The strange deaths in Kano have continued despite the assurance of government that the situation is under control.
On Sunday, Muhammad Garba, commissioner of information, had asked residents not to panic “as government is on top of the situation and the mystery or whatever it is will soon be unravelled”.
In the last one week, the state has recorded multiple deaths, with Sabitu Shaibu, deputy head of the state task force on COVID-19 putting the toll at 640.
The harvest of deaths continued on Sunday with the demise of Aminu Yahaya, a former commissioner of education in the state.
Yahya died at his residence located at Gandun Albasa quarters in the city and has been interred in accordance with Islamic rites.
For the second week running, residents have recorded deaths, especially among the elite. Tijjani Yola spiritual head of the Murtala Mohammed Central Mosque in Kano, is one of the persons to have died recently.
The renowned cleric died in the early hours of Tuesday the 28th.
“He passed away at his residence in Gwale quarters in Kano in the early hours of today and was laid to rest around 9am,” the source said.
Abdullahi Umar, a Kano resident, also confirmed the death of the cleric, saying people are in a sad mood in the ancient city.
“The death of Sheik Yola has left a big vacuum. He was managing one of the largest mosques in Kano. He was well known for his oral poetry extolling the virtues of Prophet Muhammad… Everything that happens in life is from Allah but this is shocking,” Umar said.
Uba Adamu, father of the vice-chancellor of the National Open University of Nigeria (NOUN), died in the early hours of Tuesday.
Adamu Sarawa, former speaker of Jigawa state house of assembly, is also among the bigwigs who have lost their lives in Kano. He died on Monday the 27th of April. Details of his death are sketchy.
Amid the wave of strange deaths, Halima Shittu, former chairperson of the Federation of Muslim Women Association of Nigeria (FOMWAN), Kano chapter, also lost her life.
Shittu reportedly died at her residence at NNDC quarter on Tuesday morning and has been buried in accordance with Islamic rites.
Mudi Mudi, a senior official of the Kano Secondary School Management Board (KSSMB), also died on Sunday.
TheCable had earlier reported the death of Balarabe Maikaba, a professor of mass communication, at Bayero University in Kano.
Maikaba died on Sunday afternoon.
The loss of lives in the ancient city not only affected the elite, the lower class of the society also had their share. A commercial transporter simply identified as Boluwaji passed away in the early hours of Sunday.
An Ogun born commercial driver better known as “Action Governor” also lost his life under strange circumstances on Sunday. A local businessman simply identified as Sunday slumped and died along Katsina road within Kano metropolis.
A witness said that the deceased was walking along the dual carriage way when the incident occurred. Residents were said to have called the authorities for the evacuation of his corpse but it was still lying there as of 5pm on Sunday when TheCable visited.
Some undertakers in the state had earlier expressed worries over the increasing rate of burials.
Osagie Ehanire, minister of health, had said the federal government had set up a panel to probe the strange deaths in the state.
The government of Kano, which had initially denied the rising deaths later described the situation as a serious but attributed the deaths to acute fever, hypertension and diabetes.
But the fact that the incidents happened during the coronavirus pandemic has made some residents worried. Before the laboratory where COVID-19 tests were conducted in the state was shut, Kano recorded 77 cases of the disease.
The laboratory, which has reportedly been reopened, was shut due to the exposure of some health officials to COVID-19 cases.
On Monday, the Kano government announced that “verbal autopsy” had commenced to ascertain the causes of the deaths.
In a nationwide broadcast on Monday, President Muhammadu Buhari ordered a total lockdown of the state for two weeks, saying investigation into the deaths was ongoing.
Femi Falana, human rights lawyer, has asked the federal government to publish the report of the panel probing the deaths in Kano.