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PANDEMONIUM AS ARMY COLONEL KILLS YAM SELLER IN BAUCHI

By NBF News

There was pandemonium at Muda Lawal market in Bauchi when a colonel (names withheld) with the Nigerian Armoured Corps, Bauchi, hit a yam seller by the road side, with his car, killing him instantly.

The yam seller, Hamza Aliyu, 17, sustained head and bodily injuries which resulted in his death.

According to an eye witness account, the army officer was over speeding and making a call on his mobile phone when the accident occurred around near ECWA Church.

'He was coming from the Wunti market direction with great speed. In fact, I was sitting here (opposite the road) when I saw his Opel Vetra vehicle. Maybe he forgot that there was a junction and he lost control and hit the boy and the man buying yam from the him,' an eye witness, who pleaded anonymity, told Daily Sun.

Daily Sun learnt that sympathisers were further angered that the army officer, continued with his phone calls after the accident, a development that prompted a mob to set his car ablaze.

Few minutes later, however, the army officer, who managed to escape being lynched by the mob, was reported to have gone to the barracks to mobilise his colleagues who came to the scene of the accident and started manhandling people in the area.

'In fact, it was like a war. They were stopping every motorcyclist on sight and seizing their bikes. Some of them were beaten with horse whips,' a shop owner in the area told our correspondent. Secretary of the Yam Sellers Association in Wunti market told Daily Sun,'We received the news of Hamza's death with shock. We got report that his head was broken and he died immediately. We are, however, not happy that the person who caused the accident was unconcerned. We have reported to the police and we are trying to know the person who did it,'

When contacted, the Public Relations Officer of the Nigerian Army Armoured Corps, Bauchi, Lt Olabisi Ayeni, said the accident was caused by a reckless commercial motorcyclist who rode in front of the army officer's car.

Ayeni said the officer was trying to avert hitting the motorcyclist and, in the process, veered off the road and hit the yam seller. The army spokesman said the officer took the victim and another person who sustained injury to the hospital immediately after the accident.

'He was, therefore, shocked when he came back and saw that his vehicle had been set ablaze by some commercial motorcyclists who took the laws into their hands and some were arrested and their motorcycles, seized in the process,' Ayeni said. Ayeni said the seized motorcycles were handed over t the Divisional Police Officer (DPO) of Tafawa Balewa police station as investigations continued.

Meanwhile, the Commander of the Nigeria Army armoured Corps, Major General Sunday Idoko has expressed sympathy over the death of the yam seller.