The late Samaila Inusa in an old picture before his last promotion to Colonel
My son was kidnapped at his in-laws’ house – Mother He never complained of quarrel with anybody – Father I still believe he’s only kidnapped, not dead – Sister
Nothing about the building differentiates it from the multitudes surrounding it in the densely populated Kawo quarters in Kano metropolis. It is a simple middle-income apartment, likely a four-bedroom that hardly catches anyone’s attention.
But not anymore. For over a week, the house has been bursting at the seams with crowds of humourless, grief-stricken visitors – the old, children, men and women. Some of them emerged from the building sobbing and weeping.
It is the family house of the late military officer, Col Samaila Inusa, whose gruesome murder in the hands of his alleged abductors threw the whole country into mourning and exposed the frightening dimension that the activities of kidnapping gangs have assumed recently, especially in Kaduna State.
The late Col Inusa was seized on March 27 by gunmen around Kamazo, along Kaduna Rifenery Road in Chikun local government area, according to Army spokesperson, Col Sani Kuka Sheka.
The military authorities also said his wife was ordered out of the officer’s car by the gunmen who drove off with him.
The Army first offered N500,000 for any information that could lead to the officer’s rescue, and subsequently raised the reward to N1 million.
Col Inusa was the Chief Instructor at the Nigerian Army School of Infantry, Jaji, a position only the brightest in the military profession attain.
But after three days, the Army broke the shocking news of the officer’s gruesome murder in the hands of his abductors, saying the state of his remains suggested Col Inusa had possibly been murdered on the day he was snatched.
The military then vowed to go after the killers and bring them to book.
But at the deceased’s family house in the heart of Kawo quarters, the struggle is how to come to terms with the loss of a breadwinner and the first death in a family of 10.
A group of grief-stricken women clustered around the entrance to Malama Hannatu Inusa’s room, the deceased’s mother. Devastated by the sad incident, Malama declined to see or talk to Daily Trust on Sunday when our correspondent visited the house on Wednesday.
But on a second visit the following day, the grieving mother made efforts to speak about her loss.
She had heard the news of the kidnap of a certain Col. S. Inuwa on the radio, but was not sure it was the same Inuwa she had given birth to over 40 years ago, because the ‘S’ initial was ambiguous. So, while waiting for more details and praying against the worst, the mother exhibited an uncommon calm and restraint by refusing to go to her husband with the story.
But by the next morning, the radio had come out with more information and the whole family had been thrown into the deepest emotional shock of their life.
With tears running down her cheeks, Malama Hannatu, speaking to the media for the first time, gave what she said was the authentic account of the place where her late son was kidnapped, faulting the widely publicized narrative given to the media.
“It was not true that the late Inusa was kidnapped around the NNPC refinery,” she started.”His abductors had trailed him to his in-law’s residence at Kawo about 7pm and kidnapped him. He went there together with his wife to greet his in-law and the kidnappers arrived at the house shortly after my late son and his family had entered the house. They forced him into their car and drove away with him. From all indications, the abductors had been trailing him from somewhere.”
She was full of praises for her late son, who she said was everything to her:
“I don’t even know what to say to you because I am still mourning his departure,” she said, as the words caught in her throat. “Inusa means everything to me. He never disobeyed or disrespected me as his mother.
“Since he started work, he had been helping his parents and his sisters and brothers. He was a generous person that was always ready to render assistance to others. Now that he has gone forever, we will continue to pray for him. May Allah grant him Aljannah Al-firdaus,” she said as tears continued to roll down her face.
The late Col Inusa was inspired by his father, Alhaji Inusa Usman, to join the military. The father, a retired soldier, recalled with pains how his young son battled against the odds to be enlisted into the prestigious Nigeria Defence Academy (NDA) for military training as an officer.
