Family of three slaughtered in new style Maiduguri killing

Residents believe the killing was carried out by members of the Boko Haram sect

A man and one of his sons were hacked to death in Maiduguri, the Borno State capital, on Thursday.

The man, whom residents identified as Daniel Lassa, was killed when suspected members of the insurgent group, Boko Haram, attacked him in his house located at Dikwa low-cost housing area of Maiduguri. Two of his teenage sons were also attacked, with one of them killed in the process.

The second son is currently at the Intensive Care Unit of the University of Maiduguri Teaching Hospital where he is being treated.

A nurse at the hospital told PREMIUM TIMES that the survivor is in a dire condition, after surgery was carried out on him for several hours.

Residents of the area said that before he was killed, Mr. Lassa had been getting threat calls from his killers asking for money.

The Maiduguri fear

Though largely unreported by the mainstream media, PREMIUM TIMES learnt that several residents of Maiduguri have received calls and instructions from Boko Haram members, and directed to give money to the group.

“Many residents, out of fear pay this money,” a resident, who did not want his name in print for security reasons, said.

The Joint Task Force in Maiduguri had, in August, warned residents to stop giving money and materials, out of fear, to the Boko Haram.

The way Mr. Lassa and his son were killed suggests a new pattern of killing for the sect. On Monday, armed men suspected to be Boko Haram members, had also killed about 40 people in Mubi, Adamawa State; many of them macheted like Mr. Lassa.

An unyielding Mr. Lassa

Sources close to the deceased said he refused the demand by his Boko Haram callers for money.

“He reported the matter to the police and even stored their number on his phone as Boko Haram 1, Boko Haram 2, and Boko Haram 3,” a resident close to the deceased said.

PREMIUM TIMES learnt that the deceased, a Christian nurse at El-Kanemi football club of Maiduguri, complained to several friends about the threat calls. A source said the suspected killers then called Mr. Lassa when they heard that the football club had paid its staff arrears owed them.

“That may have been the reason they attacked him, because he refused to give them the money,” the source said.

The assailants attacked, to kill the three people they met at home, with machete and other weapons.  Mr. Lassa’s wife, a staff of the College of Fisheries, Baga, escaped as she was still at work when the attackers arrived, a neighbour said.

Efforts to get the reaction of security operatives on the story were unsuccessful. Both the JTF and the police spokespersons declined to pick their calls when contacted.  Text messages sent were also not responded to.

Maiduguri is a major base of operations for the dreaded Boko Haram sect.

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