Few days after he was appointed Head of Computer Science Department, Nasarawa State University, Keffi, Nasarawa State, Dr Ibrahim Mailafiya, was off to Kano to share the joy with his family, but was shot on the along Kaduna-Kano highway and later died, leaving his family in sorrow.
Perhaps, no better word can describe the pains and devastation the family of the late Dr Ibrahim Mailafiya, a lecturer of the Nasarawa State University, Keffi, shot by robbers, went through in the few hours to his death. His first wife of 17 years, Hajiya Zeenat and younger brother, Mailafiya Suleiman Ibrahim, witnessed how someone close to them passed on with little medical help.
The late Dr Mailafiya, who was confirmed the Head of Computer Science Department, Nasarawa State University, few days earlier, was shot by robbers close to Tashan Yari along Zaria-Kano highway in Makarfi Local Government Area of Kaduna State. He was said to have been stripped of his belongings before he was shot twice.
Zeenat’s joy knew no bounds when her husband sent her a text on November 1 that he had been confirmed the Head of Department of Computer Science. But, the celebration didn’t even begin before it was cut short.
In fact, she narrated that she received a call at about 9.24pm on November 3. “It was somebody who dialled and gave the phone to my husband to talk and he said to me, ‘Zeenat, robbers just shot me. I just want to say goodbye to you and please take care of my children. I know I will not be able to make it.’ I told him not to say that again and asked him where he was. He told me he was in the bush after Zaria,” she told Daily Trust on Sunday.
“I assured him I would be with him shortly. Immediately, I set out to my elder brother’s house where I dropped off the kids and he followed me on the journey.” Zeenat pointed out that on their way, they kept communicating until he was taken from the General Hospital, Makrafi to the Ahmadu Bello University, (ABU), Zaria.
She added that she called one of her husband’s younger brothers in Zaria to go to the hospital before her arrival.
Zeenat said: “When I arrived at the hospital, I saw my husband in a very critical situation; no doctor around him. He had the oxygen and drips with two nurses attending to him. When I asked why he was not receiving any blood transfusion, they said they were waiting for me, but I told them I had earlier given instructions that they should go ahead with all the help needed.”
She said when the doctor arrived, it took time to take his blood sample, stressing that there was negligence on the part of the personnel in the hospital. “Even when we paid for the blood and it was brought out from the blood bank, it was not transfused because they were waiting for it to defreeze.”
She pointed out that, he then said: ‘Zeezee, I know I can’t make after more than four hours. I still have the bullets inside me. I am in a lot of pain. Just take care of my children.’
“He placed his hand on my head and prayed for me, saying, ‘May Allah be with you.’ He told me to hug him and I did, then he recited some prayers. He gave up without any of us knowing because we thought he was sleeping,” she said.
Mailafiya Suleiman Ibrahim, a younger brother, also at his bedside was full of pains as he narrated how affectionate his brother was.
“He was a very good man. He was my big brother. He took care of me right from when I was a child,” he said.
He was shot in the right hand side of his abdomen and he was bleeding profusely.
According to him, his late brother told him how the incident occurred.
“He told me that there was a checkpoint a few kilometers before the spot where they were attacked. The robbers were six with four of them carrying guns while two had knives, sticks and other weapons,” he said.
The deceased’s junior wife, Dr Fatima Isa, who is nursing a baby expressed shock over the death of her husband. The mother-of-three described her husband as someone who was liked by everyone.
“I will miss him greatly because he was my best friend,” she said.
Also, Fidaus, the second daughter of the deceased, said: “When I heard about the sad news, I burst into tears because I felt like a part of me had gone. My daddy was humorous and cracked lots of jokes with us. I don’t think anybody can fill his vacuum in my life.”
Mother to the deceased, Hajiya Raliya Ibrahim Mailafiya, prayed that God will grant him Aljannatul Fidausi.
“I called him that day but he said he would call me back when he gets to his destination. I never knew that would be our last conversation. For all the good he did, I pray that God grants him Aljannah,” she said.
In fact, it was gathered that the deceased set out for Kano, then stopped over in Kaduna to deliver a message to his mother through one of his younger brothers before he proceeded.
Having spent about five years at Leeds University, United Kingdom, where he obtained his doctorate degree, Dr Mailafiya returned to Nigeria and was appointed lecturer with the Nasarawa State University. He served in the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) for about 15 years before going into the academia.