Tuesday, 23 April 2013

Is This Woman a Witch or a Lunatic?



Police rescue Octogenarian from being roasted alive by irate youths

“She is a witch. She changed from a cat to a human being” – Youths

Son – “My mother is not a witch”

Did Mrs. Hafsat popularly known as Mama Fali truly fall off the roof of a resident of 36 Ogunjebe Street and mysteriously transform from a cat to human form? The answer to this question remains very crucial because it was on this basis that an uncontrollable crowd of irate youths came close to setting her ablaze in broad daylight damning the consequences.


The fact that the house where the alleged transformation took place is not by any means close to where she lives leaves much to be desired. In addition to this, that she was discovered at 2:45am in the morning when many were still fast asleep does not make her a saint. Despite the consensus of the teeming crowd that the woman was a witch, there was no empirical evidence to show that the old woman actually transform from a cat to a human being or vice-versa.
However, all these analysis and detail did not come to bear after some youths got wind of the presence of a witch in their neighbourhood at such an ungodly hour of the day. This was all the prompting they needed as they besieged the premises; scaling the fence and threatening to unleash terror on anyone who prevented them from executing the notorious ‘Jungle Justice’ on the octogenarian.
Just as the angered youths came close to accomplishing the task of burning the woman alive, men of the Nigeria Police Force (NPF) stormed the premises where the woman was about to become ‘human barbecue’ and took charge of the situation by attempting to take custody of the woman before the youths could set her ablaze.
For the team of police officers assigned to the task of rescuing the woman, they had to pay a price as they were attacked by the youths who felt the police were intruding into a matter that should have been rightly settled on the streets of Lagos. For their interference, the police were physically assaulted yet they strongly resisted firing their weapons as many would have expected. When the cops finally stood their grounds, the youths took their anger out on the police patrol vehicle with number plate, NPF 9526 B as the police made their way out of the hostile grounds.
In a bid to get to the heart of the matter, National Life sought audience with the woman in the middle of the brouhaha, her son, her brother, the prophet and other residents who discovered her, members of the Oodua Peoples Congress (OPC) who initially prevented the youths from setting the woman ablaze and eventually handed her over to the police.
Mrs. Hafsat is presently in police custody as investigation is in progress to get to the root of the matter. 
Her Brother - Mr. Kehinde Nurudeen Shokunbi
I was at her house to check on her and I was told that she had gone to Alfa Nla to see her son. I waited all night to no avail. I was surprised and shocked to the marrows this morning when one woman came to our house in Agege to inform us that she saw Mama Fali in Dopemu. She also told us that they saw a very large crowd at the place and told us everything. When we got there, we realised what was going on. We saw a very huge crowd that consisted mostly of youths. They were just too much. I was very scared and went to the police station to report the matter. I was very happy that the police followed us immediately to the scene. My sister is not a witch but to be honest with you, she has a little mental problem. Sometimes, she would just go out of the house and start to pick empty sachets of ‘pure water’ and stones outside. When we ask her what she wants to do with the rubbish she is picking on the floor, she would ask us to leave her alone.

Her Son
My mother is not a witch. How can my mother be a witch? My mother has a little problem because she would often get up and start picking dirt and paper from the floor. I once asked her whether she had an encounter with spiritual forces. There was a time that I asked her to come and live with me for some time and it was during this period, that I noticed her problems. I always got angry whenever she started doing those things.

Prophet Sunday Obor
We found mama in our passage at 1:00am. We asked mama how she got in but she was just looking at us as if we were not even there at all. When she eventually spoke to us, she said she lives at Mosalasi in Agege, which is far from where we live. I was also made to understand that immediately the transformation happened, a newly born baby in the house began to weep uncontrollably. The mother of the child told me that for the past three days, they have been disturbed by the haunting wails of a cat on their roof. She said she suspected that it was the old woman who was wailing. After I discovered the old woman, I specifically took my time to ask her questions. I asked her to tell me how she entered the premises but her response did not make much sense. I asked her whom she came to see, she did not say anything. Eventually, we decided to stay with her. In the morning, we took her outside but the crowd that was outside was enormous. We had to take her back inside especially when we realised they wanted to kill her. They even tried to force their way in to kill the woman but when hen the OPC men came, we handed her over to them because we were already being overpowered by the youths. Personally, is did not see her turn into a cat but that was the consensus of the youths who wanted to burn her alive. The OPC men took her to Raji Street in Papa Asafa, Agege.

Garuba Muyideen, Coordinator, OPC, Orile-Agege
We could not just stand by and allow the angry crowd to kill the woman. We felt responsible and we did all we could to hold the boys back till the police arrived to take her away to the police station. We felt that the police were in a better situation to save the woman’s life.


By Samod Biobaku
sixthsense34@yahoo.com


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