Next week, the Zaawiyatu Mujeebid-Da’wah (ZAMDAT), the society he founded is to hold its first Ramadan lecture, but, while the programme will still hold as scheduled, the convener will be absent. Late Islamic cleric, Sheik Yusuf Tanimola Abd’Salam, 36, with his wife and four children last Tuesday were murdered. It was a tragic end to a family well-known and respected. For the murdered cleric, his middle name ‘Tanimola’ aptly captures the tragedy, as it means “Who knows tomorrow?” in Yoruba. Abd’Salam’s eldest child was Lateefa (11), with twins Ahmad and Hamid (undisclosed age), and Ramat, the youngest who was two-years-old.
It was around 7.00am, but the gates of house No.2 Abiodun Bakre street, Atiba in Odogbolu few kilometers to Ijebu Ode were firmly locked from inside. That “Sheik” as he was popularly called had not opened his gates at that time of the day was strange.
A close relation had visited as always to pick children to school, but met the unpleasant development. A call was put through to the family house, at Ipamuren few kilometers to Ijebu-Ode. Personal Assistant to the father of Abd’Salam, Alhaji Ahmad Al-Buroughy, said: “Immediately, we directed them to get into the compound and find out what is happening. The shocking news was broken that they were found dead, except the wife. We directed she immediately be rushed to the hospital. But she also gave up the ghost.”
“Surprisingly, there weren’t gunshots, machete cuts or knife marks visible. It appears they were bludgeoned with a blunt, heavy object,” he said, adding that before they were buried, postmortems were carried out at the General Hospital, ijebu-Ode.
Al-Buroughy said that the deceased’s event will go ahead as planned. “We are going ahead. It is going to be part of the last honour for him and his family.
The traditional head, Baale of Atiba, Alhaji Jimoh Rabiu, said the tragic and shocking murders have brought about the need to ward off evil spirits and cleanse the community. “In the history of this Atiba town, I have never witnessed this, and I am 76 now, so you can imagine. We want to seek assistance of government in whatever they think is necessary to be done to carry it out for us. This one is just too much to bear.”
State Commissioner of Police, Ahmed Iliyasu, vowed that the command will make sure the killers are arrested and brought to book. “We have launched a manhunt to track the perpetrators. The modus operandi suggests the collaboration of an insider or somebody who has grudges, but we will hunt them down.”
One of the deceased’s relatives, Abdulhammeed Ahmad, appealed to the police to help get justice. He also decribed the late ‘Sheik’ as a humble person, generous to a fault, easygoing and gentle. “The perpetrators should not go unpunished,” he said.