Tension in School as Parents, Students Reject Principal Accused of Negligence in ‘Bunu Yadi Massacre’
Palpable tension has gripped Federal Government College Azare in Bauchi State following the posting of a new principal into the school.
Many parents and students are said to be jittery over the presence of the new helmsman they claim stirs nothing but fear and trepidation in them.
To many, the name Dr Bukar Bukarbe does not ring bell but for the students of FGC Azare, it is a sad reminder of the horror that took place eight years ago in a sister unity school, Federal Government College, Bunu Yadi in Yobe State. Bukar Bukarbe was the Principal of the school at the time. He was said to have had a prior knowledge of the impending doom that night but chose to sit on the information until the deed was done.
It was a widely-held belief among parents of students of the ill-fated school that if he had taken some proactive measures after getting hint of what will come, probably the attack would have been stopped or at least countered or minimized. He was thus accused by a number of parents of cold indifference and outright complicity in the horrible incident that shocked the world.
“As the Principal of the school, Bukar was duly informed that Boko Haram terrorists were going to attack the town. In fact, they transmitted the letter to him through a senior staff of the college when the Principal was in Abuja for a meeting. Despite the threat which circulated among the teachers and that was even announced at the assembly ground, the Principal did not show any sign that he understood the seriousness of the situation, not to talk of closing down the school”, lamented a parent of one of the students.
It was against this background alleged complicity and cold indifference to the unspeakable horror meted out on innocent school boys under the supposed watchful eyes of Bukar that both parents and students of FGC Azare were apprehensive over the decision to appoint him to their school.
According to them, Bukar’s curious negligence and cold non-committal disposition until the Bunu Yadi students were slaughtered by the terrorists does not portray him as a man worthy of being entrusted with the fate of more students.
“Dr Bukar Bukarbe is not worthy to superintend any school as a principal again considering his alleged complicity in the unfortunate massacre of Bunu Yadi boys. One wonders why the lot fell on FGC Azare to have such arrogant, cold and uncaring fellow as their Principal”, said a concerned parent.
To Mustapha (not real name), a student of FGC Azare, Dr Burkabe is not welcomed in Azare. “We are scared that such a man is being posted to our school. He is not the kind of father we want as our Principal. If they don’t remove him, I will reconsider my further stay in that school. It is better to stop my secondary education than to be put in the hands of uncaring man who might expose us to danger”, he volunteered.
Another student of the school who simply identified his name Hassan wants the government to stop the posting of Dr Bukarbe to the school. “My friend’s brother told me about the man and the role he played that let to the massacre of students of FGC Bunu Yadi by Boko Haram. I’m scared of him and I pray the Government listens to us and change the posting. His presence in the school as Principal will definitely affect us students negatively”.
A teacher in the school who wants to remain anonymous for fear of victimization, expressed his shock on hearing of the appointment of Dr Bukarbe as the Principal of FGC Azare. According to him, there is no way parents and students can feel comfortable with such a man as the Principal of the school.
“Bukar Bukarbe’s story while at the FGC Bunu Yadi is well known by teachers and even parents here. We hear he is arrogant and doesn’t care about people under his care. How can we be happy working with such a person?”, he asked.
On February 25, 2014, Boko Haram terrorists stormed the boarding school while the students were already tucked in their beds and sleeping. Their mission to the hapless school in that dead in the night was simply for bloodbath. They didn’t take prisoners nor show any mercy. They gained access into the school, threw explosives into the dormitory and opened gunfire.
According to an eye-witness “students were trying to climb out of the windows and they were slaughtered like sheep by the terrorists who slit their throats. Others who ran were gunned down.”
A total of fifty-four boys were killed in that singular attack and all twenty-four buildings in that school were burnt to the ground during the attack.