How we're coping, by families of Offa bloodbath victims

Date: 2018-04-14

The Head of Operations of Stockcrop Microfinance Bank Offa, Mr Jamiu Adekunle Alawode was of the victims of the recent Offa armed robbery attack which led to the death of over 20 people and left scores injured. On Thursday last week, armed robbers attacked banks along Olofa Way in Owode Offa, and carted away undisclosed amounts of money, killing many in the process.

The family of one of the victims, spoke to Daily Trust, and recalled their brother's last moments.

The Chief Imam of Ijagbo in Kwara State, Alhaji Mufau Muhammed-Jamiu is the elder brother of late Alawode whose life was cut short by the robbers who angrily shot him when he could not find his car key when demanded for by the robbers.

Muhammed-Jamiu said his brother was killed less than 20 minutes when he left his office where he went to collect the money he helped him withdraw from Zenith Bank that day.

"Being a banker, my ATM card has always been with him and any time I need money, I will just call him and tell him the amount I wanted and he will withdraw and bring it to me. Same thing happened the day he was killed. When he finished withdrawing the money for me, he called me to come and collect it. I got there and left, but before I got home the news of the robbery attack reached me. I called him repeatedly but he did not pick his call but some minutes after that the news reached us that he has been killed."

Late Alawode, 39, was the last of nine children, said to have always been the pride of the family and his hometown. He left behind four children, a wife, and an aged mother of about 100 years.

His wife, Mrs Alawode, told Daily Trust that her life will now be meaningless without him. "I don't know what to say. How would I explain to my children what took away their pride?"

Even though the family are still in shock and still grieving over the death of their son, they appealed to government to help the wife and children, especially in the area of their education.

Late Alawode was buried a day after the incident, according to Islamic rites. Also speaking to Daily Trust, the wife of one of the police officers killed in the attack, ASP Julius Martins Pelemo Ayesanmi, 57, her life will never be the same again.

"The robbers will never know peace in their lives, as they took away my joy," Mrs. Celina Ayesanmi wept. The day, according to her, was the darkest in her entire life, when her source of inspiration, a loving husband, and caring father of her children was murdered.

'Pelemo' as he is fondly called joined the Nigeria Police Force 34 years ago, and he has served in various capacities waiting for his retirement next year.

"My husband loves his job more than anything. I got married to him three years after he joined the police and since then, there has never been a day he complained of being tired of the job. He goes out at any time of the day whenever they called him for any assignment. Most times, he abandoned his food to answer a call to duty, and whenever I complained, he will tell me that is what he took an oath to do, to serve his fatherland," the wife said.

To her, what happened to her husband is still like a nightmare, she told Daily Trust.

Late Pelemo who is from Ilaje in Ondo State served in Kwara for more than 15 years before his death. He served in Ilorin, Omun Arab and other parts of the state but he has always been in Offa because of his love for town, he settled his family there.

One of late Pelemo's daughter, Miss Bukola Ayesanmi, said her father was one in million to all of his kids. "I know my father is gone, but I demand for justice for him. Government should avenge his death. That would console us a little. The monsters should not be allow to move freely in the society," she said.

According to a family source, late Pelemo will be buried in Ilaje, in Ondo. The family solicited for the help of the Nigeria Police Force, so that the education of his children will not be affected.




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