The parents of an 18-month-old baby boy who was killed by suspected ritualists in Bauchi State have continued to mourn after his mutilated body with some organs missing was found inside a soakaway eight days after he was declared missing.
The mother of the only child of the family, Saudatu Abdullahi Ahmad, told Daily Trust on Sunday that the incident had plunged her into grief that only Almighty Allah could relieve her from.
Saudatu said, “On that day, we had exams in our school (Green Heritage College of Education). My child used to come out and play around the corridor of the class and come back himself, but sometimes I go to pick him back into the class.
“But that day, I picked him back to the class twice while still writing the test, but towards the end of the test when he went out for the third time. Some minutes after he left and I finished my test and submitted my script, I came out to pick him up where he used to play around but I could not see him. I moved around the classes looking for him through the school premises but I could not find my child.
“I sighted his shoes hanging on the window of a class beside our classroom and I entered the class with his shoes and asked the students whether they had seen him, but no one saw. I went round other classes to find him but was not successful. I returned to our class and informed our teacher that my child was missing. The teacher instructed other students to assist me to search for him within and outside the school but we could not find him. That was despite the effort of my male colleagues who moved around houses, gardens and plantations beside the school premises at Games Village.”
She lamented that, “Muhammad Abiding Musa (the deceased) was the only child God gave me and I cannot express to you the level of pain and devastation I am going through over this incident, but Alhamdullilah, as a Muslim I was relieved with the discovery of his body and I strongly believe where he goes he will not come back like before when we didn’t even know whether he was dead or alive.
“But alhamdulillah gradually I am beginning to recover from the devastating pain in my heart, but let me be frank to you, I don’t have words to convey the level of pain and grief I undergo about this ungodly incident.”
Saudatu appealed to authorities to arrest the perpetrators of the dastardly act, saying, “My expectation is that God will expose the perpetrators of this ungodly act and authorities concerned, especially security agents, will arrest and prosecute them to serve as a deterrent so that our children will be protected from the activities of these criminals.
“As his mother, I want justice for my child, I want justice to be served against the perpetrators who gruesomely killed my child so that other children will be saved from such inhumanity. I pray to God to protect other children from such barbaric act, because both children and adults are not saved from the activities of ritualists.
“My major plea is to the security agents to deepen their investigation to arrest the perpetrators, because arresting and prosecuting them according to the laws of the land will save a lot of children in Bauchi and beyond.”
Responding on receiving any assistance from the government or other public-spirited individuals, Saudatu said, “Governor Bala Mohammed visited us, commiserated and donated N100,000 and five bags of rice. His wife, Hajiya Aisha Bala, also visited and donated N20,000.”
On his part, the grandfather of the deceased, Ahmad Abdullah Wunti, told Daily Trust on Sunday that the family was mourning the murder of the child more because some organs were removed by his murderers.
Abdullahi said, “On the 19th of August, 2023, around 1am I received a phone call from her that while writing a test in the class her child went out and was subsequently missing.
“I first reported the issue to the Ward Head of Kwallaga, Mai Anguwa Baba Ahmadu, and both the father of the child and other members of the family reported the matter to police offices in Bauchi.”
He further said, “I was the first to receive a call about the discovery of the body of the child in a soak away after eight days of his missing. The person that called me said I should go to the school premises, and on arrival they asked me to call the father of the child to the school too.
“Some officials, alongside a policeman and a civil defence officer, accompanied me to the soakaway where the body was dumped. After I saw the mutilated body of the child, I called my elder cousin, Alhaji Sani Ahmed Toro. I also called my wife to silently inform her daughter that the body of the child had been discovered, but that she should be cautious while informing her.
“When the dead body was brought out from the soak away his two eyes were removed, his nose was removed. The criminals also cutoff his tongue and all the entire parts of his mouth were removed, as well as some parts of his stomach. They tied the remaining parts of the body with his shirt.”
He added that, “Before his burial, there was a disagreement among the family members and some security agents over the issue of taking the body to the hospital for autopsy, but the father of the child intervened by saying he had left everything to Allah and requested the burial of the deceased.”
Meanwhile, Governor Mohammed has ordered the immediate closure of the school where the body was found for proper investigation.
The governor gave the order on Tuesday when he paid a condolence visit to the family of the slain child and expressed shock over the murder.
The governor, accompanied by the Commissioner of Police (CP), Musa Mohammed, and the Director of SSS, read the Riot Act on the activities of criminals and criminality in the state.
On his part, CP Muhammad appealed to the public to be calm as the command was tracking those suspected to be responsible for the murder of the baby and promised to leave no stone unturned until the victim got justice.
Meanwhile, in a statement, spokesman of the command, SP Ahmed Mohammed Wakil, on Thursday, said the command had constituted an investigative committee headed by the Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP) in charge of the State Criminal Investigation Department (SCID), Yakubu Mohammed, to thoroughly investigate the circumstances surrounding the murder of the boy and fish out whoever was directly or indirectly connected to it.
Efforts made to get the reaction of the school where the child was killed was not successful.