The spate of killings, banditry and kidnapping that is raging in some northern states of the country, especially Zamfara State, has sent thousands of innocent Nigerians to an early grave, and many have rendered homeless.
Among the many tragedies is the pathetic tale of one of the victims who lost his entire family and machines worth over N7 million in the violence. The ordeal of Olusanya Sunday Adeagbo, a mechanical engineer who hails from Akinyele Iga, Ibadan, Oyo State, might like fiction, but it is a true-life story.
After graduating from Ibadan Polytechnic, Adeagbo was posted to Kano State, where he did his National Youth Service and, because he was outstanding in his job, after the one-year compulsory service, Classist Metal Company Limited retained him.
He worked with company for close to three years before he resigned and relocated with his family to Tsafe Local Government Area of Zamfara State in 2017, where opened a workshop in his residence and was doing well, with his wife supporting the family as a trader. His children, a boy and two girls, were also doing well in school, until calamity struck.
He had a lot of equipment, such as lathe, milling, drilling, shaping, grinding and welding machines. Though they were fairly used machines, Adeagbo managed them to do several jobs like turning process, thread cutting, gear cutting, welding of metals, milling to different patterns, making holes by drilling, etc.
Unfortunately for the father of three, his wife, Funke, and three children became casualties in a bandits’ attack in February this year.
Narrating his ordeal at the hands of the bandits that raided the community in the morning of February 8, 2019, Adeagbo said the compound where he lived, including his workshop, was set ablaze by the hoodlums, but he managed escape,. However, his wife and children were not so lucky, as they were burnt in the building.
The attack, which took place while the people of the community were asleep, claimed many residents, with some of them kidnapped and many houses razed to the ground. Because most of the residents could not escape, they perished in the inferno.
Adeagbo said he notice strange persons prowling the area when he came out to urinate in the wee hours, and not long after that the town was sealed by the bandits at about 1:15am as there were no security operatives in sight.
Adeagbo said the hoodlums started shooting randomly, which caused a stampede as residents tried to escape. He tried to wake his wife and children, but before they could get up the compound was on fire.
In trying to recall what happen on that sad day, Adeagbo, who wept bitterly, said when he heard the first gunshots, he thought the bandits would not come near his dwelling but then he saw the building they lived engulfed in smoke and in the process of rescuing his wife and children, he heard a big blast and he passed out.
He later woke up in care of a Good Samaritan who rescued him. He said he sustained severe injuries in the attack. He was taken to a ‘chemist’ shop where he received first aid before he was moved to a health centre in Tsafe.
His words: “When I heard the gunshots and suddenly smoke filled the house, I tried to rescue my family, but I was overwhelmed by the smoke and I passed out only to wake up and I realised that I had lost my entire family.”
To Adeagbo, having lost his family, all hopes are gone.
Th engineer has returned to his hometown to pick up the pieces of his life, but another chapter of trouble opened for him as he was recently kidnapped and ransom demanded.
Daily Sun gathered that Adeagbo had nobody to pay the ransom and he had no option but to ask his friends to sell the property he inherited from his late parents to pay the ransom.
Currently, Adeagbo is roaming the streets of Ibadan begging to survive because he has no means of livelihood as he has nobody or family to fall back on. He is appealing to well-meaning Nigerians to come to his aid.