A grieving father, Francis Idoko, yesterday relived his last moments with his son, Paul, who was killed by a train around Arab area in Kubwa, Abuja on Friday morning.
Speaking to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) at his residence located at Arab Road, few kilometres to the scene of the accident, Idoko said the 27-year-old Paul had gotten ready to go to work about the same time he (Francis) was ready.
The staff of the National Universities Commission (NUC) said, “At about 7:15 a.m., as I prepared to go to work and Paul came into my bedroom to greet me because he was ready to go to work too.
“When Paul came in, his mother was lying on the bed. And I asked the mother if she had N50 change because my neighbour usually gives me a ride to Maitama Junction from where I take a cab to complete my journey to my office.
“’His mother said he had no smaller naira denomination note as well but Paul said he had change.He brought out N200 and told me, Daddy, I hope the taxi driver can get a change with this. I said yes, thank you and left.
“’When I got to the office at about 10.30 a.m., my friend called me and asked me to call him back that there was an emergency. I called him back, he said your son is dead and I replied ‘it is not possible!’ This was the boy that gave me transport this morning.
“Later my neighbour, Hassan, also called me to tell me. I called my wife, who was in the living room watching TV with my daughter”.
Idoko said the mangled body of his first son was later gathered from the rail tracks.
He said he went to the police post for support to take his son’s remains to the morgue.
“The police said they don’t have that authority. So, we went to Phase IV Police Station before taking him to the morgue at Kubwa General Hospital and they accepted the remains”, he added.
“By the grace of God, people rallied around me and I was able to bury my son at the new cemetery by Arab road.”
He said an officer from the police also came to his house and requested for a permission to speak with him.
“The officer said the DPO and the area commander were interested in the case,” he stated.
Idoko, who hails from Adim Community, Otukpo Local Government Area of Benue, said: “ordinarily, I expected the management of the railway station to come and commiserate with me.
“This is not about money, we are talking about a succeeding generation that has just died and nobody is saying anything,” he sobbed.
The bereaved father, who said his son was into photography and satellite dish installation, described the late Paul as a hardworking and humble child. A witness, Sunday Garba, who is a friend to the deceased, also told NAN that they were on their way to work when the tragedy happened.
“I called Paul this morning because he got a job to install satellite dish about two days ago and was yet to finish. I asked him where he was and he told me he was by the rail line.
“I told him I would join him later. He called me later and asked if he should be going to the house to complete the outstanding work.
“Before I reached the rail track, I saw the train advancing so I stopped. This was around 8 a.m. or 9 a.m.. But by the time the train passed, I called his phone line but it was switched off!
“I started looking for him after the train passed but all I saw was a shirt on the ground and his mangled body. I didn’t know what to do. I burst into tears.
“I was confused, who should I call?” he told NAN.
Mr. Garba described the incident as devastating and sad. When contacted on telephone, the FCT Police PRO, Anjuguri Manzah, said he was not aware of the incident.
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