Suspected ritualists have brutally murdered a 16-month-old boy in Bauchi State and removed some parts of his body.
The lifeless body of the boy identified as Muhammad Zainul Abidin was found in a hole with his tongue, nose, and eyes removed.
Narrrating the unfortunate incident, Muhammad’s father, Malam Alqasim, said that his son was declared missing eight days ago, and his body was later found in a ditch in the school where his mother was studying in Bauchi.
Alqasim said that his late son Muhammadu Abidin’s was born on March 25, 2022, and was healthy when his mother went to school with him.
“She was attending NCE course when she took him to their school and God did not intend for him to return home. Alqasim said that after they went to school, a friend called him and told him they have been trying to reach his phone for a long time, but it was not going and they said his son has been declared missing.
“I was told his mother searched for him but did not find him. His disappearance was reported to the police by the school authorities, we also informed the police.
“Since he was declared missing, every morning, I tried to find him. I was told that we may find him there on Saturday or Sunday. I went there on Saturday and I did not see him until Sunday.
“Then after eight days of searching, I was called by my friend, Alhaji Sagir, who told me that the child had died, he said that his eyes were pulled out, also from his nose to his mouth were also pulled out and there were nothing but worms.
“I was in real pains and asked, did they gave painkillers to the 16-month-old boy before they removed all these organs from his face? or they just forcefully removed while he suffered. The grieving father said they dressed the little boy’s remains and performed his funeral according to Islamic rites.
On her part, the boy’s mother said, “I always go to school where I’m studying for my National Certificate in Education (NCE) here in Bauchi metropolis.
“On Saturday, 19th/08/2023, we went to school together with Abidin. I was in the class writing a test. He went outside to play and I went to bring him back he still did the same thing and I went and brought him back for the second time, the third time that he went outside, I was almost through with the test so I decided to finish it before going out to get him.
“When i was through, I went outside to look for him but I could not find him. I saw his shoes put across one of the classes windows and I thought he was there, I went in and asked but no body has set eyes on him.
“I went round all the classes but could not find him then I came back to our class and asked my classmates whether he has come back but they said they’ve not seen him. I immediately reported the situation to our lecturer and he directed all the students to go round looking for him in which all of them did so, the boys in our class went across the culverts and all the classes, we also went round with my female classmates but he wasn’t found.
“I reported the situation to the dean of students affairs, who later went to the community leader house and the nearest police station and reported the incident that occurred.
“They told me to calm down that Insha Allahu he will be found. After lingering for a while and there was no report or news of his whereabouts, he told me to call Abidin’s father to inform him of the incident but his line was switched off.
“That was when I called his close friend Alhaji Sherif and he came to the school where we went round again but couldn’t find Abidin. She said reports of the little child’s disappearance went round the Bauchi metropolis, while the family intensified prayers and kept searching for him across community leaders’ residence, police stations and other places.
“On Sunday when we received a call that Abidin was found but he is death, I was shocked because I’ve never thought or imagined that Abidin will not come back alive.
“I was so devastated and worried. When i went outside, people that have heard about his sudden demise started consoling me. “Because of the nature of how his body was found, he was taken to the burial ground and was buried according to Islamic rites”.
After the unfortunate death of the little boy, Bauchi State Governor Bala Abdulkadir Mohammed led a delegation to the family of the deceased child to sympathise with them. Governor Bala described the evil act as inhumane, atrocious, brutal, barbaric and condemnable.
He called on the security operatives to amplify efforts in bringing the perpetrators to book.
The Governor instructed the immediate closure of the school that the incident occurred so as to deepen the investigation and those found guilty be made to face the full wrath of law.
He urged the mourning family to remain calm and assured them that he will not allow the perpetrators to go unpunished.
On his part, Bauchi State Commissioner of Police Auwal Musa Mohammed called on the public to remain calm assuring them that the perpetrators will surely be caught because all efforts have been put in place to avert such incidents and ensure justice for the deceased.
During the condolence visit, Governor Bala was accompanied by the Bauchi State Commissioner of Police Auwal Musa Mohammed, SSG, Chief of staff, commissioners, and other political appointees.