It was nothing less a torturously long wait for the family of the late Jigawa State Liaison officer, Suleiman Jazuli, with whom they had just spoken.
Jazuli left his loved ones hale and hearty, but none of them knew that the good moment they spent with him would be his last.
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“My brother’s sudden death shook me to the marrow. Allah the Almighty gave us Suleiman and he has destined to take him away. We accept this destiny in good faith,” said his younger brother, Ibrahim Jazuli.
Suleiman Jazuli had spent the weekend at his hometown in Dutse, capital of Jigawa State. He had arrived on Friday and departed on Tuesday, August 10, but his parents, wife, children, brothers and sisters did not know that it was a journey of no return.
He was going back to his place of work in Abuja when he and his driver were caught in a ghastly accident that claimed their lives.
The younger brother to the deceased said the family had communicated with him few hours before the accident.
“He called and said that they were in Kaduna where they would eat and pray and from then they would move to Abuja. We much later learn that his car skidded into a river. There were efforts to rescue them but it was abortive. A trailer driver narrated the accident to the nearby village
“A relative called my sister, Rabi, and told her that Suleiman’s phone was not reachable. I tried all I could to reach him, but couldn’t.
“I called the driver’s phone, too; but it wasn’t reachable. I felt that something was wrong. Our first thought was that they were kidnapped.”
Brother in search of a loved one
Ibrahim narrated that it was the next day the family alerted the Jigawa liaison Office Abuja and a delegation from the office travelled to Kaduna to search for his brother.
“Our search led us to one Lieutenant Musa, who is in-charge of the area.”
“We explained to him our situation and he made some enquires; and his unit confirmed that there was no single case of kidnapping in the last two days.
“He was later called and told that a car had fallen off Azare bridge along Kaduna-Abuja highway and plunged into a river.”
Ibrahim added that in the company of the military man, they rushed to Azare village where they met the village head and he confirmed that there was a reported case of a black Landcruiser that plunged into a river.
Rescue operation started on Wednesday. It was based on the instruction of the Jigawa State governor that officials of NEMA, the Federal Fire Service and local divers were mobilized for the rescue.
After over 24 hours of searching without the recovery of the deceased corpses, they agreed to hire local divers from Taraba State. When the divers arrived, they reportedly scanned the water and searched for hours without recovering the corpses. But on Saturday, the divers found the already decomposing corpses of the two travellers.
”When they brought out the corpses of my brother and his driver they had started decomposing.
“I told our father and he agreed that they should be buried right there,” Ibrahim added.
He was a man of the people
Family and friends have continued to mourn Suleiman Jazuli. Few hours after the authorities of Jigawa State confirmed his death, social media become awash with his eulogies.
“Suleiman Jazuli departed us when we needed him the most,” said his associate, Isah Yahaya.
Yahaya said he had lost a friend “I lived with through thick and thin”.
“My friend was a type of a person you will call a perfect gentleman, who would stand with associates, no matter how difficult the situation was. He was not only gentle, but generous and kind. He was always at service of others.”
‘I lost a childhood friend’
Abdullahi Sa’idu Dundubus recalled his childhood with the deceased, saying he lost a brother, friend and a course mate at university.
“I spent about forty years with him. He was my closest childhood friend and relative. Every time his parents visited Dundubus, we would play together.
“I studied the same course as him at the university. Words cannot describe this loss. He respected me and I respected him in return.”
Dundubus said he would remember Suleiman for many things especially his composure.
“Not only the family, even his subordinates will miss him a lot. He was very kind to them.”
Another friend, Kabiru Garba Fagge, said he first met the deceased at CAS Kano in 1990 where they took the same IJMB courses.
“We got direct entry into Bayero University in 1991 and studied political science together. We took the same subsidiary courses and graduated together in 1994/1995.”
“I was very close to his family and as he was to mine. Suleiman was a confident to me. He was my best man.”
A Good Man is Gone
As soon as the police in Kaduna confirmed the death of Suleiman Abubakar, former Senator representing Kaduna Central, Shehu Sani, condoled with the family and people of Jigawa, saying a good man is gone.
Shehu Sani wrote: “It’s painful to learn that the bodies of Alhaji Suleiman Jazuli, the Jigawa State Liason Officer, Abuja and his driver have been found at Jere village along Kaduna-Abuja road. This is a tragedy and a great loss.
“A good man is gone. I send my condolences to their families, the government and the people of Jigawa State. May Allah grant them Aljanna Firdausi. Amin.”