My son was killed for cautioning boys throwing fireworks near mosque - Kwara man
Khalifa Seeji, is the father of 23-year-old Abdulkadir Seeji, who was stabbed to death on Christmas Eve in Ilorin by some youths throwing fireworks near a mosque. The bereaved father speaks to TUNDE OYEKOLA (PUNCH NEWSPAPER) about the tragedy
Your son, Abdulkadir, was stabbed to death on Christmas Eve. What really led to the tragic incident?
That day was a very bad day; it was a sad day to our entire family. I was with him in the shop where he was helping me in the sale of engine oil till about 8pm. I then left for the mosque to participate in the Muslim evening prayer. Abdulkadir also went for the prayer. When we were praying, some boys, in the Christmas celebration mood, were bangers (fireworks) beside the mosque. Then Abdulkadir and the Imam of the mosque and eight others went to caution the boys because their activities were disturbing the prayers going on in the mosque. They chased the boys away and returned into the mosque for further prayers, which we usually observe after the evening prayer. I did not wait for this; I left for my house.
About 10 minutes after I left, some people came to report to me that some boys had stabbed Abdulkadir with a knife on the neck. The report was a surprise to me because I called him about two minutes before that time, asking him to come and assist us to put on the generator because the electricity supply to our area at Ita-Nmo had been disrupted. It was the same people that were chased away for throwing bangers who came back with a knife about 15 minutes later to stab my son on the left side of his chest.
What did you do after being told that your son had been stabbed?
Immediately it happened, we rushed him to the General Hospital, Ilorin. The doctors made efforts to save his life but after about 45 minutes, he gave up the ghost. We believe that was how Allah destined it to be.
Have the people who stabbed your son to death been arrested?
We learnt that two people have been arrested. But the police have not yet arrested the particular boy who stabbed my son to death.
Do you know the particular person who stabbed your son?
Yes. The perpetrator is from Oloka's Compound and he has a barbing shop there.
What more do you know about the suspect?
He operates a barbing shop in this area and he used to host a lot of boys in his shop who perpetrated evil acts; they smoke Indian hemp and cause a lot of trouble. Even about eight months ago, a day to the commencement of Ramadan, they shot one boy dead at that Sakele Junction, while some small boys, under 12 years, also stabbed a boy with a knife on the cheek. That was after the incident of Abdulkadir.
The community had invited his (suspect's) father to intimate him of the bad conduct of his son while the landlord of his barbing shop also warned him about the bad company he was keeping.
Have you reported your son's killing to the police?
So, what difficulty are they having in arresting the main suspect?
We learnt that after he stabbed my son in the chest and left the knife there, the boy ran back to his family and announced that he had killed someone and that was the reason all the people in the compound fled for fear of being arrested by the police. The house has been deserted now; you can go there to see it.
But the boy's father came to the police station at Adewole Estate while we were there to report himself that his son had killed someone and he was detained by the police.
What do you want government to do for your family on this matter?
What we want is justice. We want government to bring the perpetrator to book so that others can learn lessons from it. Our area is now becoming a terror and people are running away from this area because of the presence of the bad boys. We also want government to give the police a directive to arrest those who engage in evil acts such as cultism and smoking of Indian hemp. I said this because if government gives the police an ultimatum to arrest the perpetrator, I know that it will be done.
What kind of person was your son and what was he doing for a living?
After completing his Quranic education in 2015, he gained admission into the Kwara State Polytechnic, Ilorin where he had his Ordinary National Diploma in Computer Science. He should have commenced his HND programme but for the COVID-19 pandemic.
In order not to sit idle at home, he used to help me in my engine oil business which has become our family business. I am the Chairman, Association of Engine Oil Sellers in the state. When in the shop, he also tried to repair phones and in addition, he used to teach children Quran and he is also involved in playing Bandiri, an instrument for Islamic music. I am the Khalifa of the music group while Abdulkadir was the Mukadam. We were preparing for our yearly Maulud celebration, which was two days ahead, when the incident happened.
Was he married?
No. He was not yet married. He planned to complete his HND and finish with NYSC before getting married.
Will you be compensation for his death?
First, we thank all those who came to condole us on the death of our son, starting from His Royal Highness, the Emir of Ilorin, the Alanguas and religion leaders and all members of the community who have visited us during our grief. That is enough compensation for us. We believe that government is aware of the incident.