Dispute over new ‘tenant’ in room leads to stabbing
August 25 2013 01:37 AM



A Nigerian man has narrowly escaped death after a fellow countryman stabbed him several times on his back, chest and head over a quibble last Monday.

The incident follows the stabbing to death of an Indian worker in a labour camp in the Industrial Area recently. The deceased had gone to the camp to inquire about the beating up of a compatriot by camp mates from another Asian country.

In the latest case, both the victim A N and the attacker O N hailed from the eastern part of Nigeria. O N,  who works as a safety officer in a construction company, has been living in Qatar for  three years.

The incident occurred when O N, who was the original tenant of a room he was sharing with A N and four others in an old villa in the Saibat Khalifa area, came back after packing out five days before, to introduce a “new tenant” as his replacement to his earlier roommates.

“A few days after he relocated to his own personal accommodation, he came to inform us that another guy will be replacing him in the room, but we refused and told him that we have all agreed not to take in anyone further because it was already crowded,” A N said.

According to him, each occupant of the room pays QR200 per month for a bed space with some of them sleeping on the floor as there were not enough mattresses .

“We did not complain  when he was staying with us because whenever we raised an issue, he used to plead with us to exercise patience and try to accommodate each other,” he maintained.

He explained that O N left in annoyance with the newcomer when he could not convince them to accommodate him.

“We were then surprised to see him come back and start removing the Internet cable to our room. I asked him not to remove the cable and that he has no right to it since we all contribute towards the monthly subscription,” the victim told Gulf Times.

“O N threatened to kill me with a  pair of scissors he was holding at the time if  I tried any further to stop him from removing the cable, claiming that it (Internet) belonged to him.

“When he continued with the disconnection, I struggled to collect the cable from him and headed towards our room. Then suddenly, he stabbed me with the scissors on the back twice. I was jolted and  turned around only to be jabbed in the chest and in the head.”

A N said it took the intervention of others to stop O N from stabbing him further.

“But instead of calming down he rushed to the kitchen and brought a knife to continue the assault. My colleagues snatched the knife from him before he could get to me and called the ambulance and the police.”

However, O N bolted before the police arrived and he has been on the run since, according to AN.

“I was rushed to the Emergency Department where my wounds were stitched and was later taken to the police station, alongside other eye-witnesses to give statements,” he added.

The old villa they live in has about  40 rooms which accommodate a few hundreds of people, including Nigerians and other nationalities, mostly Asians.

“Before the incident, we have lived in harmony despite our individual differences, with everyone going about their normal businesses. A majority of us living there have jobs while some are  waiting to finish their training in specialised programmes before looking for jobs,” A N, who is still searching for a job, said.

Expatriate males from Africa, notably from Nigeria and Kenya, have been arriving in Qatar in droves of late  in search of greener pastures.

Qatar is increasingly becoming an attractive destination to work for many people across the world due to its booming construction sector, which is opening up thousands of jobs ahead of the hosting of the FIFA World Cup in 2022.

The full names of the subjects have been withheld to protect their identity.

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