As a school girl growing up in the traditional section of Tarauni ward, in today’s Tarauni local government of Kano State, any ‘beware of’ sign was always concluded by ‘dog’ because dogs seemed to be the only animals we needed to be warned about.
We saw many of those signs whenever my friends and I took late afternoon strolls into the GRA section of Tarauni, then known as ‘Nasarawa’, which began from the famous Lamido Crescent and went right down to Suleiman Crescent and beyond.
Of the many attractions that marked the difference between our traditional part of town and the GRA, were their lovely flower beds, their well manicured hedges and their very cleans streets and covered drainages (most of which are now extinct). Then there was the inevitable ‘beware of dogs’ sign on most gates in this elitist neighbourhood. It was rumoured that most houses with such signs didn’t really have dogs in them, that the signs were just hung there to scare away intruders.
Whether that was true or not, it seems only right that we hold some ‘beware of’ signs for one another today, to warn ourselves about the danger fellow humans pose to their kindred, due to the greed and inhumanity that has dominated their souls.
It was just three weeks ago when we woke up to the horrifying news of the gruesome murder of young undergraduate, Favour Oyodele, by her boyfriend his mother and a pastor; who planned to use her body parts for enrichment rituals.
This most foul murder was committed when the unsuspecting Favour received a call from her killer boyfriend, one Owolabi Adeeku while on a weekend visit to her parents. According to her father she was getting ready to return to school when she received a call from someone she didn’t identify by name. After the call she just said that she’ll branch somewhere briefly to see a friend before going back to campus. She was not to know that her so-called friend/ admirer had an evil plan for her. He immediately drugged her on arrival at their meeting venue, then allowed the pastor to hit her on the head with a pestle. Together they desecrated her corpse by cutting parts of her organs for rituals. Indeed they admitted to using Favours heart to make peppersoup, which was consumed by the three of them, including Owolabi’s mother.
We were yet to get over the shock of this ultimate evil when a few days ago the video confessions of Hauwa, the lady kidnapper of Nasarawa state went viral. I received these video from many contacts before I decided to make time to watch it. By the time I was through with the almost 30-minute confession, I was so shocked that I lost the energy to do anything else for over an hour.
In a nutshell the 24-year-old, thrice married, thrice divorced Fulani lady was an armed robber and a kidnapper, though she lived normally amongst innocent folks in the Masaka area of Nasarawa state.
In her response to the senior police officer who was interviewing her, Hauwa not only confessed to arranging the kidnap of her three suitors or lovers but also to the role she played in the gruesome killing of her best friend Zainab.
Her calm and cold-blooded anwers to police questions were chilling, to say the least. In the case of her male admirers, she took each of them for a ride, literally, and then made sure they were kidnapped at such times. They only got released after ransoms were paid during which she got her share and waited for the next victim. Her first suitor paid two million naira to obtain his freedom. The second paid one million while the third could only pay half a million naira because he was a poor man. Each of the three men had no idea of the role she played in their ordeal.
It was when the leader of the gang Hauwa belongs to, requested her to bring another victim because he was broke that she confessed that there was no one else to bring. They suggested her close friend Zainab and rather than protest that Zainab was a no-go area because of their level of closeness, Hauwa quickly agreed to the idea. She even disclosed to them that Zainab had recently asked for a meeting with a spiritualist who can influence her ex-husband to part with the sum of six hundred thousand naira, which she needed.
Hauwa quickly suggested that her male accomplices pretend that they were the spiritualist and his aides so they could defraud her friend. When it transpired that Zainab had no money on her and only intended to pay for services rendered after the money she was hoping to get from her ex husband had arrived, the men beat her up and eventually killed her. All this while her so-called best friend was sitting nearby pretending not to know the attackers. After the murder, Hauwa concluded her role in the deal by going to Zainab’s house to pick her ATM card and attempting to withdraw money with it. She also sold the cloth-materials her late friend used to sell and also repainted Zainab’s car and changed the papers before selling it.
She meticulously did all she could to raise money for her kidnap and robbery gangsters, at the cost of her friend’s life. She had no remorse because Zainab, who left behind two children and an aged mother, was just another victim to her.
And these are the types of friends and lovers that abide in certain neighbourhoods today. They live among us and mingle with ordinary folks but their hearts are full of evil and dead with greed. They can do anything for money without regard for any relationships they share with their victims. May God protect us from them and enable us to beware of them long before they harm us. Amin.