There is tension in part of Dekina local government area of Kogi State as the condition of a woman, allegedly assaulted by some masquerades worsens.
The woman, Malama Marian Aye was allegedly attacked on April 5 while on transit from Odu-Anana on a commercial motorcycle in Odu-Okpakili-Ate by the masquerades who were said to have beaten her into coma.
It was gathered that the cyclist and his passenger unknowingly ran into a masquerades procession organised by a known thug leader in the area.
The custodian of the masquerades was said to have forced down the lady from the motorbike, while the others mercilessly beat her to stupor, leaving the cyclist unhurt.
She was said to have been rushed to a private clinic in the neighbouring Odu-Ogboyaga within the same local government area for medical attention and later moved to another clinic in Ajiolo-Akabe.
Our correspondent learnt that the incident almost degenerated into religious crisis as Muslim youths, irked by the development, mobilised for a show down before the attention of the state chairman, National Council of Muslim Youth Organisation (NACOMYO), Malam Suleiman Dansofo, who is also the Chief Imam of Abocho Central Mosque was drawn to the impending altercation.
“I had to put a call to the Senior Special Assistant on Security to Governor Yahaya Bello, Prince Ishaq Shaibu Okolo, who immediately swung into action by personally leading soldiers to the area and appealing for calm , promising to unravel the matter with a view to dealing with the perpetrators,” Malam Dansofo told North Central Trust on phone on Wednesday.
“The questions to ask are : Who permitted the cultural festival at this time of lockdown in the state or the order suspending religious service then was not applicable to them ? Is there no right of way which guarantees freedom of movement in Odu land? Why was the sister in hijab the only target leaving the Rider untouched?” he queried.
He called on the state government to put in place measures to regulate activities that may lead to breach of peace, while also appealing for calm among the youths, saying “there is no alternative to peace”.
However, when our correspondent contacted the victim’s husband, Suleiman Usman on Thursday, he said the wife’s condition was deteriorating.
“She has not been able to move her right leg and hand since yesterday, even as the pain in the head where she was clubbed is still unbearable,” he lamented.
He said he intended to move his wife to a bigger facility but has not been able to raise enough money to do so.
Malam Dansofo appealed to public spirited individuals to assist the victim so that she can receive the right treatment, saying “it is obvious that the clinic which she is receiving treatment currently cannot handle the emerging complications”.
It was learnt that there’s anxiety across Odu land over the victim’s deteriorating condition as youth groups hold meetings on the next line of action.
The husband said, although he reported the matter to the police, the perpetrators still walk around free.
However, the State Police Command through the spokesman, DSP William Aya said the division in the area was yet to get a formal report on the development.
Credit: Daily Trust