Youths in Adamawa State capital, Yola, who are notorious for stealing and committing other anti-social acts, went on rampage again during the week, killing a student of the Adamawa State Polytechnic and inflicting injuries on many others in another.
In yet another instance, the youths, widely called Shilla Boys, abducted a minor, except that the police intervened quickly enough in this instance to thwart whatever the boys intended against the minor.
Around the Hospital Road in Jimeta area of Yola, the Shilla Boys surrounded a student of the Adamawa State Polytechnic, Emmanuel Hassan, and snuffed the life out of him.
Emmanuel’s elder sister, Lydia Hassan, who spoke on the incident on Friday, said the hoodlums swooped on Emmanuel at a popular joint on Hospital Road called Madam State, and began to beat him, and that in a bid to escape from them, Emmanuel ran to a nearby wall and tried to climb over to the other side.
“The Shilla Boys immediately began to shout thief, thief, apparently to get a gathering crowd to their side,” Lydia said, adding that the attackers achieved their intent as they and the crowd descended on Emmanuel even as he continued to shout that he was not a thief.”
Although Lydia could not say why the Shilla Boys went after her brother, she stressed that he could not have stolen anything or did any such evil.
“Emmanuel was a hard working young man who combined schooling with work, as besides being a student of Computer Science at the state polytechnic, he also worked at the Azuri Club (in Yola) as a maintenance electrician,” she said.
At the Wauro-jabbe community in the same Jimeta, the Shilla Boys abducted a minor, one Kumaga Yohanna, and they were on their way to the bush with him when they encountered a combined team of police and vigilante who gave the armed youths a chase and succeeded in rescuing the minor.
A source said the hoodlums, who were more than 10, forced their way into the residence of the child’s father, Yohanna, to loot his belongings and subsequently took away his son after the father escaped.
At Bachure, another sprawling community in Jimeta, the Shilla Boys stabbed an octogenarian woman who is said to currently be in a critical condition.
A security source told our correspondent that the boys had earlier carried out a mass attack in a street in Bachure where they injured many people, and that they had been particularly after the old woman’s son but that when they could not get the son, they reached for the old woman and descended on her.
The Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO) in Adamawa State, SP Othman Abubakar, said 16 people had so far been arrested in connection with the incidents.
He expressed frustration with the unrelenting violent activities of the Shilla Boys, speaking of how certain people ‘dressed in suit speak a lot of English about human rights and ensure the release of Shilla Boys each time they are arrested.
“It is really worrisome that police will arrest Shilla Boys for various offenses, arraign them in court, and the same Shilla Boys are quickly back on the streets to continue their criminal activities,” the PPRO said, adding that the police faced the frustration of recycling the arrest of same Shilla Boys over and over again.