A young man identified as Ikechukwu Anigbo was reported killed and burnt to death over the weekend around a relaxation centre in Apo Mechanic Village, Abuja.
According to reports, the 32-year-old barber from Aku, Enugu State took a bike and argument ensued between him and the motorcycyclist when he paid. The man insisted his money is N60 instead of N50. It was alleged that attracted his colleagues to the scene by shouting “thief”. The mob gathered and started beating Ikechukwu after which they set him ablaze.
Confirming the tragic incident, Mr. Ezema Virginius Chukwudike, the taskforce chairman of Abuja Spares Dealers Association, Apo, said “The mob that gathered following the alarm collected tyres from a vulcanising workshop near the scene and set the deceased on fire”
The next day, angry Igbo men in Apo blocked the road and started attacking any vehicle or Keke Napep with Hausa person or people who look like Hausa. Fortunately, the police were able to stop the riot before it escalated.
Speaking to Daily Trust, a friend of the deceased, Chukwudi Orji said he learnt about Ikechuwu’s death when he got home at about 11p.m.
“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,” he said.
“If I had known about it on time, I would have tried to save him because he was innocent,” he added.
Speaking further, Mr Chukwudike said, “When news of the incident spread, people became angry. They wondered why the motocyclists would burn an innocent man. Even the man who voluntered to carry the corpse after he had been killed, was chased away”He said this is not the first time that motorcyclists are killing someone over a paltry sum of money.
“A similar thing happened in Kabusa, when a boy was stabbed because of change. 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,” he said.
Chukwudike said the last time such an incident occurred in the area, the traders protested and that it took the intervention of riot policemen to bring the situation under control.
“Because the motorcyclists knew what they did, they boycotted this route from Sunday evening until policemen were deployed to the area.”
Azeez Akinola, Anigbo’s boss at the barbershop, corroborated Chukwudike story, saying the attitude of motorcyclists in the area is a cause for concern. Akinola who lives around the area where the late Anigbo lived, said he and two other people rushed out of their houses when they received news of the incident, but that the motorcyclists at Kabusa junction refused to take them to the scene.