“Spirit” Fire Consumes Sokoto, Takes 43 Lives, Destroys N50m Worth Of Property

In this piece, ANKELI EMMANUEL reports on the gale of mysterious fire that has swept across Sokoto State, destroying houses and properties worth millions of naira, while taking the life of a woman and her baby.

Burning Fire

Wonders, they say, shall never end. A visit to Tsalibawa Kabobi Area, Sokoto North, Waziri ‘A’, Kofar Marke within the metropolis would not only send cold shivers down your spine, but also leave you speechless, as spirit fire mysteriously killed a woman, (Baraka Mohammed) and her baby at Gidan Mode Lofa and continues to lick the walls of most families within the vicinity.

The spirit fire, which has inflicted untold hardship on most victims, has a mission yet to be understood by the locals.

Although, fire could be subjected to diverse interpretation depending on semantic application.

However, the Sokoto Tsalibawa Spirit fire by realistic understanding belongs to the rapid, persistent chemical change that releases heat and light accompanied by flame, especially the exothermic oxidation of a combustible substance.

Bearing the above in mind, the tetrahedron of fire could be said to include Fuel (anything that can burn), Heat (enough to make the fire burn) and Air (oxygen to sustain the fire). Fire, is as well categorised into A, B, C and D depending on the fuel type.

Household fire is majorly believed to be caused by either, Human Error, General Negligence, Faulty Electricity or Flammable and Combustible Materials and is spread most times by Conduction, Convection and Radiation.

But amazingly, the Sokoto Tsalibawa Spirit Fire defiles all known causes and classes of fire as it cannot be attributed to anything other than mystery beyond human imagination.

Narrating the genesis of the Spirit Fire, the Maianguwa (Area Head), 66 years old Muhammadu Maikwusa told LEADERSHIP Friday that, they have been battling with the strange development for over three months now.

“I have lived in Sokoto all my life and I have never heard of any such mysterious fire. It all started from the time of the 2015 Presidential election and since then, we have continued to try to find a solution to the Spirit Fire, yet all is to no avail”.

When asked whether they hitherto made promises or sacrifices of any sort to deities before now, Mainaguwa simply said ‘No’ to the best of his knowledge.

“Our fathers are devoted Muslims. And we cannot remember them worshiping any gods apart from Allah.”

“Though, we cannot say precisely what must have been the cause of the Tsalibwa Spirit Fire. We however bear it in good fate believing that, it is simply a temptation from Allah. And we are, as well trusting Allah for a remedy”

Giving vivid account of victims of the Sokoto Spirit Fire, Maikwusa said, they are now over 43 and that the figure could get higher with time hence the Spirit Fire has not stopped.

Maikwusa, divulged that the Spirit Fire was first noticed in the house of one Hajiya Ashshibi and since then has continued unabated.

“The Spirit Fire has touched the house of Sanusi Barawa, Altine Ummaru, Usman Mai Yan Kunne, Rakiya Aliyu, Iyalan Margayi Musa, myself, Alh. Muhammadu Mainguwa, Saldu Tsari, Ummu Abu Mai Tifa, Mallam Garba Driver, Hajiya Abu Abubakar, Kawwali Mai Atamfa, Lawwali Tallabe, Dankawu Driver, Gidan Mode Lofa (where Baraka Mohammed and her child was killed), Musa Gudu, Alh. Muhammadu Mai Gadi Kasuwa, Alh. Mustapha Isah Danbaba, Alh. Ibrahim Isa Danbaba and Kasimu Tanko.

“Others are, Abu Mu’azu Danjabalu, Lawawali Jola Hajiya Yassidi Abubakar Tambuwal, Sirajo Mohammed, Zara’u Muhammed, Bello Wundy, Alh. Yusuf Kofar Rini, Bashiru Mana, Ummaru Mohammed, Mudi Alh. Ruwa, Alh. Garba Sanda, Bello Dan Oga, Alh. Bala, Attahiru Gidan Ruwa, Faruku Na. Alh. Shehu Maiyadi, Tujani Jibril, Mujtaba Musa, Hajiya Baba, Hajiya Alado, Hawa’u Jibrin, and Altine Galadima D/Daji among others yet to be included”.

On the motive of the Spirit Fire, Ibrahim said, he cannot be specific, but he however, has the conviction that is to simply kill, render them homeless and make them objects of empathy, hence, the entire household now sleeps on the bare floor because fire has consumed all their mattresses.

“The most frightening aspect of the mystery is that, money and other valuables kept inside will also get missing without anybody entering the house”. Ibrahim pathetically cried.

Narrating her ordeal in the hands of the Sokoto Spirit Fire, 75-year-old Lantana Abdullahi, whose house was completely razed down, said, she saw fire burning from under the mattress and raised alarm after which, people came and put the fire off, but could not avert the unexpected.

“When they succeeded in putting off the fire, before they could reach their houses, we now saw fire again from the wall of the next room and while we raised alarm, we saw fire again from the top of the roof and when the people came it had overtaken everywhere. The fire burnt down our house completely and now we sleep outside.”

Both 67-year-old Abubakar Maisalibawa and 40-year-old Aminu Husseini, whose houses and properties were destroyed by the Spirit Fire said, the fire could come out from both the ground, under bed, mat, wall and even trees planted in the house.

“I went to assist Abubakar Maisalibawa in putting off the fire that started in his house, while we were there, I was called upon that, fire had also started in my own house and before I knew it, it had razed down my house. My wife narrowly escaped death because she was inside and the ceiling fell down on her”, Husseini narrated.