By SUSAN EDEH, Bauchi
Days after, grief-stricken family members of Mr Yakubu Wakili, a traditional title holder in Alkeleri Local Government Area in Bauchi State, are still trying to come to terms with a most unusual tragedy that befell them recently. Indeed it was a tragedy that threw most residents of the Bayara community, a suburb in Bauchi, into mourning.
Yakubu, a prominent figure in the community, and his wife met their untimely death on their way to church on the Sunday morning of April 28, 2013 along the Bauchi/Dass highway.
Vanguard Metro, VM, gathered that Mr Yakubu and his wife were killed at the junction of the road leading to their house by a fast moving vehicle. On that fateful day, the couple left their home at around 6.15 am to attend a send-forth prayer of a close relative who was getting married the following Saturday. It was learnt that Mr.Yakubu carried his wife on a motorcycle to the church because their car developed an electrical fault.
An eyewitness who pleaded anonymity told VM that tragedy struck when a fast moving vehicle veered off its lane and made straight for Yakubu’s motorcycle.
He said: “The impact of the crash led to the instant death of Yakubu’s wife whose body was almost torn asunder as a result of the crash. But Mr Yakubu lived long enough to be rushed to the trauma centre at the Abubakar Tafawa Balewa Teaching Hospital, while the body of his wife was taken to the mortuary. Initially, Mr Yakubu battled for hours for his life at the hospital; unfortunately it turned out to be a lost battle as he eventually died as a result of complications due to some internal injuries he sustained from the accident”.
When VM visited the residence of the late Yakubu Wakili at Bayara village, the atmosphere was palpable with grief as the bereaved family members mourned the painful loss of their parents. It was clear that life will never be the same for them as two important pillars of the family were no more.
One of the daughters, Mrs.Liatu M. Gyus, who works with the office of the state Accountant General told VM that the whole incident was still like a dream because she never envisaged that she will lose her parents on the same day and at the same time.
According to her: “On that Sunday, my parents got up early in the morning to attend a send-forth prayer of a close relation at a nearby ECWA church. Initially my father wanted to use his car, but it developed a fault, so he decided to use his motorcycle, which is something that he has not done for a very longtime.
When my parents got to the junction of the road, a fast moving vehicle lost control and hit them. From what I gathered from eye witnesses, the driver was making a call, so he was not concentrating. By that time I was in my house which was close to our family house and was not aware of what happened.
From my house I heard people screaming on top of their voices, so I decided to go out and see what was happening. When I got to the scene of the accident, I met a great crowd of people and from the way they were screaming, I knew that the accident was very fatal and the people affected had died, not knowing that my parents were involved in the crash.
“When I asked who the accident victims were, nobody answered me. I noticed they will look at me and cry the more. So I decided to brave it and get close to the victims of the crash. When I approached where my mother’s body laid, I recognised the wrapper she was putting on the day before the accident.
When I saw the lifeless body of my mum, I collapsed and fainted. The people around, tried to make me gain consciousness by pouring water on me. My dad, at that time was still conscious, so I had hope because he was still talking, but when he arrived the hospital after some couples of hours, his situation deteriorated and so he died”.
Mrs Gyus who said she will miss her parents described them as peaceful and an easy-going people in the community because they have been of tremendous assistance to so many people in the state.