There was confusion in some parts of Kakuri, in Kaduna South Local Government Area, when a 41-year-old carpenter, Mr. Francis Emmanuel Francis, almost lost his right eye on Tuesday following an attack on him by Muslim youths for not observing the Ramadan fast.
This is coming barely a week after a 74-year-old, Mrs Bridget Agbahime, was murdered in Kano for allegedly blaspheming Prophet Mohammed.
An eyewitness account had it that the carpenter courted trouble for himself when he was spotted by some Muslim boys in the Sokoto Road area of Kakuri, at about 2.30pm, eating when others were supposed to be observing the fast. This drew the ire of the youth who started beating him.
Emmanuel, according to the eyewitness, was given the beating of his life and subsequently rushed to the St. Gerard Catholic Hospital, where he is currently receiving medical treatment.
He was inflicted with deep machete cuts on his head and other parts of his body during the incident.
Narrating his ordeal to journalists from his hospital bed, Emmanuel said he was taking his launch when the boys, numbering about six, descended on him on the grounds that he was not fasting.
He said, “I went to buy wood to do some work. When I came back, I bought food to eat. As I was eating, about six Hausa boys came and asked me whether I was a Muslim or a Christian. I did not answer them. They asked me why I was not fasting. I told them that I am not a Muslim.
“Before I know it, one of them slapped me. As I stood up, the rest came and surrounded me and started attacking me with knives. I didn’t know them. Nobody could come to my aid because of the type of dangerous knives they were carrying.
“They used cutlasses, scissors and knives. I became unconscious; I don’t even know who brought me to the hospital.”