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How 9 Senior Citizens Were Killed In Bauchi

| September 22, 2012 More

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Written by Saliu Gbadamosi, Bauchi


Saturday, 22 September 2012

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THE particular spot they met their untimely death had been a meeting point of sort for them for more than 20 years before last Sunday, September 16, 2012. It was a day when some unknown gunmen invaded Zango area of Bauchi metropolis around 7:30 p.m. and at the end of the operation, five of them were sent to their graves, while two others joined their ancestors that same night. By Monday morning, two others died, taking the death toll from the attack to nine.

Some people, mostly elders at Zango community are wont to gather under the tree in front of Pa Joseph Yaki’s house virtually every evening to socialize, play cards and draught, and perhaps gossip about happenings in the society. This trend, Saturday Tribune learnt, had been the practice over the years, but the event of last Sunday might some how change that as things may not remain the same after the attack.

The community, a stone throw from the Federal Low Cost Housing Estate, has been one of the flashpoints in Bauchi metropolis, considering its ethno-religious composition. The community is composed of Hausa/ Fulani and Sayawa ethnic groups, meaning that it has both the Muslims and Christians inhabitants who are from the ethnic groups found in the community. The place had witnessed some crises in the past before the attack last Sunday evening. Very recently, during the last Ramadan fast by Muslim faithful, one retired inspector of police, Inspector Abdullahi, was shot dead by some gun-trotting gang members in front of his house after coming back from the mosque, where he had gone to observe his Maghrib prayer. Up till now, nobody has been arrested in connection with the attack.

The nine dead men were: Ayuba Shehu, Freeman Lumi, Godiya Rimi , Ishaku Samson and Joseph Yaki Komo, who is the owner of the house in front of which they were killed. Others were Imma Zamba, Samuel Mutashi, Ishaya Jauro and Haruna Ayuba.
It was gathered that three men, who rode in a tricycle, popularly called Keke NAPEP, arrived in the area to carry out their operation at a time the people had gathered at their usual spot. The gun-totting men, according to eyewitness account, suddenly arrived on the scene and before anyone could say Jack Robinson, opened fire on the people under the tree, killing five people right on the spot, while many others sustained varying degrees of injuries in the attack, which lasted just a few minutes but its memory will continue to linger in the minds of not only the bereaved families, but also the people of the community for a very long time to come.

A resident of the area, Buba Abdu, told Saturday Tribune that he was relaxing in his house with his family when all of a sudden they heard gunshots from the direction of Pa Yaki’s house, adding that the shots took everyone unawares as well as sent cold shivers down everybody’s spines. According to him, the pandemonium that followed was better imagined.

According to Abdu, “the attackers’ main targets were the people who used to assemble in the evening to play cards and draught under the tree in front of Pa Yaki’s house. They came inside a Keke NAPEP and started shooting sporadically and killed five people on the spot, while many people were injured. The corpses of the dead were taken to the teaching hospital. The injured too were taken to the same hospital for treatment.”

He, however, called on the Bauchi State government to ensure that it provides adequate security for the people of the state, adding that, “the life of every human being is sacred and must not be taken just like that as if one is hunting game. The state government must do something serious in protecting the lives and properties of the people of this state.”

While the deceased and the injured in the attack were ‘unlucky’ to have been at the scene of the attack at that material time, Mr Caleb escaped death by a whisker. A phone call that necessitated that he had to leave the scene of the attack was his saving grace that day. According to the man, who works with the Bauchi State Ministry of Information, he was together with the people under the tree when he received a phone call and left the place.

“I was together with the people under the tree. We sat here playing and relaxing. Someone called me to request for something which I wanted to give him. So, I left the place to go home but some metres away from the scene of the attack, I heard gunshots. On coming back, I saw five people, including the old man who owns the house in front of which we were seated, laying down in the pool of their own blood. They were already dead when we got here,” he stated.

Speaking on the death of his father, the first son of the late Pa Yaki, Mbami Joseph, blamed the incident on the inability of the elders of the community to provide security in the community, adding that his father had always been telling him that security issue was always discussed at the meetings of the council of elders in the community.

“This thing happened in front of our house; my father was a victim. Before his death, my father had always been telling me that they used to sit down at the council of elders of the community for security reason. Some people contributed but some Muslims did not contribute. They should ask the traditional leader here who refused to put security here. If there had been security, this thing could not have happened. We have already provided the money, why couldn’t they provide security since January?” he queried.

According to him, “over two years ago, the same thing happened when they killed our people. What is their reason for this? We know them. It is painful to me that my father died. Why did they kill him? He was an easy-going man and a very gentleman.”   
As of the time of filing in this report, no group or even individual, has, however, yet to claim responsibility for the attack.
Meanwhile, the chairman of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) in Bauchi State, Reverend Lawi Potki , has denied reports in the media that the slain senior citizens were gambling as of the time of the attack and called on journalists to be factual and objective in the reportage of events.

Speaking during the funeral service held for the slain people at the Church of Christ in Nigeria (COCIN) Church, Zango, on Wednesday, Reverend Potki called on the the Bauchi State government to take proactive measures to protect the lives and properties of people of the state, even as the government was told to curb the incessant crisis at the Tafawa Balewa- Bogoro axis of the state.

He, then, called on Christian faithful in the state to remain law-abiding, despite the attacks on them.  

While reacting to the attack, the Bauchi State governor, Mallam Isa Yuguda, condemned it in very strong terms, describing it as an act of terrorism which his administration and other governments in the country are fighting hard to eradicate, describing the attackers as terrorists. He assured that government would do everything possible to track down the perpetrators of the barbaric act.

The governor, according to a press release made available to Saturday Tribune by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr Ishola Michael Adeyemi, while condoling with the bereaved families, called on them to take solace in God, the Giver and Taker of lives and prayed God to give them the fortitude to bear the irreparable losses. He equally wished those injured in the attack, who were still receiving treatment at the ATBUTH quick recovery.

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Category: Bauchi State News

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