By CHARLES KUMOLU
FOR the family of Sam Shaibu Negedu, their recent journey to Lagos was one they could not have wished for if they had their way. Reason: It was primarily to search for their loved one, Mr. Shauibu Sam, who leftAbuja full of life, but had this promising life cut short in the recent Dana air disaster.
Sam’s journey to eternity via this latest plane crash inNigeriastarted on Friday, June 3, 2012. On this fateful day, this former staff of one of the new generation banks inAbuja, called a friend who lives inLagosthat he would be visitingLagoson Sunday.
Unknown to this friend of Sam, who had known him since their days at Usmanu Danfodyo University,UDU, Sokoto, it would be the last time he would be speaking to his bosom friend.
In fact, when he attempted calling Sam at 8:30pm Sunday evening, what he got was a deafening silence and his once functional mobile number had remained so ever since.
This reporter,who is also a friend of Sam, had a similar experience, when he received a text that read thus: ‘’Shauibu was on that plane’’. And a peep into the plane’s manifest also confirmed that he was among the 150 people aboard the Dana ill-fated aircraft.
Since then, friends and family of the late banker, who had a young daughter, are trying to come to terms with his painful exit in that air disaster.
Already, the remains of the deceased are yet to be identified as he was among those who were burnt almost beyond recognition. As it is, health authorities are finding it extremely difficult to identify the dark skinned passenger.
Little wonder the deceased younger brother, Emmanuel and another relative, who were recently inLagosto claim his remains, have had a trying time identifying him. First, they were told by health officials that all bodies would have to go through a DNA test before they can be released. As at the time of filing this report, the family has gone back toAbuja, so they can come back next week for the result of the DNA test that was conducted.
Meanwhile, friends and well wishers have been paying tribute to Sam on his Facebook page. ‘’I can’t believe my eyes, Sam. You’ve been gone since Sunday and I’m just finding out.
I’m sorry I didn’t take your call on Monday 28th May; I thought I had all time in the world to talk with you. Who would call me “my daughter” like you used to? I would miss your kind heart and friendly teases. Rest in peace my kind, selfless and hardworking friend. May God grant you eternal rest,” Kaycee Emmanuel wrote.
Also, Ameh Otache Ngbede wrote: ‘’What an incident! Just like that? You looked so promising but I can’t just ask God why. Well, He knows the end from the beginning and nothing takes Him unawares. May your gentle soul rest in perfect peace, Amen!’’
Meanwhile, a United Kingdom-based law firm has indicated interest to assist the family of the victims in seeking legal action against the authorities of Dana Airlines. Spokesperson of the firm Mr. Elombah Daniel, who spoke to Vanguard Features, VF, said: ‘’We want to identify some victims family whom we can assist free of charges to sue DANA and any party responsible for the crash we will help them free to sue and get damages for them,.’’