By Caleb Ayansina
Tunga Maje on the outskirts of the Federal Capital Territory ( FCT) was thrown into
mourning as 59-year-old Shuaibu Tijani was
allegedly killed by a group of boys from Koro
village. Habibat-Tijani Besides the Gbagis, who are natives of the FCT,
Koro people are also regarded as indigenous
people in Abuja. Sunday Vanguard gathered that Tijani, who hailed
from Ofejiji-Oganenugu in Dekina Local
Government Area of Kogi State, was killed
following a dispute between his children and Koro
boys, who were described as notorious. “A visit to the deceased’s residence, located at
Angwa Bassa by New Poultry in Tunga Maje,
revealed an atmosphere enveloped by mourning
as neighbours and sympathisers thronged the
place to console the family. One of the late Tijani’s sons, Sani, said the boys,
numbering about 12, stormed their residence at
Angwa Bassa, brandishing cutlasses, knives and
sticks, with the aim of attacking him and his
brother, Salam. Narrating how it all started, 23-year-old Sani said:
“We were playing football at a field in Tunga Maje,
on Tuesday, April 4, 2017, when a boy came and
he was asked to be the goalkeeper for my team,
but I declined, because he was not good. I
decided to be the goalkeeper and the boy insulted me. “My younger brother, Salam, who was at the field,
cautioned the boy to stop insulting me since I am
not his age mate. “The boy and his colleagues
started threatening my brother and me, boasting
they would come for us later. “At night, around 8pm, they arrived at our
residence, about 12 of them, with cutlasses, knives
and some of them holding sticks. They started
looking for Salam, who was at a chemist store
watching television. I quickly ran to him, called
him out and urged him to go and hide in the room. But as soon as I came out, I saw my father
advancing to the boys to ask them what could
have gone wrong. “They attacked him and he fell down. They hit his
head on a stone. “Even while my mother and all of us were battling
to rescue my dad, the boys stayed around
threatening to deal with me and my brother. It
was then that my mother left my dad and went to
report the case at Tunga Maje Police Station.” According to the wife of the deceased, Habibat
Tijani, who wept as she narrated the killing, said
the police officers at Tunga Maje were reluctant to
follow her as they were afraid of the Koro boys. “Even the police officer that later followed me
home saw that despite my husband’s condition,
some of the boys stayed around, threatening to
do and undo. With the officer, we carried my
husband to the station at Tunga Maje,”she stated. “There, they transferred the case to Zuba
Divisional Police Headquarters and we carried my
husband to the station in Zuba. It was in this
process that my husband died”. Mrs Tijani, who called on well-meaning Nigerians
to intervene in the matter, appealed to the
Inspector-General of Police, Ibrahim Idris, to
ensure that the killers of her husband were
brought to justice. “While speaking separately, some residents of the
area described the late Tijani as friendly and easy-
going. At the Zuba Police Station, the Investigating Police
Officer (IPO) in charge of the case, Alhassan,
popularly called Dan-Fulani, described the incident
as unfortunate.“ When asked if any arrest had been made, he said
the police were on the trail of the suspected killers. “It is a case of homicide. We have to be careful on
how we carry out arrest so that the boys do not
end up fleeing,” he said. Efforts made to see the DPO were unsuccessful.
However, sources at the police station revealed
that the village where the boys reside had been a
serious concern to the police.“ One of the sources described the area as a den of
criminals. “Last Friday, two policemen were killed by the
overhead bridge at Tunga Maje. In fact, sometime
ago, those Koro boys threatened to burn down
our station at Tunga Maje. So if we swoop on the
village to arrest the boys, that may be dangerous.
We want to go through their village chief and we are working on that,” the source said. Calling back
the IPO, Alhassan, a week later to get the update
on the killing, he explained that they had met with
the District Head of Koro and they were advised to
tread cautiously to be able to nab the boys using
their parents. He dismissed the insinuation that the police were
not doing enough to arrest and prosecute the
alleged perpetrators, adding that the complainants,
Sani and his brother, who knew ‘those boys’ had
traveled for the burial of their father. “We have met with the village head and he
promised to assist us, but he advised us to follow it
calmly because those boys are at large”, the IPO
said. He said he (village head) will get the parents
and the parents will know how to get their
children. “We also met with the chief of Igala in Tunga Maje
and he said we should give him time to resolve the
issue. “They (Sani and his brother) are the ones the
district head will use to point the boys house by
house for us to get them, because we (police)
don’t know them. “It is not that the police are reluctant to do
something. Action is seriously taken. The late Tijani has since been buried in his home
town, Ofejiji-Oganenugu, according to Islamic


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