn back, if she wanted to remain alive.
The teacher actually ran back and went to the main gate to alert the school where students had already gathered at the assembly ground.
When the students got wind of the information, confusion broke out, as students scattered in various direction out of panic.
Speaking with journalists in her office, the Principal of the school, Hajiya Fatima Madugu, said the information given by one of the teachers at 7:30a.m saved the school from being attacked.
She explained that when the information came in that two men disguised as students and getting prepared to join the assembly, it created a lot of panic among the students and teachers, but quickly, the military, the police and the State Security Service (SSS) were alerted and on arrival, their presence assisted in calming down the situation.
â€œWhen the security agencies came, they questioned the teacher, especially with the security challenges confronting the nation, people got scared that some people had disguised themselves and are planning to join the School assembly. You can imagine the fear that will create in the minds of these children,â€ she said.
Also speaking, the female staff, Mrs. Bezat Doma, stated that she followed the foothpath (short cut) to enable her get to school early and meet up with her 8a.m lesson, only to be accosted by two unknown men who asked her to return home if she wanted to be safe.
â€œI was really scared when I saw them almost dressed in the school uniform. They had already worn the trouser, shirt and about to put on the hijab, when I sighted them and it was because of the stench of Indian hemp that made me looked around. And one just walked to me and said, â€˜go home, there is no school today. Go if you love your lifeâ€™, and I just took off my shoes and ran back. But, instead of going home, I went to inform our principal on the assembly ground.â€
But the state Police Public Relation Officer, Ibrahim Abiodun Gambari, an Assistant Superintendent of Police, said the men in question were lunatics, whose presence that early morning created fears in the school.
According to him, they were able to gain entrance into the school due to the porous nature of security in schools, but assured that adequate security would be given to schools by the police as well as security tips to help them in case of any eventuality.
When the state Commissioner for Education, Danladi Abdulhamid, visited the school, he announced that public schools in the state are to suspend forthwith every form of open congregational activities.
The order came less than 24 hours after a female suicide bomber detonated a bomb that exploded at the Federal College of Education (FCE) Kontagora, Niger State, killing her self and another female student of the school.