A victim of the Zamfara religiously motivated violence that occurred on August 22, 2016, in which about 12 people died, Mr. Yusuf Tajudeen, has said that a fight over toilet soap between two students of Abdu Gusau Polytechnic, Zamfara State led to the mayhem.
Mr. Tajudeen whose house and car were burnt down by angry mob is a transport operator in Abdu Gusau Polytechnic for over 15 years.
“The name of the boy who was killed on the allegation of blasphemy is Kasim Zubairu from Kogi State. He was a Muslim before but converted to Christianity. I learnt that where he resided with his Muslim roommates, one of the Muslims used his (Kasim’s) soap to bathe and he asked why they would use his soap without informing him.
“They replied Kasim that even if he is killed, nothing would happened because he is a Christian. They said, after all, they would accuse him of blaspheming Prophet Mohammed (SAW). He was killed and was accused of insulting prophet Mohammed (SAW). That was what I gathered from the town that the investigation of the institution divulged. You can ask the Rector and all other committees put in place at the polytechnic for further details,” Tajudeen told .
The 40-year-old, a Muslim from Southwest, said his house, which was burnt down worth N40m, adding that about N1m kept in his house was also lost in the incident.
He said he drew the ire of the angry mob because he took Kasim’s remains to the General Hospital.
“When I returned to park my car at the Admin block of the Abdu Gusua Polytechnic, both the chief Imam (Mallam Yusuf) with the chief security officer of the polytechnic, popularly known as Major all came to me pleading that I should help them convey a corpse to the hospital.
“Both Major and other students followed me. While on our way, we branched at the Nigeria Police Station, Talata Mafara and Major went and reported the incident. He told them that somebody was killed in the polytechnic at night therefore; they should please go and take the needed action on the matter. Thereafter, the police asked us to take the corpse to the General Hospital, Talata Mafara and after I dropped the corpse at the hospital, I brought my car to the car wash to be washed because of the bloodstain.” he told the paper.
Speaking further, “While, I was waiting for my car to be washed, I heard multitude of voices shouting aggressively saying they should kill him inside the car and kill him again. When I inquired to know what was happening, somebody told me that, the crowd said, I carried a corpse of somebody that insulted Prophet Mohammed (SAW) in my car. But I never knew what was actually happening. I only accepted to carry the corpse because the institution’s top respected personalities pleaded with me to help and do not forget that as a good Muslim I cannot refuse assisting. Secondly, that was where I am doing my business too.
“After setting my car ablaze, they proceeded to my shop and later went to my house. Those that went to my house went there to steal, I do not know them neither do I know where they are. Though, I was told they were all from the town. However, they died inside the house.
“Initially, I was told that about nine persons were set ablaze inside my house but just three days ago, I was equally informed that two other persons fell inside the well and died too. This therefore makes the number of deaths in my house to be 11.”
Condemning religious violence in the north, he said: “Why? Is it only in the north that people are Muslims? Supposing Prophet Mohammed (SAW) was born in the north, they will now say that only the northerners are Muslims.
Imagine if you are a Muslim from the Yoruba axis, the northern Muslims will call you ‘Tubebe’. If you are a Muslim from the Igbo axis, the northern Muslims will also call you ‘Tubebe.’
“Why would they not allow others to practice the religion? Is it how it should be? It is not good. That is a bad idea. I want those taking the laws into their hands in the name of blasphemy to note that even the Prophet stayed with pagans, unbelievers and people of other religion but he never had any of such misunderstanding with them, rather they coexisted peacefully.”