#EndSARS protest: Isiak Jimoh’s mother recounts how son was killed in Ogbomoso
Since last Saturday, it has been anguish for Mrs Ramata Jimoh who lost her 29-year-old son, Isiak Jimoh to a stray bullet alleged to have been fired by a police officer attached to the Divisional Police Office, Owode, Ogbomoso.
The late Jimoh lost his life when the EndSARS protest rocked parts of Ogbomoso last Saturday, leaving behind his wife and child named, Nafisat.
When Tribune Online visited family house of the deceased at Ogiri compound, Ita Alasa area of Ogbomoso North Local Government Area of Oyo State, relatives of the Jimoh family and sympathisers all wore mournful looks.
Just before her son’s death, Mrs Ramata Jimoh narrated that she called her son over the phone. He responded that he was out for electrical works but two minutes later, she said his phone number was no more reachable.
Mrs Jimoh, who is a petty trader, lamented that she had lost a son who was a peace-lover and beloved.
Speaking with Tribune Online, she said, “I called my son on phone and he told me he went out for electrical work. I live close to Owode Divisional Police Station where my son was murdered that fateful day.
“When I observed that protesters were already approaching Owode, I called Isiak and I told him to go back home. He really told me he was going home. But, about two minutes later, his line was not reachable any longer.
“What happened next was his dad asking me to come to Bowen University Teaching Hospital (BUTH), Ogbomoso. I could not hold myself back when I saw my son soaked in blood around his chest. He was also plastered and writhing in pain.”
Summoning courage to speak, Isiaka’s father, Mr Atanda Jimoh, a commercial motorist, lamented that his son’s death was painful and unforgettable.
He, however, said he took solace in the fact God gives and takes.
The parents of Isiaka however called on the government to arrest the menace of police brutality and support the family that the deceased left behind.
Meanwhile, further protests have followed the killing of Isiak.
The father of the deceased appealed to those who were protesting the killing of his son to desist, pointing out that no amount of protest will bring back his son.
“It is painful and youths should not continue to waste their lives all in the name of protesting Isiak’s killing.”
Also expressing regret, eldest child of the family, Mr Kazeem Jimoh, a bricklayer, decried the loss of a brother he regarded as easy-going and kind-hearted.
Various reactions have greeted the death of Isiak Jimoh.
Minister of Youths and Sports Development, Mr Sunday Dare, described the death of Isiak Jimoh, alongside a few injured youths during the protest, as sad and regrettable.
In a statement issued by his special adviser on media, Mr John Joshua-Akanji, Dare stressed the need to bring to justice all persons responsible for the death of Isiak Jimoh.
He commiserated with the mother of the deceased and the family, promising that the culprits in the killing will be brought to book.
“There is a renewed commitment at the highest level of government to institute far-reaching reforms that will see a better era of policing. Our youths are our greatest resources and we must protect them,” Dare said.
Reacting, the Olugbon of Orile Igbon, Oba Francis Olusola Alao, also expressed sadness over the loss of Isiak, noting that people had a right to protest in democratic setting.
Oba Alao said, “The incident of the killing was really uncalled for. It does not show that the government and the security official are responsible. And that they are insensitive to the plight of the people. Protest is civil. The government should listened to the complaint of the people and found a lasting solution to the issue of SARS in whatever way. The government should not be resistant to protests. In a democratic setting, people should be allowed to have peaceful protest and not just shooting at youths, who are our future.”
The Ogbomoso Community Foundation (OCF) cautioned law enforcement agents especially men of the Nigeria Police Force (NPF) to always apply professionalism in the discharge of their duties.
A statement signed by the leader of OCF, General Oladayo Popoola advised security agents to always be humane in their approach to members of the public especially young men and women.
While commending the Inspector General of Police over the ban placed on SARS, nationwide, the foundation also stated that a reform of the entire police force was necessary.