The residents of Unguwar Gbaure, behind the abattoir in Gwagwalada Area Council, Abuja, were last Thursday evening thrown into pandemonium after a 28-year-old man, identified as Nura, was stabbed to death in a rival groups’ clash over a lady in the area.
Sunday Trust on Sunday learnt that three provision shops were also set ablaze in a reprisal attack by one of the groups in the abduction saga.
A resident of the area, Malam Musa Shehu, while narrating what he witnessed to our reporter when he visited the area yesterday, said the clash occurred close to his house. Shehu said it started on Thursday at about 8:12pm and dragged on till around 4:00am on Friday.
He said the trouble started after a 21-year-old lady, identified as Fatima Ali, was allegedly abducted by a group of three commercial motorcyclists.
He said the lady’s father, Malam Ali, reported the abduction of his daughter to members of a group, Kungiyar Rafin Guza, in the area.
According to him, the members of the group assured the father, who was in tears, that they would explore all avenues to find his abducted daughter.
“The lady was later found in the house of the three boys,” he said.
The lady was handed over to her father that same day, after the police had swooped on the boys’ hideout and arrested all three of them. The witness said all the boys, who were from Zamfara State, were taken to the police station.
“But what angered members of the group was that barely two hours after the police arrested them, they were released, as if they were not the people that committed the criminal offence of alleged abduction,‘’ he said.
The witness said subsequently, at about 8:00pm on Thursday, one of the three boys, identified as Nura, who was latter killed in the ensuing clash, had gone to join his two friends in the area to eat, arming himself with a knife, sword and a stick.
He said on his arrival, Nura saw one of the members of the Kungiyar Rafin Guza group who had rescued the girl and reported the matter to the police, leading to their arrest.
“But Nura did not know that the other was already watching him as he stealthily removed his knife and tried to stab him. So he easily dodged the stab, abandoned his food and quickly picked a piece of fire wood with which he hit Nura on the head. He then snatched the knife from him and stabbed him with it on the chest,‘’ he said.
The witness said some cyclists who had also come to buy food immediately fled the area, along with some residents, while Nura was left lying on the ground bleeding.
Shehu stated that as a result of the pandemonium that ensued, he went back into his house, picked his phone and placed a call to the Sarkin Hausawa in the area, Alhaji Sani Abubakar, who phoned the divisional police headquarters, and subsequently some policemen arrived to convey the stabbed cyclist to the University of Abuja Teaching Hospital in Gwagwalada.
He said members of the Kungiyar-Rafin Guza later returned to the place about an hour later, after the police had carried out some arrests. He said they threatened to set his house ablaze.
Sunday Trust on Sunday learnt that a kiosk in which beverages were sold was burnt by members of the group, after they accused the owner of allegedly going to the police to secure the release of the boys.
“It was after the police had returned, made some arrests and left that the members of the group, numbering about 20, again mobilised and returned threatening to kill me or burn down my house, but by the grace of God in his infinite mercy, an argument ensued among them. So they only spoilt the door of my house, and left, ‘’ he added.
Members of the Kungiyar-Rafin Guza were described as mostly ‘touts’ who came to relax near a river bank, where many motorcycle riders and other young boys normally come to.
The incident, it was further learnt, has forced many commercial cyclists to flee the area. Similarly, our reporter found that the FRCN-Old Kutunku area, near the Eid prayer ground and market junction, was also deserted, as no motorcycle was seen parked there, which was unusual.
The Sarkin-Hausawa in the area, Alhaji Sani Abubakar, condemned the attitude of the boys for causing problem in the area.
He said the remains of the late Nura, who was later confirmed dead by doctors at the University of Abuja Teaching Hospital, Gwagwalada, had since been buried.
Efforts by our reporter to speak with the father of the lady, Malam Ali, who sells goats and rams at the market in the area, were not successful. It was, however, learnt that the police have ordered him to report with his daughter at the police station.
The chairman of the Motorcycle Riders Union in the area, Nuhu Mohammed Ibrahim, could not be reached for comments, but one of the executives of the union, who preferred anonymity, said the conduct of the motorcycle riders had caused embarrassment to the union.
When contacted, the Divisional Crime Officer (DCO), in charge of Gwagwalada, Mr. Philip K. Dogo, declined to make comment on the matter, saying it had been transferred to the police area commander in the area.
The Gwagwalada police area commander, Assistant Commissioner of Police, Olufemi Abinwaja, confirmed the incident, saying some arrests were made, while the matter had been transferred to the state homicide department of the police command for further action.