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Tuesday, March 9, 2010

3 minutes of silence for Leke Akande, Tola Odusola, and Ibukun Oluwatosin Akinjogbin

Kindly if you are reading this, please observe 3-minutes of silence for Leke Akande, 23years old; Tola Odusola, 20years old; and Ibukun Oluwatosin Akinjogbin, 23years old……..
The above are three members of the National Youth Service Corps, who were until their death serving in Pankshin, Jos central, in Plateau State. They lost their lives, were murdered in the recent crisis in Jos.
Questions to ask: q1) were they mere casualties of an uproar or were the murders planned? q2) we they killed because of their religious convictions? q3) were they killed out of inter tribal sentiments or because they failed to show their support for a particular political party.
We can ask so many questions but none of the answers we may find will bring back the dead.
According to various media reports, members of the All Nigerian Peoples’ Party, who, suspecting they were about to lose the elections to the dominant party in the state, the Peoples’ Democratic Party, took to the streets in protest, especially as they claimed that the election was being manipulated in the favour of the PDP candidate.
The manner in which the protest took place cannot, however, be said to be mere protest. With the huge number of people involved in the act of protest and the kind of weapons of mass destruction used to wreak havoc, it can be concluded that the riot was pre-planned, probably an act of defense on the part of ANPP who must have believed that with the rigging tendencies PDP was largely known for, they would be dealt an unfair hand in the election.
It had to be, for even if a protest was to be staged against electoral injustice, it needed not be against innocent citizens who probably did not even vote in the elections. Of course, there were killings and reprisal killings and that generating into a larger crisis, soon assumed a religious dimension.
Words are not enough to express the sadness felt when a life is lost. The positions occupied by the above promising Nigerians, in their respective families can not be replaced. Money will not replace them. Time will not replace them. Nothing will. I pray that God Almighty will bring succour and comfort the the parents, brothers, sisters and family members of the deceased.
May their gentle souls rest in Perfect Peace.
‘My son’s killing in Jos is Satanic’
Three young men on the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) scheme in Jos were on Friday morning killed in the rampage that broke out over the council polls. They were among the hundreds killed in the crises. Joke Kujenya spoke with family members of one of the victims, Ibukun Akinjogbin
The gloom that pervaded the Lagos State Low Cost Housing Estate, Meiran, Ojokoro, Lagos, residence of Mr. and Mrs. Akintola Tokunbo Akinjogbin, yesterday can be felt with touch. The woman, emotionally broken, laid on the bed while female members of her family and friends sat around to share in her grief. Her eyes bore the image of a woman that is wearied from shedding excessively painful tears.
The second son of the family, young Mr. Ibukun Oluwatosin Akinjogbin, 23, was one of the fifty people whose lives were brought to a cruel end by the rampaging voters in Jos on Friday morning. He was killed along with his nephew, Mr. Leke Akande, 23, and a friend, Mr. Tola Odusola, 20, all youth corps members, in the home of Ibukun’s uncle, Mr. Bisi Akinjogbin, an Abuja-based businessman. The hatchet men, who broke down the high gates and stormed the residence along Katako Junction by 7Up depot in Jos about 9.15am on Friday morning; caught down the three young men in the presence of Mrs. Doyin Akinjogbin, the uncle’s wife while her daughters also watched in horror.
Mrs. Doyin Akinjogbin is already placed under sedation as a result of the shock she suffered from witnessing the killings of the young men in her home.
The three men were among the scores of youths doing their one year mandatory youth service scheme in Pankshin, Jos central, in Plateau State, till they were killed.
Riot had broken out in Jos on Thursday, due to attempted manipulations with the results of the local government polls. The election was said to have been widely won by the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), candidate.
Mr. Akintola Akinjogbin, who seemed to be taking the incidence with calmness, said the killing of his son is “barbaric, satanic and uncalled for.”
One of the three youth corps members, Ibukun Oluwatosin Akinjogbin, a 2001 to 2003 Quantity Surveyor student from the Obafemi Awolowo (OAU), Ife, was said to have been in contact with his family on phone up till the last minute that life was ebbed out of him.
