Madam Rachael Esan Olajiga, the 72-year-old mother of Mrs. Oluwaseun Sunday, the pregnant woman that was shot and killed by a trigger-happy policeman in Akure last week, has refused to be consoled.
Madam Olajiga says she cannot live to witness the burial of her daughter, insisting that she would have to die and be buried before her daughter’s funeral.
The septuagenarian, who was surrounded by sympathisers at her residence in Supare Akoko in Ondo State, described the death of her daughter as devastating, adding that the calamity would surely put an end to her own life in no distant time.
“Definitely, I will not live to witness the burial of Seun. It’s an abomination. I will first be buried before my daughter,” the elderly woman noted.
The old woman, who had tears, flowing from her eyes, as she soliloquised, urged the Ondo State Government to ensure the release of her daughter’s remains after the police investigation, stating that, “at least, when her children grow up, they will be able to know where their mother was buried.”
“My plea to the government is to release the corpse of my daughter for proper burial without further delay and to also help me in sending the children of the deceased, who have been orphaned by the bullet of the killer policeman to school,” the old woman said.
Mrs. Oluwaseun Sunday lost her life on Tuesday, April 2, in Akure, the Ondo State capital, when a policeman (now dismissed), Abdul Alonge, fired at the vehicle, conveying her. The bullet from the police AK 47 rifle hit the pregnant woman, leading to her death.
The agonising septuagenarian, who was repeatedly asking rhetorical questions as to why it should be her nice and loving child that should die in such a miserable manner, told our correspondent at her father’s house, situated on Idofin Street, Supare Akoko where she resides that, “I never knew she came to bid me farewell when she came early on that Tuesday morning to discuss with me. After our discussion, she boarded a vehicle, going to Akure in my presence.”
Madam Olajiga said Seun, who was the fourth of her six children, was very caring, saying the deceased was always passionate about her welfare.
“My daughter left her house at 5, Ugbe Street, Supare, to celebrate the Easter holidays with me. She even bought many gifts for all the family members and she stayed here throughout Easter Sunday and Monday,” she recalled.
She said her late daughter was a very hardworking woman, recalling that the deceased was the first person to wake her up a few minutes after 5am on Tuesday, despite the stress Seun went through during the Easter celebrations.
The bereaved mother said Seun had informed her that she was going to Shasha market in Akure to purchase some groceries like pepper, tomatoes, okro, vegetable and the like, which she would later sell in Supare. Madam Olajiga said she and her late daughter were together in Supare until 7am when she boarded the vehicle to Akure.
She said she became worried when the deceased didn’t return on time, recalling that she sat in front of the house, asking all the familiar faces whether they heard anything either about her daughter or the friend with whom she had gone on the trip. She said she started getting worried when no one could provide her with an answer.
Madam Olajiga narrated that what she noticed later about 8pm was that a motorcycle, conveying two persons pulled up in front of her house, demanding to see her. She said none of the two young men uttered a word until a commercial vehicle also stopped by her house and the driver told her that her daughter had been involved in an auto crash and that she was terribly wounded.
She said the family mobilised immediately and five men went to Akure that evening, regretting that by the time the delegation returned at 12am, the story of her daughter had changed from accident to death from the bullet of a policeman.
“It is unfortunate because I learnt that the policeman is also a native of Akokoland. What I heard was that the vehicle that conveyed her and the friend to Akure left them to pick passengers and when they noticed that the man was wasting their time, my daughter and her friend negotiated with another driver, who agreed to take them and their goods but that he was still going to Akure town to drop some bags of garri and pick other passengers. So, in order to secure spaces for herself and her friend, she went with the driver to town where she met her untimely death in the hands of the trigger-happy policeman.
“I am not interested in pursuing any legal case against the culprit but all I know is that God will judge him accordingly. What I desire so much now is the release of the corpse of my daughter and what the government would do to ensure that the education of her four children does not stop. They lost their father to the cold hands of death in the year 2009 and now their hardworking mother is gone. So, who will take care of them? Her first born, Oluwatosin Sunday, is now in primary six, preparing for the secondary school. So, the government should help me.”
Madam Olajiga disclosed that her deceased daughter, who was 30 years old when she died, only studied up till JSS 3 at Agbogbo Grammar School, Supare, and she could not complete her secondary education due to financial constraints.
She said the death of her husband, Seun’s dad, in 2004 (he was a native of Ise-Ekiti in Ekiti State) forced her to relocate to her hometown, Supare, where her late daughter also joined her after the death of her own husband in 2009. She informed that her daughter rented an apartment at Ugbe where she resided until her untimely death.
A friend of the deceased, Miss Biodun Michael, who was an eyewitness to the incident, said they travelled to Akure in the morning and had finished purchasing their goods at the market before noon. She said they tried all they could to get a vehicle to convey their goods to Supare, saying her late friend became agitated when they were unable to get transportation at 5pm. She said the deceased was worried that her mother must have become agitated.
“That was why we approached one of our customers in the market, who in turn discussed with a driver that had just brought some bags of garri to the market. The driver told us that he was still going back to Akoko but that Seun should go with him to the town as he was still going to drop the rest of the goods and pick passengers from the town. So, to ensure that we were not stranded, she decided to join the driver in the car to secure spaces for herself, for me and our goods.
“When it was getting late and I didn’t see her and the driver, I became worried and went to the woman, who introduced the driver to us. She immediately called his line but the reply I got was shocking. The man said my friend had been shot by a policeman and they were already rushing her to the hospital.
“When we got to the scene of the incident, I only saw blood and her slippers and I ran into the bush where people came and got me out. I was later handed over to a vehicle and some people from Akoko, who brought me home. Her death is very painful to me. She was the one, who brought me back to life after the hard times I passed through over a year ago and since then, she never left me to suffer for a moment.”
The first born of the woman, Oluwatosin Sunday, who was too sad to talk, only muttered: “We will miss our mummy.”