“Being an ex-military man, I personally encouraged the late Samaila to join the Army. Before he joined, he had gotten admission to the Kano State Polytechnic, but I personally encouraged him to go for the Army and he joined in 1992. He rose through the ranks up to his last promotion of Colonel, which happened just last year. I gave him all the necessary support he needed from me as a father,” he said.
After his passing out, Inuwa was first posted to Sokoto State and from there he went to Liberia for a peace-keeping mission. Upon his return to Nigeria, he was transferred to Yola, Adamawa State, and later to Abuja, then Jaji to Kaduna and later Sambisa forest in Borno State, where they fought the Boko Haram insurgents. He stayed in Borno for almost a year before he was transferred back to Jaji.
His father described late Samaila’s death a great loss not only to the members of his family but to the nation as a whole, saying “the late Samaila was a peaceful and easy-going person. He never smoked cigarette and Indian hemp, nor took any drugs. After we relocated to this house (referring to his home located in Kawo) from Bakabu barracks, Kano after I have retired, he used to go to Giginyu Primary School for night reading with friends. Sometimes, he even spent the whole night there and would return home in the morning.”
Asked whether his late son had ever complained to him of any misunderstanding or threat from someone while he was in Maiduguri or Kaduna, the father said there was nothing of that nature from his son.
He said the deceased had been taking good care of all the members of the family and that the last time he saw him was when he came to Kano with his family and showed them the new car he brought from America.
He recalled that at their last meeting, the late Samaila informed him that he wanted to go to Lagos to see his younger brother Ibrahim, saying, “that was the last time I saw my son.”
The father heard about the kidnap on the radio, a day after it happened. “When his mother came back from her shop, I called her to my room and enquired whether the Colonel S. Inuwa that was kidnapped in Kaduna was my son and she answered in the affirmative. She explained to me that when she first heard about the incident, she was not so sure whether it was my son because it only said one Col. S. Inuwa had been kidnapped and that was why she didn’t inform me.
“Later, we were officially informed about his death, after which we left for Jaji for his burial,” he said.
He explained that Samaila’s death was the first to be recorded in his family and would, therefore, take a long time to forget.
“God in His infinite mercy has taken him away. He has gone forever and will never come back to this world. Though he was not my only son, Samaila is a different person. He lived in peace with everyone and took good care of not only his parents, but also his brothers and sisters, as well as friends and the children of our neighbours.
“He is the rare type. What worries me most is the manner he was killed. Try to imagine how somebody could be killed and abandoned for three days… This is terrible,” he said.
The deceased’s elder sister, Hajiya Ramatu Inusa, described him as a gentle, generous, humane and committed brother, saying he was yet to accept that he was dead.
“He was an obedient, calm, patient and hardworking person. He loved his brothers and sisters. He was generous not only to his blood relations but also to all,” she added.
“Up till this moment that I am talking to you, I feel like Samaila is not dead. My feelings always tell me that he just travelled and will soon come back home. Even last Wednesday, when I woke up in the night, I could not control myself when I remembered that Samaila was no more. My mind always tells me that he was only kidnapped and taken into custody but not killed. This is the first time we recorded death in this family. So his demise has really touched our lives. We are about 10 in this family and we are all alive. Samaila is the first person that has passed on in the family of Baba (a reference to their father) and I believe that is why each and every member of the family is touched by his death,” Hajiya Ramatu added.
She said people trooping to the family’s house over 10 days after the incident to condole them, “tells you that the deceased had related very well with the people in the area. If not, I am sure people will not bother to pay condolence visits to our family over his demise, but Alhamdulillah, we are still receiving people from far and near on condolence visits.
“We are from God and to Him we shall all return. Samaila is gone and it is now up to all of us to continue to pray for him because we cannot bring him back to this world.
“But sincerely speaking we have lost a brother, a good and nice one indeed. All I will solicit from his friends and well wishers is to pray for his soul because this is what he needs most. For the members of my family, I pray to Almighty God to give us the fortitude to bear the great loss,” she concluded.
Source; daily trust