By DEMOLA AKINYEMI
ILORIN — The sight of the mutilated body of a three-year-old girl, Aliya Usman, killed by suspected ritualists, yesterday, threw residents of Ile Onigboro, Ita Elefun, Ita Ogunbo, Ilorin West Local Government Area of Kwara State, into deep mourning.
The bereaved family had earlier lost the immediate younger brother of the deceased to a strange illness about 10 months ago, making the death more pathetic.
When Vanguard visited the scene, the severed head of the victim was spotted at a refuse dump covered with a polythene bag while the remains of her badly mutilated body was deposited at a newly constructed soak-away pit.
Most of her body parts and organs were missing, and sympathisers rained curses on the callous and heartless killers.
Also, a red piece of cloth with a syringe carefully wrapped inside was found close to the severed head, lending credence to the assumption that her abductors drugged her before carrying out the dastardly act.
Narrating the incident, which occurred Tuesday, mother of the deceased, Aminat Usman, who wept profusely, described the death as a rude shock, adding that the family had lost the immediate younger brother of Aliya, AbdulSamad to strange illness about 10 months ago.
Amina said on that fateful day, when she woke up, she had hurriedly boiled rice for the family as Aliya didn’t eat her supper the previous day, adding that after she had eaten, she plaited hair, after which she was dressed in one of her beautiful clothes.
“However, I never knew that I was preparing her for the final journey home,” she added.
The deceased’s mother, a petty trader at Adabata, who relocated to Ilorin with her husband on the prompting of their parents to fully care for the children, said she became suspicious when the father, Tajudeen Usman, a driver, who plies the Ilorin-Lagos route at Sawmill garage enquired after the deceased at 12p.m. on the said day.
“I told him that she should be with the other children at her grand-father’s place. When I didn’t see her at the time I expected, I became very suspicious because this was very unusual of her.
“But after frantic search for her yielded no fruit up till about 7p.m., I became very apprehensive. At that moment, I felt cold. It was the shout from the search team later the next morning, at 6a.m. that threw the neighbourhood into agony.”