Late Auwal Abdulsalami, alongside eight others, was an unfortunate victim of an attack by suspected Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB). He worked as a mechanic in Imo State and met his death as he was repairing a faulty truck in Umuna community in Okigwe LGA of the state. In this interview, the wife of the deceased, Fatima Munir, speaks to Daily Trust Saturday on how she received the news of her husband’s death.
Your husband was out there looking for a means to fend for the family. How did you feel when you heard he was killed by terrorists in Imo state?
Honestly, when the news came, I felt bad. I wasn’t myself. I didn’t expect it because I spoke to him in the morning of that Friday he was killed. This is a man that used to do everything for me. Whatever I asked for, he provided. Today, we woke up without him. Why wouldn’t I feel bad? I know the death of my husband is a test by the Almighty Allah, and HE is the only one who knows why the death came at this time.
How did you react to the news of your husband’s death considering that you spoke to him hours before his death?
On Friday afternoon, I heard his elder brother receiving a call. The call signalled that all was not well with my husband. My heart started beating as my husband’s name kept being mentioned during the call. Everyone around was crying.
I asked them the reason behind the tears and I was told that my husband was not feeling fine, but the nature of the wailing was a clear indication that my husband was no more because people can’t be crying just because someone was not feeling fine. I asked them for the second time to tell me the truth about what has happened to him but they all refused.
Everyone was telling me to be patient and submit everything to Allah. I asked them for the third time and said that I am a Muslim and believe in destiny. As this was going on, a woman among those crying told me that my husband was no longer with us.
When was your last discussion with him before he died?
On that Friday he was killed, he called me in the morning and asked if I had visited the hospital for check-up because I am seven months pregnant. So, he called to know the state of my health. I told him I had gone to see the doctor who said my blood pressure was still low and not normal. I told him that the doctor said I should go come back in December ending to evaluate the state of the pregnancy.
Afterwards, he asked me to give the phone to his daughter to speak to her, and I gave her the phone. I could remember she told him that she lost her school shoe and he promised to buy a new one for her. She prayed for him to get money so he could buy other things for her. I later collected the phone and we said our goodbyes, only for me to hear hours later that he was murdered while trying to repair a faulty truck.
You were both married for five years, what was it like during this period?
We lived an interesting life. We lived a happy life. We were happy with each other at all times. We had a good understanding throughout the period of our stay. He cared for me. He always wanted to make me happy.
Assuming the suspected killers of your husband are to be arrested, what would you like to happen to them?
I want the law to take its course. I want them to be treated the way they treated my late husband. I will never wish them well. They have made me a widow at an early age. My daughter has become fatherless. The baby in my womb will not know its father and my husband will not know what I am going to give birth to. This is very painful.
You said when your husband was alive, he would always make efforts to make the family happy. What would you remember him for?
I will live to remember my husband forever. I already miss him. Only God knows how much I have lost from his death. I am left with a wound that would never heal. The incident can’t be wiped away from my memory. It’ll definitely linger. Whatever I requested from him, he would provide within the limit of his capacity. I definitely lost an irreplaceable partner. There are a lot of things he told me. If I tell you some, some can’t be told. He made lots of promises to me and his daughter. He would pay school fees of his daughter when it was time to pay. Can this just go overnight?
My husband was innocent. I wish for him an eternal life. I pray Allah to forgive him and have a comfortable sleep in his grave. May paradise be his final abode.