41-year old Carpenter stabbed to coma for not fasting
…Fish-out attackers, El-Rufai tells Police
//Godwin Ekosin, Kaduna//
Barely 10 days after mob killed an Igbo Woman in Kano for alleged blasphemy, a 41 year old Carpenter, Francis Emmanuel was on Tuesday afternoon stabbed to coma by unknown youth, for eating during Ramadan fasting.
Governor Nasir Ahmad El-Rufai on Wednesday morning visited victim of the assault at St. Gerard Catholic Hospital, with a directive that, Police must fish out the perpetrators to face the full wrath of the law.
The Nation gathered that, the incident occurred around 2:30pm on Tuesday when Emmanuel was eating in his workshop, and the youth who suddenly appeared from nowhere started attacking him for eating on the afternoon of Ramadan.
Speaking with newsmen on his hospital bed, Francis Emmanuel said, “It happened around 2:30pm at Sokoto road, Kakuri on Tuesday, when I went to the market to buy wood to do some work. So, when I came back I bought food to eat. As I was eating, about six Hausa boys came and ask me whether I am a Muslim or a Christian, I did not answer them. They asked why am I not fasting, then, I told them that I am not a Muslim. Before I know it, one of them slapped me. As I stood up, all of the rest came and surrounded me and started attacking me with knives.” He said.
Asked whether he can identify them or not, Emmanuel said, “I don’t know them.
Nobody could come to my aid because of the type of knives the boys were carrying. They used cutlasses scissors and knives, I became unconscious, I don’t even know who brought me to the hospital.” He said.
Elder brother to the victim. Paul Uloko who also spoke to newsmen called on the authorities to fish out the ‘barbarians’ and bring them to justice.
“This wickedness must not be condoned. The culprits must be brought to justice in the interest of peace and stability in Kaduna state. These boys must not go scot-free, otherwise if this madness is not termed, it may lead to something else.” He said.
Meanwhile, Governor El-Rufai, who led a team of senior government officials, including the Deputy Governor, Architect Barnabas Yusuf Bala, to visit Francis who is recuperating in the hospital, comforted the victim and promised that the government will not allow any criminal to hide under any religious guise or to use religion as justification for violating the right of any citizen.
“This is of very serious concern to the state government, we have warned before the begining of Ramadan that everyone should observe the tenets of his or her religion, but without forcing it on anyone or taking the law into their own hands this is a case of which people have taken the law into their own hands and I have directed the commissioner of police to make sure that the boys that did this are arrested and prosecuted for what they have done.
“No one has the right to force anyone to fast or practice its religion, whether as a Muslim or not you are entitled to practice your religion the way you want and you will answer whatever you have done before God.
“It is not for anybody to pass judgement on you, this is a criminal activity and we are going to ensure that these young people that did this are arrested, identified by the person that they attacked by cutlasses and machete and would be prosecuted and brought to Justice. We would not accept this kind of behavior in Kaduna State, every one must practice his religion.
“We believe in a free country, in a state like Kaduna everyone should be free to conduct his or herself within the ambit of the law and I call on religious leaders and their followers to preach to their followers to stick to practicing their religion without insisting that others must follow the tenants of their religion.
“Everybody is free to pursue whatever faith he believes in without any harassment, so I hope our religious leaders will join us in this effort to keep our state peaceful.” The Governor stressed.
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