By Aminu Kuba
Friday evening, at Garaku, headquarter of Kokona LGA of Nasarawa State, two men alighted from a Hilux pick up truck without number plate, drew out their guns and emptied the bullets on the chests and shoulders of two beautiful souls leaving behind blood, anguish, tears and sorrow.
They murdered in cold blood Alh. Mohammed Hussein, Chairman Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria (MACBAN), Nasarawa State Chapter and Alh. Mohammed Umaru Mosolli (Alhajijo as he is fondly called), Chairman, Fulbe Development and Cultural Organization (FUDECO), also of Nasarawa State Chapter.
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Both cousins and friends. Both cousins, brothers and friends of mine too.
Alhajijo had arrived from Toto less than 15 minutes before. They had just said their magrib prayers at the central mosque and crossed the road to sit on a bench outside a friend’s shop opposite the mosque to perhaps enjoy the evening breeze and catch up on family and business while waiting out the time before Isha prayers.
The plan was for Alhajijo to pass the night at Mohammed’s house so they could leave for Jos Plateau early enough on Saturday to attend the wedding Fatiha of Barr. M.I. Arrifi in Barkin Ladi later in the afternoon.
Unknown to them, a killer squad was on the prowl in town with Mohamed Husseini, the principal target. Same unmarked Hilux had gone to his house, its occupants looking for Mohammed Husseini. When told that he wasn’t home yet, they knew where they could find him, they headed to the masjid and they found him together with his younger cousin and friend. They murdered them instantly, shot at point blank range. Hussein 12 bullets to the chest. Alhajijo two, one to the heart and the other to his shoulder.
Sure! the job was done, they got into their murder van and vanished. The two victims stood no chance. The police were called. They were rushed to the hospital and pronounced dead-on-arrival…, leaving us all unable to even cry. There’s a certain amount of sorrow that dries away even the tears.
For Hussein, it’s 3 wives. Many children; some toddlers, a battalion of dependents, parents.., both in their 80s.
For Alhajijo, a young, beautiful, innocent wife with 4 adorable kids.., the youngest 6 months old. And the many many young men and ladies for whom he was a mentor, father, guardian, brother and friend.
If Nasarawa had been relatively quiet of recent compared to its neighbors in terms of banditry and kidnappings, it’s mostly to the eternal credit of these two beautiful souls.
For Alhajijo, he had practically invested everything of his in pursuit of the realization of the goal of education for herders in Nasarawa. He introduced me to the Fulbe Development and Cultural Organization (FUDECO) and practically forced me into it.
For Mohammed Hussein, it’s dialogue, dialogue and dialogue. This perhaps, because he’s a bonafide son of the soil in Nasarawa…his father has been Ardo of Wamba since time immemorial. He schooled there, went to Government College, Keffi, and studied animal science at Lafia. He left the family compound at Wamba built homes in both Akwanga and Garaku, Nasarawa state.
His entire life vocation had been in and around the herders. He works with them, walk with them, sleep in the wilderness and treat their animals. He perhaps know and understands them in ways no other Pullo leader alive does.
Such a supremely self assured human being he was that he mingles with the low and mighty with such ease that if you see him in the bush you will never believe it when you see him on the table with those that run the world. He was a man of the people. The herders loved and adored him. The mighty respected him.
In Alhajijo, I have lost a true friend of more than 20 years with whom I never argued despite me being me. He loved me dearly. And I knew he did.
For herders in Nasarawa, losing these men together on the same day is similar to Northern Nigeria losing the Sardauna and Tafawa Balewa in 1966.
Adieu brothers, may Allah have mercy on your beautiful souls. May He look onto the multitude of faces you made smile to shower His endless mercies on you. May He in His infinite mercy make you shaheeds and raise you among the ranks of the best of His Ummah. May He bring us together once more in the eternal bliss of Jannatul Firdaus.
So long brothers, and good night as we brave the sleepless nights.
Kuba writes from Kabul, Afghanistan.