As 2022 rolled in, residents of Nasarawa State including Galadima Yahaya, a 25-year-old motor mechanic, had high hopes regarding efforts of the state and federal governments to tackle insecurity.
However, the attack on Yahaya by hoodlums last Tuesday in Doma Local Government Area of the state which led to the loss of his two hands had reignited fears in the resident.
Sunday PUNCH learnt that Yahaya, who specialises in the repair of J5 vehicles, was attacked by hoodlums along Agbabo-Yeluwa community road in the Doma LGA while returning home from Rukubi community where he went to work on a client’s J5 vehicle which broke down in the area.
A resident of the area, Ibrahim Tanko, told our correspondent that farmers in the area could no longer go to farms because of insecurity. He stated that hoodlums seize their belongings and attack anyone who resists.
He said, “The insecurity in our area is a serious one. The hoodlums have taken over our farmlands and this has made some farmers stop going to farms. They forcibly collect people’s belongings. We are helpless. We appeal to the government to send more security agents to Rukubi and other surrounding communities.’’
Yahaya in pain
When our correspondent visited Yahaya who is currently on admission at the Dalhatu Araf Specialist Hospital, Lafia, the 25-year-old wept that he was undergoing pain.
Yahaya who spoke with our correspondent in a calm voice said he was called upon by one of his clients to fix his J5 vehicle which had a mechanical fault in the Rukubi community. He added that he was attacked on his way to the state capital by hoodlums who forcefully took his motorcycle, money on him and amputated his two hands with a machete.
He said, “My body pains me. I have serious pains all over my body. I did not do anything to the hoodlums who attacked me. They attacked me because they wanted to forcefully take my motorcycle and handset from me and I tried to escape. They finally collected everything from me because they were fully armed with guns and other dangerous weapons. They were five in number. After the operation, they were leaving the robbery scene when one of them returned with a machete and chopped off my two hands.
“The incident happened around 8pm that day. They left me there in the pool of my blood for about three hours before some good Samaritans came and rushed me to a hospital. I don’t know how I will survive or provide for my family when I am finally discharged from the hospital because I can no longer work with my hands.
“I have a wife and three children. My mother and siblings also depend on me for their daily survival because my father is late. With the situation, I really don’t know what to do. My children may have to drop out of school because I will no longer be able to pay their school fees since my two hands have been cut off.
“Since I was brought to this hospital, I have not got any help from the government or any prominent individual. I only got a small amount of money from the people in my community and some colleagues in our mechanic workshop who came to sympathise with me on the incident. The money I got from the people is not even enough for my medication. When my two hands were gone, I told God to take my life because it was better I died than staying alive without my two hands.’’
Twenty-year-old wife of Yahaya, Fatima, who was emotional while speaking with our correspondent, said the criminals had rendered her husband irrelevant in society. She expressed worry on how she would take care of her three children without the contribution of her husband whose hands were chopped off by the criminals.
She said, “Because my husband didn’t have the opportunity to acquire education, his dream was to ensure that all his children receive unhindered education from primary to university level.’’
Also, Yahaya’s mother, 45-year-old Ramotu Adamu, said her son was the last child and breadwinner of the family. She lamented that despite collecting his motorcycle, money and handset; they still cut his two hands.
She said, “After robbing him of his belongings, they still cut off his two hands. I don’t know that people can be so heartless. Since the day the incident happened, I have been the one feeding and bathing him.’’
State efforts to combat insecurity
Sunday PUNCH observed that Doma LGA is one of the LGAs ravaged by criminal elements in recent times and the development had led to the displacement of many farmers and other residents in the area.
The state government in collaboration with security agencies had been making efforts to rid the state of criminals bent on disturbing the peace in the state.
The people were hopeful that the government’s efforts would ensure security in the state.
Police reaction to the incident
When contacted, the Police Public Relations Officer in the state, ASP Ramhan Nansel, said the command had yet to be officially informed about the incident.
However, Nansel said that the command was doing everything within its powers to ensure that criminal elements disturbing the peace of residents of the state were arrested and prosecuted.
He appealed to the residents to always assist the police with necessary information that would help to serve them better.