Gyang Bere, Jos
His action and inaction that fateful day pointed to the fact that he was the happiest man on earth; having brought his long term dream of marrying the pretty and long awaited young lady, Keneng Rwang to reality. He had longed to marry his bride since she was 12 years old.
In fact, his joy knew no bounds as it was observed during the exchange of pleasantries with long term friends, family members, relations and well wishers who came from far and near to grace his wedding on Saturday April 13, 2019 in Bukuru, Jos South Local Government Area of Plateau State.
His belief was that the time has come for him to start enjoying a healthy marital relationship, having got a job and married the wife he so desired to have for the rest of his life on earth.
But, his expectations suddenly crashed because he died two hours after the wedding in a mysterious circumstance. His life was cut short at the peak of the wedding.
That is the tragic story of 45-year-old Felix Rwang Danjuma, a native of Rim district in Riyom Local Government Area of Plateau State who died at the Jos University Teaching Hospital (JUTH) two hours after his wedding on the fateful day.
Sadly, he died wearing his wedding suit while the bride was heading home in her wedding gown when the shocking news reached her. If a soothsayer had told him that he was not going to sleep with his wife that fateful night, he would have thought the seer was a fake.
Sadly, Felix couldn’t even witness the reception of his wedding where he was expected to dance in the fullness of joy with his bride and entertain his friends with choice wine and meal.
He was rushed to Jos University Teaching Hospital at about 3:30pm after the exchange of wedding vows at the church and gave up the ghost at 5:30pm. Right from the church, it was learnt that he started having strange feelings that made it difficult for him to breath.
On arrival at the hospital, those who knew him were hailing him in the male ward, a situation which attracted people to his bed. He danced and celebrated with people in the hospital after he regained consciousness. He was asking people to go and rest but those close to him said he was the one that needed to rest. News went round that Felix was in a stable condition and the bride was happy celebrating with her friends in anticipation that he was going to be discharged later in the day.
Felix later decided to sleep but failed to wake up two hours after he was brought to the hospital. Those who were beside his bed didn’t know that he was dead. It was discovered when they noticed tears in his eyes and blood gushing out of his nose.
The attention of doctors on duty was drawn immediately to his condition but it was too late to save his life as he was confirmed dead. The sad news turned the wedding celebration into mourning, the guests became sympathizers.
His death immediately generated lot of speculations. While some people were suspecting a witchcraft attack, other thoughts were running riot in the mind of the 24-year-old bride, Keneng who cried and wailed hoping a miracle would happen.
Beginning of the Journey
Felix was born into a polygamous family where his mother was the second wife. His mother abandoned him at the early age when his father died. He was left to fend for himself as growing up with his stepmother was not a healthy experience. Felix couldn’t bear the burden and as such fled the village after completing his primary school education for menial jobs in Lalong where he served as houseboy.
He worked hard to pass his SSCE and got admission to study Accounting at the University of Jos where he graduated in 2010 and thereafter got employment with Plateau State Universal Basic Education, Department of Information and Communication Technology (ICT).
He was awarded the overall best staff in 2017 due to hard work, dedication and commitment to work.
Bride’s sad story
Narrating to Saturday Sun how her hope of being together with her husband was dashed two hours after their wedding, the 24-year-old Kaneng said her husband became sick during the preparation for their wedding and recovered before the event.
She said: “He was hospitalized after our traditional wedding at Bingham University Teaching Hospital Jos and was discharged after some days. He was hale and hearty as the wedding plan was going on smoothly with high expectations.”
Three days to the wedding, he was struck with an ailment and was rushed to Jos University Teaching Hospital. After diagnosis, he was confirmed to be diabetic.
According to her, he was brought to the church from the hospital on the wedding day where they tied the nuptial knots with a vow to love each other till death parts them.
Keneng was not expecting that her husband would die in such circumstances. Her prayer was that he was going to be discharged from the hospital on the wedding day.
He was however returned to the hospital even before the wedding reception ended based on doctor’s advice. Her expectation was that her husband would return home that fateful day after medical examination. But unfortunately, he died.
“I felt terribly bad that I didn’t have the opportunity to carry his child, I couldn’t spend even a night in his arms but death snatched him away from my world and made me a widow at my prime age”, Kaneng, a primary school teacher and native of Zawang village in Jos South Local Government Area of Plateau state expressed shock that her husband died in such circumstances.
“It was a shock, a rude shock to me. It is not something I was expecting but I thank God for giving me the strength to cope with the situation. I know that he was sick, he had diabetes but I did not expect that he was going to die.
“Medically, they said it was diabetes that killed him, that was the medical report. When we started the wedding arrangement, he was fine although he had the diabetes long before now but he was okay until when the arrangement was getting to the peak and everything became abnormal.
“He was taken to the hospital and he was discharged and looking very fine. Suddenly, last week Wednesday before the wedding on Saturday, his breath changed and we decided to take him back to the hospital. “It was from the hospital that he came to the church for the wedding but he was okay and fine, we danced together on the wedding day, he was so happy and excited.”
Kaneng said Felix started eyeing her since she was 12-year-old when he would always tell her that he would wait for her to grow up and become his wife. The joke turned into reality in 2013 when Felix officially indicated interest in having a relationship with her and that grew to a marital union.
Chairman of the wedding planning committee and Felix’s colleague in the office, Michael Nuhai who drove him from the hospital and returned him was so surprised that Felix was dead.
He said amid tears that with blood gushing out of Felix nose after a peaceful sleep that afternoon showed that he died a painful death.
“I brought him back to the hospital at about 3:30pm based on doctor’s advice, people were celebrating and dancing with him in the hospital. He requested to rest and we left the hospital at about 5pm that Saturday, before we could get inside town, I received a call from the doctors that I should come back to the hospital, that my friend has given up.”
The funeral rites were conducted on Thursday April 18, 2019 at his village in Rim district of Riyom Local Government.