By Patience Ogbo
If Taiwo Azeez, 22, knew that leaving his parents’ house at Shasa community, in Ibadan, Oyo State, on Friday, February 12, 2021, would be fatal, he assuredly would have remained indoors.
But Taiwo had to work hard to earn an income to support his parents’ meagre earnings which made him to leave his house to go work as a auto mechanic.
Taiwo was heading back home on that fateful day, after he was done with the vehicle he went to repair, but unknown to him, a fierce fight had broken out between the Hausa and the Yoruba in the community over the killing of a Yoruba man identifed as Addex, a cobbler in the market.
According to investigation, a yet-to-be identifed man, who residents said was an Hausa cart pusher assaulted Addex for reprimanding him over an altercation with a pregnant woman at the Iroko market in Shasa. Police sources said the man is from Niger Republic.
Following Addex’s demise from the alleged punch, it was gathered that some Yoruba young men mobilised, attacked and killed Hausa indigenes in the area. It was further gathered that the Hausa, in turn, mobilsed in their numbers and in retaliation attacked the Yoruba and burnt their shops in the market. Sadly ,while this was going on, Taiwo, who was heading back home through the market, was chased and attacked with sticks and iron rods.
Narrating how he was attacked and left for death, Taiwo, who is still receiving treatment, struggled to speak as he was obviously still in pains.
In his words, “I went to repair a car brake that fateful morning. On my way back, I didn’t know that the Yorubas and Hausas were fighting in the Shasa market.
“As I attempted to run away from the market, the Hausa boys ran after me. They were holding dangerous weapons. These are people that I know and some of them were my friends. One of them shouted at me to stop. They ran towards me and I started running very fast.
“They caught up with me and started hitting my head and entire face with sticks and other items. I lost consciousness. The next thing I saw, I was in the hospital. I learnt they threw me close to a fire and left me to roast to death.
“This attack on me happened about 1:00pm but I was rescued from the site of the fire about 5pm that same day”
Speaking about the attack, Mrs. Iyabo Azeez, Taiwo’s mother said “We are from Shasa community. I gave birth to Taiwo with his twin brother and siblings in Shasa. When we learnt that armed Hausa youth were attacking the traders and the market, I tried reaching Taiwo to warn him about the violence but to no avail as his mobile number was not connecting.
“After the violence had subsided, we went looking for him. We found him close to the fire. He was badly wounded and his jaws were swollen.
“He was very weak and the sight of him made us weep. We rushed him to emergency ward in UCH Ibadan and the doctors started treatment and surgery to save his life. He was operated upon and placed on drip and sedatives. It was like seeing my son come back from the dead. His right eye was badly wounded and still after the surgery, he cannot open it. His jaw is swollen.”.
Mrs. Azeez said the doctors wanted to carry out another surgery on Azeez’s jaw but the family had ran out of cash. She is therefore appealing to the governments and Nigerians to assist the family with donations.
She continued, “I am a hawker. I hawk provision items and my husband is a auto mechanic. We have spent over N300,000 on Taiwo’s treatment. We are now borrowing money to pay for his treatment.
“The doctors said he may not use his right eye due to the severe beating to his face. The doctor said they need to carry out another surgery to repair his broken right jaw. We went to ask for the fees for the surgery, we were told to go bring over N400,000.
“We do not have such money. We are appealing to the Oyo state government and the federal government to come to our aid. We call on Nigerians to help us with the finance for the surgery and drugs.”