An Islamic cleric, Malam Aliyu Muhammadu Tukur, was conducting Tafsir inside a mosque beside his house two weeks ago when suspected political thugs broke into the mosque and set him on fire.
Malam Tukur narrated to City & Crime how he was attacked and burnt by the thugs for allegedly speaking on the forthcoming 2023 general elections.
The scholar, who teaches and preaches in Kumo town of Akko Local Government Area of Gombe State, said he was lucky the attackers, whose mission was to take his life, didn’t succeed but left him severely injured.
He said his “offence” was a speech he made during the closing of the Ramadan Tafsir at his mosque, where he asked his students and other followers to vote for the right candidates that touched their lives positively.
“During the closing of Ramadan Tafsir at the mosque, I commented on the forthcoming elections, where I stated that my students and other followers will only vote for politicians that have been able and were keen on delivering the desired development of our communities.
“After Sallah, we resumed the Tafsir we were doing before the Ramadan. So, on May 11, at around 8pm, just few minutes after commencing the Tafsir session, we heard voices asking where exactly I was seated.
“Before we could understand what was going on, thugs, about five in number, broke into the mosque and poured petrol on me. One of them threw a device that exploded and caused the fire which burnt parts of my hands, my seat, copies of the Qur’an and carpet in the mosque, including some of my students who also got injured.”
According to the 42-year-old father of five, he recognised some of the attackers who were residents of his neighbourhood and supporters of one of the aspirants seeking for a legislative seat, saying that he doesn’t have issues with them and does not know why he was targeted.
While calling on the state government to sit up and address the issue of youth restiveness in the state, he added that youths and others who were causing problems and inflicting pain on innocent residents shouldn’t be allowed to go unpunished.
When contacted, the state’s police spokesman, ASP Mahid Muazu Abubakar, said two suspects had been arrested over the case.