The death of a 35-year-old woman, Rifkatu Yohanna, whose lifeless body was found on her farm last Monday in Tafawa Balewa Local Government Area of Bauchi State, is causing palpable tension in the state.
Although it is still not clear why Rifkatu was killed on her farm that fateful day after she left her home in Gital community of the LGA, sources say she might have engaged her killers in an argument.
According to police account, Rifkatu had left for her farm at about 8.00am on Monday but did not return to her family by evening, prompting them to conduct a search operation. Her body was later found in a bush.
According to the Police Public Relations Officer, PPRO, of the Bauchi Command, SP Ahmed Wakili, “a case of culpable homicide happened on Monday at about 20:45hours. A distress call was put through to the DPO, Tafawa Balewa Police Division in relation to one Rifkatu Yohanna, a 35-year-old woman of Tafawa Balewa town.
“She had gone to her farm on the same date at 008hrs but did not return home. When a distress call was received by the DPO, a combined team of security operatives was deployed by the DPO of Tafawa Balewa as well as the DPO of Bununu during which her corpse was recovered in a bush near a hamlet.”
He further revealed that the death of Rifkatu sparked up protest in the area, during which youths pelted stones at police vans and injured some policemen. “Violence then erupted in Tafawa Balewa when some people came out and were protesting.
The youths stoned and damaged the patrol vehicle of Bununu Division as a result of which some of them were injured. The Commissioner of Police, Sylvester Abiodun Alabi, on hearing this dastardly act by those hoodlums, directed that the DPOs of Tafawa Balewa and Bununu should engage the youth so that peace will be restored. As I am talking to you now, normalcy has returned to Tafawa Balewa.
“Four suspects have been arrested in respect of the matter, and the command will not leave any stone unturned to apprehend the culprits and bring them to justice. The Commissioner of Police has directed for a discreet investigation into the matter.
Further information will be communicated.”
Meanwhile, in a swift move to avert crisis in the area, the Bauchi State Government in a statement by the Secretary to the State Government, SSG, Ibrahim Muhammad Kashim, described the incident leading to the death of the woman as “dastardly and infamous act”.
The SSG said the sad incident came at a time when government was working hard to consolidate on the successes made in providing security to the people of the state, adding that it was disheartening that the achievement was being threatened by “forces of darkness” who are hell-bent on unleashing mayhem on unsuspecting members of the public.
“The State Government is in receipt of security report from Tafawa Balewa Local Government Area of an incident that claimed the life of an innocent woman. This dastardly and infamous act, which we strongly condemn, is coming at a time when the present administration is working assiduously to consolidate on the successes made in providing security to our people.
“It is disheartening that this achievement is being threatened by forces of darkness, who are hell-bent on unleashing mayhem on unsuspecting members of the public. While we condemn this act, let it be unequivocally stated that the Government will continue to work with security agencies in order to provide sustainable peace across the state. The security forces have commenced investigations into the matter and some arrests have been made,” the SSG said. He further called for calm, while assuring the people that justice will prevail in the matter.
“Government is therefore calling on our people to remain calm, resist the temptation to take the law into their hands and assist Security Agencies by providing useful information that will help to crack down the criminals. We assure the public that no stone will be left unturned in unearthing, arresting and dealing with the culprits decisively in accordance with the law. Government will continue to discharge its primary responsibility of protecting the lives and property of the citizenry,” he added.
Information available to Arewa Voice reveals Rifkatu Yohanna is from a minority tribe, Seyawa in Tafawa Balewa, one of the major areas prone to ethno-religious crisis in the state.