Bauchi Man Arrested for Setting “Witch” on Fire
In a disturbing display of superstition and aggression, Hamza Umar was arrested by the Bauchi State Police Command for pouring kerosene on a young girl and setting her on fire. The act was carried out on the presumption that the victim, Hafsat Bala, was a witch sent to kill Mr. Umar.
In a statement, the Command’s spokesperson, SP Ahmed Mohammed Wakil, disclosed that Mr. Umar claimed that Bala had come to his residence, claiming she had been sent by her elder sister to bury charms and kill him. She refused to remove the charms, prompting Mr. Umar to attack her by setting her on fire.
“Nobody has the right to treat a human being in such a barbaric manner,” the police said in a statement. “It is wrong for anyone to assume the position of a law enforcement agency; he should have taken the minor and handed her over to the police or any law enforcement agencies saddled with the responsibility of investigation.”
The victim was rushed to Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University Teaching Hospital (ATBUTH), Bauchi, for medical attention, while Mr. Umar was charged with culpable homicide after the investigation was completed.
This instance is not the first case of alleged witch-hunting and killing in the African country. Superstition, combined with the lack of enlightenment and access to information, particularly in rural areas, has made it difficult to combat the beliefs that cause such atrocities. The authorities have continued to condemn this behavior insisting that such actions ought to be prosecuted under the law.