By Suzan Edeh, Bauchi
One day, we will all die and when the time comes, there is nothing that can be done about it. Death is a debt every living soul must pay when the time comes”. These were the last words that Babangida Mohammed Danbaba, a Police Inspector attached to the Government House Bauchi, said to one of his colleagues at work.
About two weeks later that statement turned out to be a self-fulfilling prophecy. The death of Babangida, popularly called IBB, has left family members and his colleagues in shock because nobody expected that he would die so soon.
His death, which is still shrouded in mystery, happened on November 18, 2012. This was precisely around 5.40 am. Vanguard Metro,VM, gathered that on that fateful day, the late Babangida, along with his son, Ukashat, woke up early in the morning to go the mosque located along Nasarawa Road.
Having concluded his prayers, he left for home unaware that he was being trailed by some assailants who subsequently shot at him three times. They thereafter left him in his pool of blood. According to a source who spoke to VM on grounds of anonymity, the incident threw the entire Gwalaga community, a suburb in the state capital, into mourning just as fear now grips the entire residents of the area.
According to a source who spoke to VM on grounds of anonymity, the gunmen escaped immediately after the incident.
One of Babangida’s colleagues, Muhammed, who told VM that he was among those who conveyed Babangida’s corpse to the mortuary, said: “When I saw the lifeless body of my colleague I could not recognise him because of the bullet wounds, about three of them on his body. There was one on his chest, another one on his left hand shoulder, while the other bullet wound was on his leg”.
Confirming the incident to newsmen, the Bauchi State Commissioner of Police, Mohammed Ladan, said the police are still investigating the matter and appealed to the people of the state to assist the police with relevant information that could lead to the arrest of the perpetrators.
When VM visited the Home of the late Babangida in Anwa Gwalaga, the entire members of the family were in a mourning mood. Friends, colleagues, relatives in and outside the state came to commiserate and condole the family over the tragic incident. It was clearly evident that the family had lost one of the breadwinners and pillars of the family.
The wife of the late Police Inspector, Hajiya Hauwa Babangida, who was still in shock over the death of her husband narrated to VM what happened on that fateful day. She said: “My husband got up early Sunday to go and pray in a nearby mosque in the area.
It was almost 6 0’clock in the morning and I was still in bed. Then I heard several gunshots. I did not know where the gunshots where coming from, so I came out to ensure that all the doors to the house were properly locked. When the gunshots ceased I started hearing screams and people mourning, but I refused to go out. It was later that somebody came and told me that my husband was attacked and killed by gunmen”.
Hajiya Hauwa, who described her husband as a friendly, peaceful and loving person, wondered why some persons will kill him when he had done nothing to offend them. She prayed God to grant his soul eternal rest.
His aged mother, Hajiya Rukayat Danbaba, who resides in Kano State also could not hold back her grief. According to her, IBB was so dear to her and was one of her favorites. She recalled the last discussion she had with him on phone, saying: “I complained to him that I lacked appetite and he asked me what I wanted to eat.
I told him that I would like to eat chicken and he instructed a member of the family to kill four chickens and roast them for me. My son also asked me if there was anything I lacked and I said no since he provided for me. In an emotion-laden voice, she lamented thus: “I have lost two sons in my life.
The other one was also a policeman like Babangida, although in his own case he was ill. My late sons were the pillars of my life. They ensured that I lacked nothing, now they are gone. I know Babangida to be a very peaceful, friendly and easy-going person. He hardly makes trouble with anyone and I wondered why someone will just kill him”.
Some of the staff of Government House who spoke to VM described late the Babangida as a very accommodating and hardworking person who took his job seriously.