BAUCHI RIOT DEATH TOLL RISES

Filed in General by on February 23, 2009

•Some of the youths during the riot in Bauchi

As the crisis that engulfed Railway\Morocco parts of Bauchi enters the second day, 11 people have been confirmed dead.
The riot has continued to escalate to other parts of the city even as residents register their displeasure with the state government for the ‘relaxed’ manner it is handling the crisis.

The Secretary of the Red Cross in Bauchi, Alhaji Adamu Abubakar told Daily Sun at the Shadawanka Camp on Sunday that 38 people were injured.
Adamou disclosed that so far almost 5, 000 persons have been displaced and are taking refuge in barracks and churches and other places they considered safe.
He said that the situation in the camp is not pleasant as most of the immediate need of the displaced persons including food, water and sleeping materials are unavailable.

One of the displaced person, James Eneche whose house was burnt but managed to escape with his wife and three children, lamented that life at the camp has been horrible.
“We sleep on the bare floor and we have not eaten anything since morning and this is 2 pm. I took refuge in the police station and escaped here because even at the police station our lives was not safe,” Eneche, a staff of Federal Government Girls College, Bauchi told Daily Sun.
Eneche, who lost properties worth N1.5 million said he has lost everything he worked for in the past 25 years. Eneche, like thousands of displaced persons scattered in different camps across the state capital said they have not received any form of government assistance so far.

However, the secretary of the Red Cross assured that the government through the State Emergence Relief Agency (SEMA) was sending help, adding that SEMA was treating the injured free.
“Even now, I am leaving to bring food. So far, they have been given 15 bags of rice, 25 litres of groundnut oil, 30 mattresses, 25 mats. They need cooking materials urgently and the children need drugs. We will start immunisation of under five tomorrow, “Adamu said.
Deeper Life Church in Bayan Gari was set on fire while Truth and Transformation Bible Church also located in the area was burnt down completely in the early hours of Sunday.
Bauchi State Police Command confirmed that 11 people lost their lives in the crisis while seven persons have been arrested in connection with the riot.

The Command PPRO, Mohammad Barau said that all the dead bodies have been deposited at the mortuary of the State Specialist Hospital in Bauchi.
Barau said that all those arrested are being detained at the Command headquarters while investigations are still going on.

Meanwhile, victims of the crisis have told gory details of their experiences, wondering when there will be an end to the constant religious crisis dogging the state.
One of them who was lucky to have escaped to tell the story is Ibrahim Yakubu, a father of five, who spoke to Daily Sun at the Shadawanka Army Barracks where he is currently taking refuge after losing all his belonging in the crisis.

Yakubu, who worked with the COCIN Church which was one of the many worship centres that was set ablaze in the milieu, has narrated how he was rescued miraculously from the hands of arsonists in Morocco area of Bauchi on Saturday morning.
“It started two weeks ago when the Muslims started parking their cars inside our church premises. We felt we need to stop them otherwise, one day they would try to come inside the church and to carry out their prayer,” he told Daily Sun in an interview.
Yakubu also informed that crisis was brewing over a mosque not far away from his church between two Muslim sects over the control of the mosque.

Yakubu, who received a deep machete cut on his left right eye, said around 2a.m on Saturday, some unknown people set the mosque on fire.
“They were many. They were carrying cutlasses, sticks, and guns. One of them hit me with the knife and I managed to run outside before a team of soldiers on patrol rescued me.”
Yusuf complained that as a result of the attack, he finds it difficult to chew while he could not see presently with his right eye which was hit.
Veronica Mark and Anna Isiaku are mourning the gruesome murder of their brother in the crisis.
The two distraught sisters were close to tears as they recount the circumstances that led to the death of Idris Elkana.

According to her, everyone was just running helter-skelter that Staurday morning and Idris somehow got lost in the confusion as he tried to escape.
“They came to our house around 6 in the morning and set it on fire. We all rushed out. We couldn’t take anything with us. Everything was burnt down completely,” she said.
Anna said that it was in the heat of the confusion that someone told them that their visiting brother had been killed and thrown inside a dry well near the ancient city wall.
Mrs Earnest Asouzi, who resides in Gombe road said she ran with her three chilren and her husband to the Army Children School at the Army Barracks for safety.

Two years ago, we were almost killed. Our house and all our properties were burnt. This time we are afarid so we have been staying here for two days. It has been tough. I have spent almost N3, 000 on buying foods from the canteen,” she said.

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