By Stanley Onyekwere
There was palpable tension yesterday, when an unidentified man was set ablaze by a mammoth angry youths, for allegedly snatching a motorcycle used for commercial transportation (Okada), in Masaka area, a high density settlement along the Abuja/Keffi Express way.
The incident occurred by the roadside near Pantaker market at about 12:20pm, after the busy Masaka U-Turn, in the neighbouring Nasarawa state.
According to an eyewitness, who witnessed how the incident unfolded earlier, told our reporter, who latter arrived the scene that the victim and his accomplice, now at large, had stolen the Okada belonging to a commercial motorcyclist ( name not known) in the area.
Peoples Daily leant that the duo ( the victim and his unknown accomplice) had succeeded in hiding the motorbike at a distance close to the scene and boarded a bus probably on another mission when they were intercepted by the members Okada union in the area.
The union members, acting on a tip off by unnamed brother of the owner of the bike, who identified the alleged thieves, were said to have dragged them down from the bus near the scene of the incident, but one of them escaped leaving the other in the hands of the angry mob.
It was observed the angry youths, mostly commercial motorists plying the route and some hoodlums used big sticks and stones to attack the victim, and after driving a nine inches nail into his skull, even as onlookers crowded the scene to get a glimpse of what was happening.
Our Correspondent, who witnessed the incident from this point, said they angry mob were bent on killing the man, who appeared to be in his thirties despite pleas from a few sympathizers, who advocated he should be handed to the police instead.
After pouncing on him very had, giving him ( the victim) a thorough black and blue beating, leaving him with blood pouring out of his head and other parts of his body, the mob gathered used tyres on the hapless suspected Okada thief, and emptied a gallon of fuel on it and set the tyres aflame.
Surprisingly, the man managed to attempt to escape with the fire, but some of the youths went after him, hitting him and further smashing his head with big stones until, slashing his skull open.
However, it took the belated intervention of men of the Nigerian Police Force, who were soon drafted to the scene of the incident, to stop the mayhem.
The angry mob was immediately dispersed by the police, who shot sporadically into the air.
Peoples Daily reports that the partially burnt and bartered body of the victim was evacuated by the police into their vehicle to an unknown destination.