Tension in Kano as phone snatchers maim, kill residents
On July 7, 2021, the late Umar Mohammed Arab breathed his last in the gruesome hands of his killers, the phone-armed robbers in Kano.
The Kano-born late Umar, aged 50, was a staff member of the National Museum and Monuments, Kaduna. He didn’t have a premonition on that day that he had a few hours remaining to live in this temporal world.
He was ambushed and killed by unknown assailants under the Kwari Market’s overhead bridge, which was then under construction.
The armed robbers pierced his heart with pointed, sharp daggers, leaving his lifeless body lying flatly on the ground with beads of blood oozing from the left side of his chest.
Two years after Umar’s gruesome death, the killers were not apprehended and are still nowhere to be found.
Platinumpost.ng reports the waves of “phone” armed robberies and killings have long enveloped Kano, particularly the metropolitan area and its environs.
It is hardly a day that passes in Kano without having a case of killing as a result of a phone robbery or inflicting bodily injury on the victim.
The menace is widespread and has gained a foothold in every nook and cranny of the city.
The situation has reached alarming proportions, which has prompted a public outcry calling on the concerned authority to do what is deemed necessary to curtail the widespread spread of this seemingly endless peril of sending innocent people to their early graves.
For quite some time, the situation had subsided, but recently, after about a couple of months, it has come back in full throttle, confounding the rate of insecurity bedevilling the city’s residents.
Most recently, on Thursday, May 18, 2023, Abba Rufa of Dorayi Quarters, a tricycle owner, was gruesomely pierced in the heart with a sharp knife and died instantly. His phone and other pocket-laden belongings were carted away.
The killing of Abba went viral in mainstream media and various social media platforms, whereby Kano residents expressed their outrage at the catastrophic trend that has no end in sight.
POlatinumpost reporter observed that the unfortunate happening has sent shocks down the spines of many residents, leaving a trail of added apprehension that’s countless and constantly becoming a scourge, pushing Kano into the den of wanton killing by phone armed robbery.
The serene ambiance for which Kano was known, particularly at daylight or nightfall, has changed from a cynosure to an eyesore.
The city residents adapted by becoming vigilant and taking precautionary measures to avoid a swooping attack from the phone armed robbery syndicate, which is likely to launch a potential onslaught unexpectedly.
Even the night crawlers’ movements were self-restricted in fear of the night attackers that were lurking in the hideout or trailing to attack at an appropriate time.
More so, even in broad daylight, it appears that no one has a guarantee or exemption from becoming a victim of phone-armed robbers in Kano.
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If one could clearly recall, a couple of weeks ago, within the Kano metropolitan area, a “phone’’ armed robber was apprehended in broad daylight, pursued a woman piggybacking a child, and attacked her in an angling, repeated motion with a pointed, sharp knife.
Luckily enough, the woman was able to run helter-skelter to save her life and that of her child. She later escaped, but the child survived with a superficial bodily injury.
With regard to the pervasive effects of phone armed robbery in the pyramid city, with no end in sight, the residents are doubly fearful.
Fearful in the sense that after Abba Rufa, who is destined to be the next victim, when and where will one meet with these intoxicated killers?
Therefore, in the advent of this growing misfortune of killing innocent souls in the name of “Phone” armed robbery in Kano, the residents are day in and day out expressing their shock and amazement at how a state like Kano, guided by the rule of law, could allow this barbaric and demonic act to gain a foothold without taking drastic measures to tide over its continuous manifestation.
The late Rufa’i was a rising family patriarch who cared for his mother and other siblings using a commercial tricycle, according to San Abdulrazak Darma, the deceased’s uncle.
“On his last day, around 5:00 p.m., he had a chat with his mother, telling her that he would go and drive around scouting for passengers before the sunset,” Darma recalled.
He drove straight to the trike members’ meeting location at Hauren Legal along BUK Road after leaving his family’s home.
Unbeknownst to Rufa’i, Darma said that he was ambushed and waylaid by the attackers, who then stabbed him in the back with a sharp object.
Ruffa’i died instantaneously, while his friend had a terrible body injury and was taken to the hospital.
On the front burner, these assailants perpetrating this demonic act were deemed to face the full wrath of the law but instead treated with kid gloves, which has emboldened others to follow suit.
A source who craves anonymity says the police operatives are economical with their words to convince the general public that they were not backed by the law to execute but rather to file a criminal case and forward it to the court of law.
The menace of phone armed robbery (phone snatching) in Kano has vehemently turned into a mammoth calamity, spreading like a malignant tumor.
There is a need for synergy between the law enforcement agency, the community, and all and sundry to overwhelm the scourge or pray for the force of Providence to take its course.