According to the father while narrating the gory ordeal, Ibukun was about coming to Lagos when the incident caught up with him without prior warning. He said prior to that day, the late young Akinjogbin had finalised plans to visit Lagos after a while.
He said: “My son had reported for the NYSC on August 26, 2008. We were in constant touch with him because mine is a very closely knit family. He would have actually returned to Lagos on Thursday but could not because it was rather late. So, I called him around 6. 20a.m on Friday morning and he said he was on his way to the park. Then later, he called that he was going back to his uncle’s home because the riot going on in Jos was quite heated. I said it was a good decision. So, he ran back into the house and we remained in touch.
“From that time, there were several calls and it was as if he was giving us situational reports. Then, his elder brother, Kayode Akinjogbin, an Investment Analyst with Lead Capital in Lagos, took over from me and kept monitoring his brother.”
Speaking, Kayode said Ibukun started asking for prayers. “Please start praying for us’’; he had begged. “They are moving towards our side of the town. In fact, they seem to be getting close to our gate. Please pray Bro. Kayode. They are outside our house now. I don’t know why they came to us but they are here,” Ibukun was reported to have said.
“Now, our gates are down,” were the last direct words the young man could say to me, said Kayode. “Then I started hearing him beg them. Later there seemed to be some struggles but my younger brother was still pleading. Then, I heard cries and I was afraid while at the same time shouting his name. I heard the voices of women screaming and praying to God for help. For some time, everything seemed to get silent but by this time, I was almost running crazy when my colleagues in the office grabbed my phone from me to calm me down.
“A few minutes later, after I had regained my composure, I picked my phone to call my younger brother. But it was a Hausa man that replied me. And he said in Hausa tone and seemed to be mocking at the same time: ‘Ya broad, im dey die, im det die…hHa ha, now, im don die’. And at that point, the phone went dead. And that was when I blacked out too,” Kayode said.
Akinjogbin senior said his son had come to the Uncle’s house because of the visit to Lagos. “The uncle is like their father over there. They all go to his house whenever there is need. Ibukun served as a Works Officer with the Pankshin Local Government council because he was a Quantity Surveyor. But what can I do now than to throw my hands up to God and accept my fate?
“My concern however is why the Nigerian government should subject our children to death on annual basis? Every year, Youth Corpers die in their numbers. The government should please scrap this programme. Parents would have laboured to educate their children and in the process of doing the youth service, those children will die. This is very unfair,” Akinjogbin said.
“Ibukun was a core gentleman. He was very quiet and easy-going. Everyone that ever dealt with him knew that. And how can a people kill such a young man? Nigeria is one country and we should all learn to accommodate one another regardless of religious differences. As a matter of fact, how does a political riot change to religious fight? This is why government must tame these people up North. They can’t just be killing innocent people and go scot-free all the time. If they have been dealt with in time past, they wouldn’t have done it again. For me, the NYSC stuff is a bad taste that has left a traumatic mark in my family. I just pray God to grant my wife the grace to bear the incident with calm equanimity.
Kayode also described late Ibukun as a promising, enterprising and diligent and gentle young man that everybody said something good about in his life time. “Rather than brawl, Ibukun will usually hold his peace over any issue. Sadly now, he has been caught off in his prime with his hopes and aspirations all gone with him.”
In another instance, a young youth corps member, Mr. Gesham Jagboro, 26, a graduate of Geology from the Federal University of Technology, Akura (FUTA), was reported dead in an automobile accident in Lokoja, while returning from Jos where they had gone to attend a Christian conference, last weekend. According to family members, young Jagboro was among the few corps members chosen by his team of corps members to represent them at the programme.
Mr. Akinjogbin said the charred remains of his son’s body would be brought to Lagos on Monday so that he can be given due burial.

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