‘How my 9 fam­ily mem­bers died af­ter vis­it­ing new­born baby’

Weekly Trust - - News - Shehu Umar, Gusau

He was look­ing trau­ma­tised, yet to come out of grief, af­ter he lost his se­nior wife, Ha­jiya Bilk­isu, three daugh­ters, a son and four grand chil­dren in an au­to­mo­bile crash last week­end. When this re­porter ap­proached Al­haji Saidu Dan­bala Yar’ku­foji, who was sit­ting un­der a canopy at his res­i­dence in Yar’Ku­foji town re­ceiv­ing con­do­lences, he an­swered the prayer of­fered in a low tone.

Yar’ku­foji, the law­maker rep­re­sent­ing Bakura lo­cal gov­ern­ment area in Zam­fara State, said: “I’ve just re­ceived a call that my se­nior wife has passed on at a med­i­cal fa­cil­ity in Kano. She is now the last per­son to die among the vic­tims of the calami­tous road crash. There is noth­ing we can do ex­cept to sub­mit to the will of Almighty Al­lah,” he said.

“I mar­ried her in 1986. She was a very re­spon­si­ble, loving, and car­ing wife. She moth­ered all the four chil­dren who were lost in the crash. Some­time back, we had a mis­un­der­stand­ing and she sought for my for­give­ness, which I gave. I pray for her gen­tle soul and those of the chil­dren to rest in per­fect peace. May Almighty Al­lah grant them Al­jan­nat Fir­daus.”

“Late Ha­jiya Bilk­isu, and the chil­dren, were stay­ing in my res­i­dence here in my home­town of Yar’ku­foji. I have two other wives who were liv­ing in Gusau, the state cap­i­tal. The ju­nior wife gave birth to a baby, and they went to Gusau to see the baby. They had the fa­tal ac­ci­dent on their way back,” he added. The be­reaved law­maker fur­ther told Daily

Trust that one thing he could re­mem­ber was how his late chil­dren of­fered to help him when he was pre­par­ing for the wed­ding of their brother, called Mustapha. He said even when he re­jected the of­fer they in­sisted that they would help him.

Al­haji Ah­mad Us­man, an in-law to Yar’ku­foji, told Daily Trust that his 28-yearold preg­nant wife Luba­batu, and two kids, are among the vic­tims. “It was around 9pm that day some­body came knocking my door and told me that my fam­ily was in­volved in an auto crash on their way from Gusau. He knew at that time they were all dead, but he didn’t tell me. I quickly dashed out­side to in­quire about what ac­tu­ally hap­pened. I later learnt that they all per­ished. It was shock­ing. We were ex­pect­ing Luba­batu to de­liver some­time in May, but now I’ve lost her and our two kids. We also just re­ceived the death of her hos­pi­tal­ized mother,” he said, as he wept.

Us­man added: “Late Bilk­isu was the mother of all the four chil­dren of Yar’ku­foji who died in the ac­ci­dent. Then there’s Luba­batu who was my wife, Shafa’atu and her two sons, Hib­batu who was also preg­nant, and her son called Kasim. In all, the se­nior wife of Hon. Yar’ku­foji, his three daugh­ters and a son, and four grand­chil­dren per­ished.”

Al­haji Lawali M. Aliyu is an­other in-law to Hon. Yar’ku­foji. He lost his wife Shafa’atu, 27, and her two kids, 2-year-old Sak­ina and a twom­onth-old, Muham­mad Anas. “I’m dev­as­tated to the ex­tent that I can’t even sleep for a minute. I have noth­ing to say ex­cept to pray for their souls,” he said.

Nar­rat­ing his own part, Aminu Umar, who also lost his wife Hib­batu, said when his wife who was preg­nant as well, was pre­par­ing to em­bark on the jour­ney, she was look­ing sad. “I no­ticed that in the morn­ing she was wear­ing a sad look, so I asked her why. She said there was noth­ing wrong, and said good­bye, then left. You know we mar­ried five months ago, in De­cem­ber 2017. The way she waved at me when she left is what keeps com­ing back to me. She was so loving and car­ing,” he wept.

The driver of the golf ve­hi­cle, iden­ti­fied as Al­haji Yusuf Muham­mad, left be­hind 18 kids, and his brother told Daily Trust how the auto crash hap­pened: “On their way back from Gusau they ap­proached a truck con­vey­ing soft drinks com­ing from Sokoto. The truck sud­denly veered off its lane and swerved onto the Golf ’s. The truck driver seemed to habe been sleep­ing. Muham­mad tried to brake, but couldn’t, and the truck ran over them.”

The PRO of the Fed­eral Road Safety Corps in Zam­fara State, Mr. Nasir Ah­mad, con­firmed the in­ci­dent. He also said pre­lim­i­nary in­ves­ti­ga­tion had shown that the Golf car was over­loaded and both ve­hi­cles in­volved were speed­ing. He said the Golf car was sup­posed to carry not more than five per­sons, but was con­vey­ing 11 per­sons.

The fu­neral prayer for the vic­tims of the ac­ci­dent The fu­neral prayer for the vic­tims

Hon Saidu Dan­bala Yar’ku­foji

Aminu Umar, one of be­reaved hus­bands

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