A man identified as 38-year-old Shafi’u Abubakar has been arrested for allegedly setting a mosque ablaze in Gadan village, Gezawa local government area of Kano State, during the early hours of Wednesday, leaving 24 individuals with various injuries.

The incident, which occurred around 5:20 during the early morning ‘Subh’ prayer, saw 20 adult males and four male children injured, who were transported to Murtala Mohammed Specialist Hospital for treatment.

According to reports, the assailant carried out the attack using gasoline to ignite the fire while worshippers were engaged in their morning prayers.

Eyewitnesses revealed that the arsonist locked the door of the mosque after setting it ablaze, trapping worshippers inside and exacerbating the severity of the situation.

One of the eyewitnesses, who spoke to Daily Trust, recounted the chaotic scene, stating, “It took time for people outside to become aware of the incident and rescue the victims who were struggling to break out of the burning building.”

Confirming the incident, a spokesman for the Kano State Police Command, Abdullahi Kiyawa, said preliminary forensic analysis showed that the explosion was suspected to be caused by petrol, while adding that the principal suspect, Shafi’u Abubakar, has been arrested.

“The suspect is currently in police custody, and a detailed investigation is ongoing.”

“The scene was cordoned off, and the victims were rushed to the hospital, where they are currently receiving medical care,” Kiyawa added.

Abubakar, in his statement to the police, cited a prolonged family dispute over inheritance as his motive.

“He said his action was purely in hostility following a prolonged family disagreement over the sharing of inheritance, and he did that for his voice to be heard,” Kiyawa reported.

The police assured the public that a detailed investigation is underway and that more information will be released in due course.