…We’ll never forgive his killer – Mother, pregnant wife
…Residents set bonfires in protest
…CP orders investigation
Mansur Abdullahi, a graduate of Sociology from Kaduna State University, ventured into farming and trading after his graduation to take care of his mother, pregnant wife, and child at his Rigachikun community located at the outskirts of Kaduna city without bothering himself with searching for white-collar job, and he was doing well.
On February 3, 2024, during the House of Representatives re-run election for 2023 in his community, Mansur, alongside other friends, was at his shop attending to customers while other residents went to cast their votes.
One of the polling units where the re-run took place was at Unit 020 Women’s Centre Rigachikun, near Mansur’s shop.
Around 4pm, tension started growing at the polling unit after a top politician in the community, escorted by police and some youths, visited the voting centre.
A few minutes later, there was a skirmish at the polling unit as rival youths were alleged to have booed the politician, shouting ‘Bama Yi’, ‘Bama so’.
As the place became tense and police started firing tear gas at the crowd as well as fire in the air, shop owners nearby started running for safety. That was when Mansur decided to also close his shop and return home. Unfortunately, he was hit by a bullet in the stomach.
Residents alleged that it was one of the security men at the centre who fired the shot to disperse the youths hurling stones.
Mansur was rushed to a nearby hospital for treatment but was later transferred to Barau Dikko Teaching Hospital where he died around 10pm on the same day.
Daily Trust gathered his death led to protests in the community by some aggrieved youths the following day – on Sunday, February 4, 2024 – after he was buried in the community.
It was gathered that the angry youth blocked the main Kaduna-Zaria highway to express their anger over the killing and demand for justice.
Tyres were set ablaze before the police arrived at the scene, and fired teargas in an attempt to restore law and order in the community.
Our correspondent, who visited the community, also observed that security men, especially police, were deployed in strategic locations to avoid the breakdown of law and order.
Abubakar Lawal, a close friend of the late Mansur, who was together with the deceased at his shop before he was shot, said the late Mansur was not involved in any political activity in the area on that day.
According to him, Mansur was a good friend who will be missed by residents, especially his customers because he was considerate in his trading business.
He said Mansur was also a good farmer because, after he graduated from the Department of Sociology, he ventured into farming and was doing very well.
“We were together in his shop discussing on that very day because he hardly got involved in political activities in the area. On that day I left him at the shop to go home.
“Later I heard some youths booing and throwing stones at a politician at the Polling Unit 020 Women’s Centre, which is near Mansur’s shop and that he was hit by a stray bullet while attempting to close his shop and leave the area,” he said.
He explained that when Mansur was hit, he fell into a ditch before he eventually managed to come out bleeding with his intestine out.
Abubakar said after receiving the information about the incident, he visited him (Mansur) at the hospital and described his condition as terrible because he was bleeding at the time of the visit.
“I cried profusely when I saw him at the hospital with his intestine in the open. He later died before going into the surgery leaving behind a pregnant wife and a child,” he said.
Another youth in the area, Maruf Abdulrahman, alleged that it was the security agents at the venue who fired the shot to disperse the crowd.
“We need justice for the deceased because this is not the first time such an incident has happened in this community, but we hope it will be the last,” he said.
In an interview with Daily Trust, the victim’s mother, Zulai Abdullahi, in tears, sought justice. She said she spoke with her late son two days before his death.
“I called him to inform him of family events coming up of which I wanted him to make his contribution and he promised to do so, only for me to receive a call that he was shot. May God forgive him of his shortcomings and grant him Jannatul Firdausi (paradise),” she said.
The mother also described her late son as a good family man and an easy-going person who loved his family members a lot.
Similarly, his pregnant wife, Safiya Usman, said she would never forgive his killer because he was a hardworking husband who was killed at his business place trying to provide for his family.
“On that very day, he was hesitant to go out as if he sensed something bad would happen to him, but I encouraged him to go and open his shop. It was not long that he left we received the news that he was shot,” she said.
She appealed to the authorities to ensure justice for her and her children.
The victim’s uncle, Malam Shafi’u Aliyu, also lamented over the killing, saying though it was destined by his Creator, they were not happy at all.
“As Muslims, we know Allah will try us in different ways; therefore, we have handed everything that happened to Allah for judgment. Mansur’s condition was terrible before his death,” he said.
Since the incident, some residents, particularly eyewitnesses, disputed the report that he was stabbed to death while preventing ballot box snatching, saying the victim was shot, not stabbed as reported in some dailies because he didn’t even go near the polling unit.
When contacted, the State Police Command Public Relations Officer, ASP Mansur Hassan, confirmed the incident but said the Commissioner of Police, CP Audu Ali Dabigi, had ordered an immediate investigation into the incident.
He said the victim, after he was shot, was rushed to the hospital where he died while being attended to.
Mansur had been buried according to Islamic rites as his family members await justice.