A seven-month-old baby, killed by a stray bullet when gunmen attacked some police officers on Friday night, is a cost of growing insecurity in Nigeria. Little Fatima was buried, having been hit and killed by a bullet when gunmen attacked a police checkpoint in Kaduna. The bullet was lodged in her skull after piercing her elder sister’s arm. Munira, the sister, was carrying the sick Fatima on her back when the attackers struck.
The sisters went to a pharmacy to buy drugs and were by the door when the bullet sniffed Fatima's life.
Little Fatima was recovering from diarrhoea. She was an active kid learning to take her fists steps.
She was buried in the family’s cemetery in Kaduna North local Government Area on Saturday; her elder sister, Munira is still at a Military Hospital in Kaduna receiving treatment.
Gunmen riding on motorcycles had Friday night attacked a police checkpoint at the Kawo-Rafinguza junction in Kaduna metropolis. The bandits sprayed bullets on the apparently oblivious police officers, killing two instantly. Fatima and Munira were standing at the nearby pharmacy opposite to the police checkpoint. They were caught in the line of fire, and Fatima was hit in the head and died on the spot.
"Bullet went through Munira’s shoulder and hit Fatima, who was on her back, on the head," Baba, Fatima’s older brother, said.
Friends and family gathered Saturday to pour condolences during the burial. The Chairman of Kaduna North Local Government Area, Samaila Suleiman, was at the burial with promises of a better security.
Gunmen suspected to be members of Boko Haram have increased their attack on security officials in Kano and Kaduna States killing about ten police officers since the beginning of January.
Innocent people like Fatima and Munira are sometimes caught in the line of fire as the Nigerian Government seem helpless in dealing with the threat posed by the group.
Fatima’s family said they would accept any compensation from the Kaduna State Government and appealed to the government to ensure adequate security of lives and property in the state.
The late little Fatima [photo is published with the permission of her family]