‘I watched them kill 16 people’ — teenager narrates 24-hour encounter in Kano ritualists’ den

Salihu Yahaya, a 17 year-old secondary student in Bauchi state, on Friday narrated how he escaped the “slaughter slab” of ritual killers in Kano state.

In an interview with NAN, the student said he had not recovered from the trauma three weeks after the gory incident.

According to him, after he was captured and taken to an undisclosed location, he and 18 other victims were dressed in red cloth and numbered, just as the first 16 people were slaughtered in his presence.

“I was in front of our house in Bauchi at 12 noon on June 23rd when some two persons in a car stopped and inquired about a bakery very close to our house,” he said.

“I was heading to the bakery house at that time so I volunteered to join them in the car and show them the place. Immediately I entered, I was hypnotized and lost my senses, only to find myself in a compound some hours later, along with 18 others victims, all of us dressed in red material that had been numbered, and our heads completely shaved.”

Yahaya said at that point, the beheading of the victims began in the presence of all of them.

“We were watching helplessly as a huge man came along with his other accomplices, tied the hands of the first victim, slaughtered him and preserved the gushing blood in a container,” he said.

“I was number 18 in the queue and when the 16th person was beheaded, the slaughter-man said he was tired, and therefore directed that the three of us remaining be kept in a room till early morning the following day for him to complete the exercise.

“At that point, I wished I had my turn that day because the sight was too much to bear.”

He said luck came their way when by 3am, the hefty man mandated to keep watch over the three of them complained of headache and went in search of ‘panadol’, leaving the room they were kept, open.

“The three of us decided to take the chance and rushed out, only to discover that the house was the only structure in a bush and had no perimeter fence,” he said.

“We ran long distances in different directions, until I fell down unconscious, only to wake up later in the day to discover that I was in a police station in Kano.

“The policemen, who were so nice to me, provided me with food and a place to take bath, after which they collected the telephone number of my brother in Bauchi, which I have, off-hand, and alerted him.”

The student, who is still looking scared and had to be persuaded by his brothers to grant the interview to NAN, said the room they were kept was full of human heads and bodies of those slaughtered ahead of them.

“As I am talking to you now, I am still seeing the face of the slaughter man three weeks after the incident and the scene of the gory happening will remain in my memory for long,” he lamented.

He said he had not been attending school since his return from Kano because of his state of mind.

Yahaya Yerima, father of the student, confirmed the incident but could not grant NAN an elaborate interview on the issue as he was busy preparing for the wedding of his daughter, slated for Saturday, July 14.

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