A young man was, over the weekend, set ablaze because of an argument that ensued over N10 with a motorcyclist.
A young man identified as Ikechukwu Anigbo, was brutally beaten and burnt to death at Apo Mechanic Village in Abuja, the Federa l Capital Territory, over an argument he had with an ‘Okadaman’ (commercial motorcyclist), over the sum of N10, Daily Trust reports.
It was gathered that Anigbo, a 32-year-old barber from Aku in Enugu State, had boarded the motorcycle and on getting to his destination, gave the cyclist N50 but the man insisted that his money was N60 and an argument ensued between them, with Anigbo saying he would not part with the N10.
The ‘Okadaman’ decided to make a scene and began shouting ‘thief’, which attracted his colleagues and other passersby who started beating Anigbo after which they set him ablaze.
Confirming the sad incident, the Taskforce Chairman of of Abuja Spares Dealers Association, Apo Branch, Ezema Virginius Chukwudike, said:
“The mob that gathered following the alarm collected tyres from a vulcanising workshop near the scene and set the deceased on fire.
When news of the incident spread, people became angry. They wondered why the motorcyclists would burn an innocent man. Even the man who volunteered to carry the corpse after he had been killed, was chased away
Another man was killed on Wumba road. The same change issue led to the death of a man in Damagaza. In his case, after he was killed, they kept him near a river until the next day.
Because the motorcyclists knew what they did, they boycotted this route from Sunday evening until policemen were deployed to the area.”
The incident could have led to a breakdown of law and order as angry Igbo men and friends of the deceased in the Apo area blocked the road and started attacking any vehicle, ‘Keke Napep’ (tricycle) and motorcycles they saw, before a police team arrived the scene and quelled the building riot.
A friend of the deceased, Chukwudi Orji, said he learnt about his death when he got home at about 11pm.
“I saw the fire, but I did not know that someone was inside. There was smoke everywhere; there was no way you would have known that there was someone in the fire, except you were there or somebody told you about it.
If I had known about it on time, I would have tried to save him because he was innocent,” he added.
Anigbo’s boss at the barbing salon, Azeez Akinola, also confirmed the incident, saying the young man was innocent and was killed unnecessarily.
He said when he arrived the scene after he heard the news, he saw several people with sticks, but that they did not understand the magnitude of what had happened until someone pointed to the corpse of Anigbo in the fire.
“I could not believe it. There were heaps of iron treads from the burnt tyres on his body.
He was very gentle. If small wound touch am, he go treat am for more than one week. I.K. can’t ride a bicycle, talk less of motorcycle. Because of fear, he refused to learn driving despite the fact that they were many people around to teach him,” the tearful Akinola managed to voice out.
The spokesperson of the FCT Police Command, ASP Anjuguri Manzah, however, said:
“There was an early morning disagreement between two opposing groups that could have resulted in a clash but it was averted by the timely intervention of anti-riot police personnel.
The FCT Commissioner of Police, Wilson Inalegwu, has warned people of the area to desist from violence in the wake of the disagreement and promptly deployed police officers to the scene.
The commissioner assured residents of the area and other parts of FCT that adequate measures have been deployed to contain the situation, investigate and unravel the remote and underlying issues behind the upheaval.
Any attempt to jeopardise the existing peaceful and serene atmosphere in the Federal Capital Territory will not be tolerated.”
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