By Femi Bolaji, Jalingo
It is the joy of parents to die at old age and before any of their children, but for Mr Mukadas Maigari, a resident of Gembu in Sardauna Local Government Area of Taraba State, the death of his 29-year-old son, Abdullahi, sometime in September 2014, has created a big vacuum in his lineage.
The pain he felt four years ago, after the demise of the son, is the same even now, as grief and anger still boils within him owing to the untold hardship those who sent Abdullahi to his early grave plunged the family into.
His unfulfilled dream, as a promising young man in his prime, is one of the realities the family is still battling with, being the youngest son without an offspring to pacify the grieving souls of his parents and siblings.
Abdullahi, who was a corporal in the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps, NSCDC, and attached to Takum until his death, was said to have been poisoned.
The young man was into buying and selling before his recruitment into the NSCDC in 2009 and had built a business empire that provided his daily needs and those of his family.
He sustained the hustling spirit as an officer of the corps which provided extra income for him, bringing much happiness to his family who were immediate beneficiaries.
But all of his dreams and aspirations for his business and career came to an end in September 2014 when he died of poison, a mystery yet to be unravelled four years after.
Narrating the circumstances surrounding his son’s death, the father, Maigari, told Sunday Vanguard that Abdullahi died some days after withdrawing N1.3 million to expand his business.
The said money, according to him, was meant for the purchase of honey in Bali and to be supplied to a company in Lagos.
He explained that a post-mortem examination carried out by medical doctors at Jankwanu Hospital where the son gave up the ghost revealed that he was poisoned.
“He died in the hands of his girlfriend in the hospital. And this is the same girl that later went away with his ATM card which she was later using to withdraw money from his account”, the bereaved father lamented.
“Abdullahi called me to say he had withdrawn some money and that he will be coming to purchase honey in Bali a week before he died. When the news of his death got to me, I was shocked.
“There was a friend staying with him called Sule Sale. He was the one who informed me that my son was dead. Prior to when he died, l had no idea my son was living with somebody but when l asked him who poisoned my son, he said he didn’t know.
“On getting to his house three days after his death, Sule had washed my son’s room and packed all his property aside. I was initially furious because, in our tradition, the family of the deceased is supposed to be the one to do what Sule did, but I had to let the sleeping dog lie.
“We searched his entire room after burial for the money he had withdrawn but we could not find it. The transaction alert was on his phone but, till date, we can’t tell of the whereabouts of the money.
“We also searched for his ATM card which at that time we couldn’t find. I asked Sule and his girlfriend, Blessing, if they knew where his ATM card was but none of them gave a positive response. So we took some of his properties and left.
“Five months later, we discovered that his girlfriend, Blessing, had been doing some withdrawals with his ATM card from his UBA bank account.
“We got to know of this when I informed the Jalingo branch of the commercial bank that he was dead after presenting all the documents needed.
“Through the help of the camera on the ATM, the bank was able to capture her picture while she was making a withdrawal from his account with the missing ATM card in Takum.
“I had to arraign her before a magistrate court in Jalingo after her arrest and she was later granted bail.
“I really wanted to continue with the case because the whole family was very annoyed, but following pleas from members of my community and hers, I had to withdraw the case from the magistrate for God to judge because no prosecution can replace the lost soul.
“Though we were able to get some refund from her, she has lost our trust forever for her insincerity because of her greed.”
According to him, his greatest regret was that his son’s humanitarian services in his immediate community, which gave him respect among his peers, had been suffering setback since his demise.
He said; “So many youths in Takum were angry when we were about to bury him. I had to beg them for more than one hour before we were allowed to do the burial.
“They demanded that we must fish out those who poisoned him before they will allow us to do his burial. They said he had been helping a lot of them, and even some of the officers of the NSCDC who were his friends recounted how he had helped them financially times without number.
“In fact, one of his friends who he gave N25, 000 to process his UME met me and burst into tears, and l had to console him as a father.”
Lamenting his sadness as a father who buried his own son, Maigari told Sunday Vanguard that his son’s unfulfilled dream will forever be his greatest pain among other things.
“He was a 200-level student at Federal University Wukari and he had this dream of rising to the top of his career in the Civil Defence”, the father stated.
“Because he was in school studying was one of the things holding him back from marriage. Though before his death, marriage plans were in the pipeline, everything is now futile. He neither had a wife nor a child.
“He had built a business empire for himself, and he wanted to expand the business; that is why he started supplying honey to Lagos, and the profit from his first trip was double his investments.
“He had cows and a shop where he sold rice and other things, but since his death, all his plans on all his investments just sank.
“Among the cows, we have only two left and the rice business is no more. If he were to be alive, he would have changed the fortunes of the family and this big hollow, the pains we are still nursing, wouldn’t have been there.”