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Kano mosque arson renders 100 orphans, 13 widows helpless

As the number of casualties in the purported Kano mosque arson committed by an aggrieved youth, 38-year-old Shafiu Abubakar, has reached 17, bereaved families of…

As the number of casualties in the purported Kano mosque arson committed by an aggrieved youth, 38-year-old Shafiu Abubakar, has reached 17, bereaved families of the deceased victims are holding mourning sessions of their loved ones at the Gidan Goro area of Larabar Abasawa community of Gezawa Local Government Area, Kano State.

It is indeed a sad moment and a bitter experience for the people of this area as they bury loved ones in batches, from one household to another all within a neighbourhood within a week as a result of a single man’s action.

Daily Trust reported that on the 15th day of May 2024, a family dispute over an alleged sharing of inheritance led to grief and death in the quiet community of Larabar-Albasawa on the outskirts of Gezawa, headquarters of Gezawa LGA of Kano State.

Shafiu was said to have set a mosque on fire while worshippers were observing the early morning (Subh) prayer around 5.30 am.

The accused sprayed the mosque area with petroleum, locked the door and set it on fire trapping about 40 worshippers inside.

While the incident was first reported on Wednesday, eight people were confirmed dead as more than 20 were taken to the Murtala Muhammad Specialist Hospital, Kano for treatment.

peter obi during his visit to victims of kano mosque arson in kano yesterday
peter obi during his visit to victims of kano mosque arson in kano yesterday

Death toll hits 17

An investigation by a Daily Trust reporter revealed that 23 persons were admitted to the Surgical Ward of the hospital, and one other was taken to Aminu Kano Teaching Hospital (AKTH) where he was confirmed dead. Within five days of the incident, 17 have so far hit the bucket leaving seven struggling for survival.

A senior healthcare personnel at the Surgical Ward who preferred anonymity where the patients are receiving treatment had told our reporter, “The chances of survival of all is two per cent when rated between one and 10 which is equivalent to 20 per cent in the ratio of 100.”

Meanwhile, our reporter had met 25-year-old Shu’aibu Ibrahim who is the only victim who has a mild case as he could walk and talk.

Ibrahim was seen outside the ward flanked by his sisters. They (Ibrahim and his sisters) were silent just as others kept their eyes fixed on the floor, as they mourned the multiple losses.

A bereaved mother, who lost her son, husband and brother, said, “It is now a month of continuous mourning in the Larabar Albasawa community as many households have victims of the circumstance.”

100 orphans, 13 widows left behind

Daily Trust had earlier reported how the family feud, which started as a result of inheritance distribution, took a new turn with more problems and unrest among the siblings and spilt into the larger community.

Our correspondent who visited the village reports that the entire community was in confusion as families grieved over relations caught in the arson incident.

It was gathered that the deceased persons have left behind at least 100 orphans and 13 widows in the neighbourhood.

Musa Muhammad, a community leader and a neighbour, further explained that, “All victims whether dead or alive were from the same lineage who came from an extended family.

“Only four among the victims were not married while among the deceased one person alone has 19 children with one other having 17.

“They are all family members. On the issue of inheritance, even his father did not inherit his father because he died before the boy’s grandfather.

“And talking about forceful marriage, he lied. The girl that was shown to him to propose and marry now has two children, married to someone else. So, it’s not true.”

Arsonist has unconfirmed issue – Brother

Speaking about the personality and relationship of the arsonist, his brother, Shehu Abubakar described him as a very reserved person who doesn’t even chat with anyone.

He, however, explained that they are suspecting an issue that has to do with mental disorder as he was once taken to a psychiatric hospital for examination.

“We can’t tell what was wrong with him. He doesn’t chat or speak to anybody at length. He is very reserved and hardly speak. He doesn’t have anyone to call a friend.

“He was once taken to a psychiatric hospital for an examination but the result was not even collected so we can’t say anything is wrong with him,” he said.

The suspect is currently being held by the police command in Kano for an ongoing investigation.

Meanwhile, the Kano State government, emirs of Kano and Gaya emirates as well as others have continued to register their condolences and sympathy to the victims and their families.

Kano State deputy governor, Aminu Abdussalam Gwarz, alongside the leader of the Kwankwasiyya movement, Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso, were at the hospital and the residence of the victims recently.

Emir of Gaya, Aliyu Ibrahim Abdulkadir, has also visited the victims and donated three million naira to them.

Similarly, the Emir of Kano, Aminu Ado Bayero, visited the victims as part of a gesture of solidarity and compassion for the affected community.

They however expressed their deepest condolences to the families of the deceased and offered words of comfort and support to those recovering from their injuries.

Meanwhile, the Presidential candidate of the Labour Party (LP), Peter Obi has expressed sadness over the incident.

Obi on his X handle said the fact that it occurred in a place of worship, where people gather to find peace and solace, makes it even more heart-wrenching.

“I sincerely condole with the Government of Kano State; the Emir of Kano, Alhaji Aminu Ado Bayero and the people of Kano, over this very sad incident. I extend my thoughts and prayers, specially, to the families of the victims.

“And I wish a speedy recovery to those still fighting for their lives. This incident serves as a stark reminder to the importance of promoting peace, tolerance, and understanding in our society.

“We must come together to condemn such acts of violence and work towards creating a safer and more harmonious community for all. For the dead, may Almighty Allah forgive their sins and grant them eternal rest,” Obi said.

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