A young man, Radiyuddin Tahir, who was stabbed during the recent Eid el-Kabir durbar in Kano State is battling for his life at the Murtala Muhammed Specialist Hospital, Kano.
The victim, who operates a Point of Sale (POS) service at Sabon Titin Mandawari area in Gwale LGA, was watching the durbar from his shop when he sustained injury in the abdomen.
Witnesses said Radiyuddin was attacked by KAROTA personnel when they alleged that onlookers yelled at them while they were following the entourage of the Emir of Kano, Alhaji Aminu Ado Bayero.
A witness and relation of the victim, Salahuddin Nams’aiki, said the KAROTA personnel started attacking people and that in the process stabbed Radiyuddin and injured other people, including women.
Another witness said men of KAROTA were passing with their vehicle when some people yelled at them and started mocking them, which infuriated them and they started beating people indiscriminately.
Parents of Radiyuddin also accused KAROTA personnel of stabbing Radiyuddin with a knife in his business environment.
Malama Balaraba Shehu, mother of the victim, said the incident had traumatised her because Radiyuddin had been an important supporter of the family.
She said, “By Allah, he has been supportive to me and the family. My child isn’t a thug; he doesn’t smoke. Why will they cheat him like this? I pray God to come to our aid.”
KAROTA spokesman, Nabilus Abubakar Kofar Na’isa, who confirmed that there was a clash, said they were yet to get a formal report because KAROTA, alongside other security agencies, were involved in the incident which he noted was not led by KAROTA.
He said, “There was a clash but it was a joint task force operation which included KAROTA, NSCDC, FRSC, police, etc. And it was not KAROTA that led the team.
“Just like he was injured, KAROTA operatives and others were also wounded. Four KAROTA officers sustained injuries; three of them were hospitalised but they were discharged earlier today. So we are waiting for the report of the incident before taking any action. We cannot say anything now.”
A lawyer in Kano, Barrister Abba Hikima, said carrying weapons by KAROTA operatives contravened Nigerian laws, adding that, “We often receive complaints from people on how KAROTA operatives hit people or vehicles. There is no law that allows them to wield weapons of any kind. It contravenes Nigeria’s laws. The Commissioner of Police should arrest those carrying weapons because it is against public order.”
Police spokesman in Kano, SP Abdullahi Kiyawa, neither answered several calls put across to him nor reply an SMS.