An old one, but pure genius.
Angry crowd turns on cat that transformed into a "witch"
By Paul Sieveking
On 22 May, the story goes, three cats were crossing the busy Aba/Port Harcourt Expressway near Garrison Junction in Nigeria’s Rivers State when they were hit by an okada (motorcycle taxi). One escaped, another was killed, and the third, which was injured, writhed on the ground and turned into a woman, described by journalist Bolaji Ogundele as both “middle aged” and as “a beautiful young lady”. A crowd soon gathered, accused her of being a witch and began to beat her up with planks and anything else to hand. After the beating, according to an alleged witness who gave his name as Darlington, the woman said she and her two companions had taken the form of cats and had came to Port Harcourt from Abuja to kill three people with witchcraft. They had succeeded in killing two, but the third, “who I guess might be a pastor”, had proved too difficult to kill and they were preparing to go back to Abuja when the accident happened.
“I have never seen anything like this in my life,” said another man, who gave his name as James. “I saw a woman lying on the road instead of a cat. Blood did not come out of her body at that time. When people gathered and started asking her questions, she pretended that she did not know what had happened.”
When Bolaji Ogundele arrived, the cat-woman was sitting on the ground covered in blood. The right side of her face had a deep cut from what was gathered to be a cutlass. She told the reporter her name was Aisha Abdukareem Ibrahim and that her father was a soldier who worked at the National War College in Abuja.
Ogundele: Where do you live?
Cat-Woman: We are from Kogi State but we live at Gowon Barracks in Abuja.
O: What brought you here?
CW: They asked me to bring a head.
CW: They asked me.
O: Head of what?
CW: I was asked to come and bring human beings. I came with one yellow girl.
O: Where is she now?
CW: (Looks at faces in the crowd and frowns) I don’t know.
O: Did you take anybody?
CW: No, the woman delivered before we came.
The woman then became “incoherent” and several witnesses thought she was of unsound mind (although “in shock” might be an alternative diagnosis). Police intervened to prevent the mob from killing her. “She has been taken to Teme Clinic,” said Rita Inoma-Abbey, Public Relations Officer of the Rivers State police command. “Police will be guarding her so that she will not disappear” (Although if she were really a shape-changer she could presumably turn into a bird and fly away).
Another supposed witness told a different story. “I saw the accident as it happened,” he said. “I saw the car hitting a woman. I didn’t see any cat and it was surprising when everybody said she was a cat and started beating her up instead of helping her. Where is the other cat that they claimed was killed while trying to cross along with her? As far as I am concerned, that story of the woman being a cat or a witch was cooked up. She’s no cat. I think some people have remote-controlled her fate like this.”
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