The question on the lips of every sympathiser, who thronged the hitherto peaceful Angwar Mahuta, Nassarawa Ward A, the community where the deceased’s lifeless body was found dangling was what could have been responsible for Auwal’s decision to take his own life?
Some of the people at the scene, who spoke with Saturday Tribune, wondered if Auwal committed
suicide out of frustration, betrayal or was jinxed as a result of the miserable life that he lived.
Saturday Tribune further learnt that no one could specifically lay his or her hands on the immediate or remote cause of the suicide.
Saturday Tribune investigation revealed that some of the sympathisers had expressed concerns about the sudden disappearance of the deceased from the neighbourhood, few hours to the discovery of his lifeless body. Auwal, said to be a local dry-cleaner, was found dangling from the ceiling fan in his room at about 2.00 p.m. on the fateful day.
A source, who craved anonymity, in a chat with the Saturday Tribune said, everybody in the neighbourhood went after their daily activities, adding that even Auwal who was full of life when he was sighted in the early hours of the day, never exhibited any suspicious act that could give him away as someone about to commit an unfathomable act of taking his own life, especially during the Ramadan period.
”It was unthinkable for anyone to harbour the thought that an unassuming and easy-going person like Auwal, would conceive that evil idea in the holiest month of Ramadan, a month of reconciliation, and of forgiveness of sins for all Moslem faithful,” a neighbour who would not want to be identified said.
The source further described the deceased as a very friendly, easy going, lovable and gentle young man, adding that his death remains a puzzle for both the residents and the state command of the Nigeria Police.
Another young woman, who spoke to Saturday Tribune, also on the condition of anonymity, said that Auwal’s suicide may not be unconnected with his alleged sour relationship with Bilikisu, a young lady said to be his lover of about two years.
The source added that the deceased may have taken his life when he learnt that Bilikisu was said to have been engaged to another man, allegedly on the instruction of her parents, adding that the lady may be heading to her new husband’s house after the Ramadan.
“The rumours of Bililkisu getting married to another man after the Ramadan fasting has been a thing of concern to Auwal, and everyday he bemoaned his fate,”the source disclosed.
Another source said that the day before he hanged himself, he had attempted killing himself by taking a poisonous chemical, popularly called Ota-piapia, but for the quick intervention of some people in the neighbourhood who restrained him.
Auwal, who lived with Hajiya Uwma, the matriarch of late Alhaji Shuaibu Erena, was said to have woken up and attended to his household chores on Tuesday morning, few hours to committing suicide.
“He tidied up his room and assisted his landlady to clear her sitting room, he was said to have also assisted Hajiya to share some grains and distribute to the less privileged in the neighbourhood. He later settled down to his trade, as we gathered that he washed some clothes before committing the act,” the source stated.
Some of those who saw him shortly before then said that at about 30 minutes to the discovery of his body, Auwal instructed some boys playing football in the frontage of the house and those sitting by his room’s window to leave; telling them that he wanted to rest and that their noise was disturbing his sleep. Not knowing that he was only sending the boys away in order to ensure that the coast was clear for him.
Further investigations by Saturday Tribune revealed that no sooner had he hatched his plan than one of his neighbours, simply called Mukhtar, came looking for him for a menial job, only for him to find the lifeless body of Auwal dangling from the ceiling fan in his room.
Narrating the story, Mukhtar, who claimed to have known Auwal for close to a decade, said “I saw him washing clothes when I was going out and I rushed back to invite him for a job. I called him several times in front of the house and when I did not hear any response, I decided to check his room whether he was sleeping. On opening his room, I was shocked to see Auwal hanging from a rope tied to the ceiling fan. I rushed out shouting and calling people around to come and see what I saw.”
In a related development, Hajiya Uwma, who was yet to get over the shock, when our reporter visited the scene, said; “this incident is still like a film to me. Auwal was here in my sitting room to help clean up this morning.” Pointing to a half bag of grains in the sitting room, Hajiya recalled, “this is where he helped me to share some grains that were distributed to some people in the neighbourhood. Look at the remaining bag of grains we shared this morning. I am yet to pin his action down to anything. He never showed or complained of any problem. He was a gentle boy and I am at a loss over his action.”
Corroborating his mother, Mallam Abdullahi Shuaibu, the eldest child of Hajiya Uwma and the head of the family, said that the deceased had been staying in the house for close to 10 years to keep company with and take care of his aged mother.
According to Auwal, who hailed from Shanga Local Government Area of Kebbi State, he became a member of the family when he came to study Quran along with his elder brother, Garba, and after his training, the family allowed him stay in the house on his request, as long as he was willing to take care of the house and his old mother.
Shuaibu, who is a Special Assistant to the governor of Niger State, said at the completion of his Islamic education, “the family decided to set up a GSM business for him but after some months, he sold the umbrella, table and chairs and said he wanted to venture into dry-cleaning business to which the family gave him the go-ahead.
He then added that, “The last time I saw Auwal was on Sunday, he said he wanted to travel home and I even gave him N2, 000. The next thing I heard was that he killed himself. I never knew he could do that type of thing. It seems he even prepared for his death because people around said that he drove away the children who usually played ball with him before he hanged himself. I am very surprised.”
Meanwhile, the body of Auwal was said to have been removed and taken to the mortuary section of Minna General Hospital by men of the state Police command for further investigation.
Also confirming the incident, the spokesman of the state police command, Mr Richard Oguchi, said that the case was still undergoing investigation by the officers and men of the Homicide Section of the command.