Till date, the inhabitants of Bangu village, a suburb of Mahuta, in Fakai Local Government Area of Kebbi State, are yet to overcome the shock that exploded right before their eyes after a marital squabble inspired a son–in-law to hack down his mother-in-law.
The agrarian community, dominated by Fulani, which used to bubble with activities, has since gone cold as the eerie feelings of the tragedy refused to go. Fear and apprehension reigned evidently in the minds of the people as they await the likely outcome of what happened to their peaceful community.
A witness told Daily Sun that about a year ago, a 42-year-old Fulani herder, Alhaji Tambaya Manu, took in Hajo Barto, aged 22, as wife. The union, consummated according to Islamic rites, inspired hope, joy and happiness for the parties involved at the time it was contracted.
But days after the solemnization, the marriage began to experience some hiccups, followed by disputes and bickering, which encouraged a decision to end it within a span of its first year. Consequently, Barto packed her belongings and returned home to her parents, especially as the initial efforts to reconcile with her husband proved abortive.
It was learnt, however, that Manu, who declined entreaties to resolve the marital dispute, suddenly renewed his desire for his wife and wanted her back. To this end, he embarked on a journey to his in-laws in Bangu to hand down his request.
But things did not appear to come as easily as he thought. His request was turned down. Along the line, he was able to identify his mother-in-law as the main obstacle to the return of his wife. Offended by her opposition, he picked up his cutlass and hammered it at her, killing her by the second and third strikes.
Another Fulani herder, Umaru Yero, who is familiar with the tales of the tragedy recounted that Manu returned to Bangu in anger to drag his wife to his house only to be denied:
“When he noticed that his in-laws, especially his mother in-law, were opposed to his wife returning to his house, he decided to attack the woman with his cutlass severally. The woman died instantly. He struck at his wife too, but she was rescued partially by her step-mother and her father who rushed after the enraged Manu.
“Sensing danger from other herders who were around, he fled into the bush but returned after a few hours to finish his wife and step-mother. But this time around, other herders in the village had been mobilized to repel his aggression. They did that with dangerous weapons and got him seriously injured.”
Another eyewitness, Joro Abdul collaborated Yero: “After many efforts to resolve the marital crisis proved abortive, he stormed his in-law house to retrieve his estranged wife. But when the family members of the woman refused his request, he drew his cutlass and slaughtered his mother-in-law.
Manu, his wife and his step-mother were rushed to Mahuta General Hospital, a four hour drive from Birnin-Kebbi, while others were referred to the Federal Medical Centre (FMC), Birnin-Kebbi, for surgery, Manu died before their arrival at the hospital.
Head of Mahuta General Hospital, Dr. Haruna Bala, confirmed that he certified Manu dead after they brought him to the hospital. He added that his wife, whose hands were cut off, was referred to the FMC, Birnin-Kebbi, Kebbi State:
“A woman had an argument with her husband and after sometimes, he came back to pack her load from her parents’ house. But the wife refused to follow him. It was at that point the man started cutting the woman with his cutlass.
“He cut her head, legs, arms, in fact, she sustained severe injuries. The man almost amputated the right hand. Her metarcapal bones, artery of the arms are all gone. We spent four to five hours to save her life because she was in total shock. When they brought her, she was in coma. We rushed her to the theatre for an emergency and luckily, she survived.
“After reviving her and monitoring her for four days, we referred her to the FMC ,Birnin-Kebbi, to see an orthopedic surgeon.
“We were told that the husband attacked his mother-in-law, father, step-mother and their neighbors came to their rescue and killed the man.” He added that both the lady’s father and step-mother did not sustain serious injuries and were, therefore, attended to at the Primary Health Centre in their village.
Bala confirmed that the police came along with the patient, adding that they brought the lifeless body of the Manu, which he certified dead, before it was returned to them immediately.
Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), Mustapha Suleiman, confirmed the incident: “Two people died in the incident, the mother-in-law and the son-in-law who was the husband of their daughter.”
The victim’s father and the estranged and injured wife could not be reached for comments at press time.
Their neighbor, Hajia Mairo Adamu, told Daily Sun during last Thursday market, that since the incident, the affected family has relocated to a safer place to avoid a reprisal attack from Manu’s friends and family members.
She confirmed that the injured wife has regained her strength, adding that, “the only issue is that they are looking for money to foot the bill of her intended surgery at the FMC. Her father wants to sell one of their cows to get money for the surgery.”