Saturday, 5 November 2016


Last Sunday will remained a black day in the minds of residents of Suleja in Niger State as Rahimat Ometere, 28 who hails from Okeyi local government area of Kogi State was killed by bullets from dare devil robbers who attacked her home at about 2am.

The nursing mother fell to the bullets shot sporadically at her home while she struggles to save the life of her young infant caught in the heat of gun fire.

The sad development has left many residents of Gwazulu community popularly called APC Quarters in shock.

The bullet ridden apartment of the deceased will leave any visitor wondering what could have informed such a violent attacks on a family of four.

Ometere took a hit in the chest while her five-months-old baby Hurraho Shaibu was strapped on her back. She died instantly on the floor of her sitting room as the blood from her ruptured heart coloured the floor.

Principal witness to the crime, Late Ometere’s husband, Abdullateef Shaibu, who also hails from Okeyi LGA and runs a local barbers shop, said that he came back from work at about 10 pm the previous day with only N2, 000 cash.

He said they were sleeping at about 2 am when they heard the sound of a fallen fence. “My wife woke up and alerted me that it is as though our fence has fallen and said further that she is seeing people’s legs jumping over the fence to the compound.

“Within seconds, I heard the first gun shot from the back of our home. We immediately moved out of the living room to the sitting room and saw several touch lights flashing into the rooms.

“The robbers started screaming at us to open the door as they sustained heavy gun shots into our rooms hitting everywhere.

“I immediately told my wife to stay on the floor while I pleaded with the assailants to stop shooting into the house but they refused and kept spreading bullets at the house.

“My wife was nursing our five months old baby and while she struggled to protect the baby from the array of bullets piercing all through our windows and doors, she took a bullet in the chest and fell.

“On seeing her in the pool of her blood, I screamed at the robbers that: ‘you have killed my wife’ and suddenly they all ran away jumping the part of the fence they broke in”, the grieving Shaibu narrated.

The traumatised husband further said even after the robbers left his apartment, he was too afraid to venture outside, had to make calls to relatives for help.

“My wife was confirmed dead at a local hospital by a Doctor who informed me that I have lost her to the bullet”, he added.

Other witnesses in the area confirmed the incident. They said that they too were to afraid venture out of their homes “because the gun shot was so heavy”, a neighbour said.

Shaibu further said that it took one of the residents to put a call to the Police headquarters in Abuja to call the Suleja Command to response long after the assailants have escaped from the scene.

“We tried to reach the Suleja B Division Police Headquarters but failed to get them on the phone. It’s very frustrating that we live just about 400 meters away from the Police Station and to get the attention of the Force in an emergency like this is a problem”, a resident lamented.

Residents say when the Police finally arrived the scene of the crime; the robbers had fled only for them to escort the lifeless body of the victim to hospital.

“The Police failed us and this is not the first time it’s happening to us as the police is now a lame duck”, another resident said.

On a visit to the Suleja B Divisional Headquarters of the Police Force, the Divisional Police Officer (DPO) declined to speak on the matter but referred our correspondent to the Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO) in Minna, the Niger State capital.

Meanwhile, residents of the town narrated series of robbery attacks on innocent traders in Suleja, citing several incidences.

They said several shops have been looted some very close to the local Police Headquarters, they claimed.

“Recently, a trader from the city’s abattoir lost his life on the same road where the Police station is located when robbers attempted to rob them of N7 million they were carrying to the market to buy Cows.

“Also, a woman who runs a drinks store was robbed at 6pm of N1.4 million about 300 meters from the Police station. Even the mosque located just by the station where it shares a gate together have been robbed in the past without the Police knowing”, Said Musa Babayo, a resident.

The Police have been indicted for not living up to their responsibilities in the town as robbers continue to terrorise innocent people daily.

It was learnt that only recently, a company driver almost lost a Toyota Corrolla saloon car to robbers around Kwamba area of Suleja at about 8pm.

Residents say the robbers shot sporadically into the air but were unable to snatch the keys to the car from the driver who was only lucky that night.

Angry residents lampooned the Police for mounting what they described as ‘Illegal Road Blocks’ in front of the Police Headquarters in Suleja.

It was observed the road block at about 7:30 am when over 7 Police officers were seen obstructing traffic and collecting various sums of money from motorists.

The Police, they said take advantage of the morning rush hours of commuters to Abuja to extort monies from commercial motorists.

Under the guise of checking Vehicle Document and plate numbers of commercial motorcyclists, the Police, residents claimed have turned the Suleja-Gwazulu-Kaduna/Abuja road bypass into a toll gate.

Speaking on the development, the PPRO, Niger State Command, DSP Bala Elkana dismissed the claims that crimes is on the increase in the city. He rather said, the crimes in Suleja has taken a pattern and not an increment.

“What we have is not an increment of crime in the area, rather it is a pattern and we have deplored our intelligence unit knowing the time”, Elkana said.

He added that just on Monday, the Command had a meeting concerning the new patter of crimes in Suleja and “our State Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) have been moved to Suleja to flush out the bad elements”, he assured.

He attributed the closeness of Suleja to the nation’s capital as one of the reasons for crimes as criminals are taking advantage of the cheap accommodations in the area to base their operations.

On extortion, the Police spokesman said the command is just receiving the report for the first time  He assured that the anti-corruption unit of the command will swiftly move into action to apprehend all the officers involved in the illegality.

As the grieving family of the stained mother wait for justice, the residents continue to live in fear as many have resorted to self-help.

Source:Leadership Newspaper

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