From Magnus Eze, Abuja
NO fewer than 38 persons have died in strange circumstances in Saburi 1, a slum settlement in the Dei-Dei axis of the Abuja Municipal Area Council (AMAC) of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).
Fear has gripped the area, once again, following the reported death of a 14-year old girl identified as Mariam Mustapha last weekend in similar circumstance.
When Daily Sun visited the place yesterday, there was still apprehension in the air.
The people were, particularly, worried that the cause of the death had not been made public.
Those who spoke to Daily Sun gave sketchy details of the calamity. They said victims would complain of headache or fever and possibly take medication from the patent medicine dealers, and the next you will hear is that they have died.
When this newspaper visited one of the private clinics there to seek the opinion of the medical personnel on the strange deaths, since there is no public healthcare facility in the area, a nurse, Ms Salome Maikalfi, who would not want the name of the medical facility mentioned, said the deaths were not ordinary.
Though none of the victims was brought to their hospital, she said the issue was more spiritual than medical.
“What we hear is that somebody will complain of headache; they will go to a local drug dealer and buy medicine. None of them went to the hospital, but, before you knew it, the person would die within two days.
“Most of the victims were said to have complained of seeing strange light rays or objects they could not describe in the night before dying,” she said.
However, the story making the rounds in the community was that the gods were not happy because the chief allegedly sold their grave yard to people to build residential houses.
Another resident, Blessing Sunday, who operates a food kiosk said they were still waiting for the outcome of the visit of the FCTA officials “who came and even tested the water in the area.
“They came here two times in February, and, till now no result. We didn’t hear anything from anybody. I can’t tell whether anybody cares about us again; you can see that the population of the community has reduced, many people have left, those of us remaining are in fear of what will happen next,” she said.
When Daily Sun visited the palace of the Dankaci Saburi 1, Alhaji Muhammad Yamwawo, he spoke through an interpreter and confirmed that the community recently recorded multiple deaths, but refused to comment on the allegation of sale of burial ground.
He, however, appealed to government to site a primary healthcare centre in the community, saying they have had to make do with private clinics or go as far as Kubwa for medical treatment.