I hope to meet my mum in heaven someday | Five years after, tears still flow in the family


5-yr-old son of teacher butchered by her pupils in Gombe
Five years ago, she was brutally murdered by her own pupils at the Government Day Secondary School, Gandu, Gombe, where she was a teacher. With her murder, the two children of Mrs. Christiana Oluwatosin Oluwasesin were permanently prevented from growing up to know their mother.

 The fundamentalist Islamic pupils at the school deprived Temilade and Oluwatoba of the opportunity to enjoy the special care their mother would have bestowed on them. Temilade, a girl, and Oluwatoba, a boy, who were two years old and ten months old when the pathetic incident occurred, are now seven and five years old respectively.

 The untimely death of Christiana, however, has turned the breadwinner of the family, Mr. Oluwafemi Oluwasesin, to play a dual role of a father and a mother to the children in the past 60 months. She was mercilessly murdered on March 21, 2007 and her remains were interred on March 24 of the same year.
 The tears that began to flow in the family close to 2, 000 days ago have not ceased. The family asserted that the tears would probably dry up when the Federal Government has done justice on the gruesome murder of the god-fearing and dedicated teacher who would have clocked 36 this year if the pupils she tried to create a bright future for had not cut her throat with a knife.

 At a short remembrance ceremony for the deceased last week, a gloomy silence pervaded the Abeokuta home of the Oluwasesins. The widower and his children shed bitter tears as they sat thinking about the absence of their wife and mum. In an emotion-laden voice, Oluwasesin explained how the family commemorated the fifth anniversary of Christiana’s death. According to him, “all we did when we woke up was that we gathered and prayed for the family and the departed mother. Then, the children went to their school. Victoria Temilade is now in primary three and her younger brother, Emmanuel Oluwatoba, is now in primary one.

 The two of them are serious with their studies.”
 Several visits to the family confirmed the seriousness of these children with their studies. They are usually glued to their books under the supervision of their father. Even on the day they marked the fifth year anniversary of their mother’s death, the children were met reading their books after returning from school.

 Temilade told our reporter: “I was very sad when my father told me how my mother was killed in Gombe State. I felt a great pain within me and I still feel the pain. In 2007, I thought that my mummy would come back. It was long before I realised that when a person dies, the person does not come back to the world again. “But I thank God for the kind of life she lived. I learnt she died a martyr for Christ. I was told my mother was fond of going out to preach the word of God. I feel lonely each time I remember her, especially at night.”

 The young girl who started shedding tears at this point remarked: “Were I to be an adult and present when my mother was being killed, I would have volunteered to die for her. I would have insisted that they should kill me to spare my mother’s life for being a mother among mothers. I have resolved to live for God like my mum.”

 Oluwatoba believes his mother had fought a good fight of faith, adding that he hopes to meet her in heaven one day. “My mum is right in heaven. And I hope to meet her again when I get to heaven at my old age,” the little boy stated.
 The late Christiana was mobbed and her lifeless body incinerated by the pupils on the very day she was to bid farewell to the school. She was to leave Gombe for Abeokuta in Ogun State to join her husband who had secured an appointment for her at the Federal Medical Centre, Abeokuta. She had also prepared to resume work in Abeokuta as an infirmary administrative secretary.

 On the fateful day, Christiana, a Christian, had to supervise the pupils of Senior Secondary School One for their Islamic Religious Knowledge examination. As the examination progressed, she caught a female pupil, Fatsuma, copying answers from a book carefully concealed in a newspaper.

 Piqued by the development, Christiana collected the exhibit from Fatsuma and threw it away. She did not know that the materials were slips of the Hadith and Qu’ran. Before she knew what was happening, the chants of Allahu Ahkbar! Allahu Ahkbar! (God is great) rent the air in the school. Christiana quickly reported the matter to the principal, Mallam Sadiq Mohammed. She also informed her husband who was in Abeokuta about the pandemonium.
 Christiana’s husband was said to have contacted the police authorities immediately he got the call. A team of policemen that stormed the school to maintain order could, however, not save Christiana’s life from the angry Muslim pupils baying for the teacher’s blood.

 The principal who had hid Christiana in his office was later forced by the rampaging crowd to release the helpless woman for some jungle justice. They had threatened to destroy the office. As soon as he delivered her into their hands, the furious pupils gave the Christian teacher a beating of her life, stripped her naked and tied her with a rope.
 Thereafter, the pupils burnt her car, and a 12-year-old boy brought Christiana’s life to an end as he cut her throat with a knife. The pupils who were yet not satisfied then took their turns to stab her. They later burnt the woman with the spare tyre of her own car.

 The then 10-month-old Emmanuel was the next to be killed by the pupils but God was with him. A woman hurriedly hid the baby under her flowing hijab and smuggled him to safety. However, Oluwasesin confessed that the family is still waiting for the Federal Government to ensure that justice is done on the death of his deceased wife. The spirited efforts to ensure justice in the case, he said, have been to no avail. He averred that he had been under pressure to forget the matter.

 His words: “I have received calls from someone who threatened that if I did not want to lose my life and those of my children, I should forget the case. I have reported the case to the security agencies. It is also not true that the former governor of the state, now a senator of the Federal Republic, who was in power when the incident happened, visited our family and gave us N10.5 million. No one has visited us, and no one has given us a kobo. Those media reports are not true.”

 He continued: “I think at this point, the National Assembly should wade into the matter to assuage the trauma in my family, cushion the effect of the gory incident in the lives of the kids and ensure that justice is done. With that, it will be realised that human life is sacrosanct and that you cannot just kill your fellow man like a chick. I’m ready to appear before any committee if invited.”
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