The Niger State Police Command, has arrested one Jafaru Yunusa of Kpashimi village, a farmer, suspected to have attacked a 12-year-old Fulani herder, Muhammadu Muhammadu, in Lapai, Niger state.
Mohammadu was matcheted and left alone to die until he was rescued.
The Police Public Relations Officer of the command, Wasi’u Abiodun told THE WHISTLER on Tuesday that the suspect was arrested in the forest around Kpashimi village, while two other suspects are at large, but said investigation is currently ongoing.
Giving details of what happened, Abiodun said: “On 09/11/2023 at about 10am, one cattle owner from Mayaki village via Lapai, reported at Lapai Division that on 08/11/2023 at about 10am, his cattle grazer one Muhammad Muhammad, 12yrs, of same address went out grazing with the cattle at Kpashimi forest, but the cattle returned home at about 18:30pm without the boy.
“As a result of this, he went to search for the boy with his brother and the boy was found lying on the ground with his two hands cut off beside a farm around the said forest.
“Police operatives attached to Lapai Division immediately rushed to the scene, and the boy was taken to Lapai Gen Hospital for medical attention while he is responding to treatment.”
The 12-year-old’s grandfather, Alhaji Garba Buba, a member of the Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria who also spoke to THE WHISTLER on phone, said he was at the hospital beside Muhammadu who was still struggling to survive.
Buba said Muhammadu is the first son of his father and the only one, saying the little boy was in critical condition as his two hands were cut off, while his throat and a part of his cheek was cut by his attacker.
“The boy can’t talk. When we first found him, he was able to explain to us everything that happened to him. God gave him the wisdom to do that, but since that day we didn’t get to hear him speak again. If you call his name he can only say ‘uhum’
“He said he was conscious when his assailants first attacked him and cut off one hand, but after that, he didn’t know what happened next.
“It was his uncles, his fathers brothers that first saw him because he went missing since 3pm till 10am the following day before they found him. It was on Tuesday that this thing happened.”
According to Buba, the family had no idea why the assailants did what they did to Muhammadu.
He said: “They beat him and cut his throat thinking he was dead then they left him. They also cut another part of his body around his cheek. Currently you can’t even recognise the boy again. He is just here, we don’t know what will happen to him.
“They didn’t take his cattle and it has nothing to do with farmer clashes. We are suspecting that they are only interested in Fulani parts for ritual purposes since we couldn’t find both his hands.”
He explained further that they went to the Lapai Police Division and reported the case, and it was the Divisional Police Officer (DPO) in charge that attended to them.
Buba said they went to the forest with the police and searched but couldn’t find the boy’s hands.
Pleading, he said: “Let the police help us for the sake of Allah, even if this boy doesn’t die today, there’s no hope he’ll be able to do anything in life again.
“We want them (the perpetrators) to be apprehended so that they can be questioned. We want to know what their aim is for doing this. Let them explain their reasons for removing some body parts and going away with it.”
The boy’s father, Muhammadu Garba, said his son’s condition was causing him much pain.
“I feel as if my heart has been plucked out. For them to remove his hands it simply means he doesn’t enjoy life again,” he said.