‘Insecurity forced him to relocate from Kaduna, but was killed in Jos’
“I participated in saving someone’s life before, unfortunately when it came to my turn for people to help me, nobody came forward,” mother of murdered 35-year-old man killed by a mob in Jos, Afiya Gofwan, cried.
“To the best of my knowledge, even if one committed a crime, he can be beaten up or injured before police intervene but in the case of my son who committed no offence, it wasn’t so.”
Mrs Afiya Gofwan said Fwinbe Thomas, who was her last born, was killed for an offence he had never dreamt of or intended to commit considering who he was in the family and how trustworthy he was throughout his lifetime.
Fwinbe was, on September, 25, pelted with stones and sticks to death in his Suzuki vehicle which he used to distribute Indomie and 7up products to customers by suspected commercial motorcycle riders and some hoodlums on his way to deliver Indomie noodles to his customers.
An eyewitness who pleaded anonymity told our correspondent that the deceased was killed by the hoodlums when the motorcycle riders in their numbers were shouting “thief” and people around Tudun Wada community of Jos North LGA, who mistook him for the “thief”, stopped his vehicle and beat him to the very end.
The body of the young man was found lying in a pool of his own blood with multiple injuries on his head.
His Suzuki vehicle used for the distribution of Indomie and 7up products was equally damaged during the incident by the hoodlums.
The spokesperson of the state police command, DSP Alabo Alfred, who condemned the incident, described it as unlawful, adding that the command had arrested six suspects in connection with the incident, adding that investigation into the matter was on.
If not for the ravaging security threat in Kaduna, Fwinbe wouldn’t have left Chigun LGA of Kaduna State where he was overseeing family farm business, for Jos, to meet his tragic death, Daily Trust Saturday was told by his parents. His parents asked him to return home to avert the lingering security challenges confronting some communities in Kaduna, adding that the situation had forced him to return to Jos where he eventually got registered as a distributor with Indomie and 7up companies.
Fwinbe’s parents – Mr Thomas Gofwan and Mrs Afiya Gofwan, didn’t know that hoodlums would end the life of their hardworking son in Jos where they thought it would be safer and would give him peace of mind to actualise his dream than in Kaduna.
On the day of the incident, Fwinbe’s parents said the deceased left home for his routine business, and if they had had any premonition of what was going to happen to him, they would have cancelled the business of that day.
The parents said the death of their last born came as a surprise in view of the fact that they were not expecting their son to commit any grievous crime to deserve the barbaric killing from the commercial motorcycle riders.
Receiving the news
Narrating how he received the story of the incident, the father said “I was at landfill area when my wife called that all was not well and I should rush back home. I left what I was doing and rushed back home.
“On getting to the house, I was confronted with the news that my son, Fwinbe, was found dead. It was unbelievable but real. We are still waiting to hear the reason behind the killing of my son. Why he was killed and who killed him is still unknown to us. It will be good to know who killed him so that no life will be lost again in this manner because if nothing is done to prevent this kind of murder, people would continue to waste innocent lives. Even the arrested suspects could not explain why they participated in the cruel beating of my son.”
The father described the deceased as a very hardworking young man, dedicated, trustworthy and forthright. “My child was one that the family will miss forever.”
Explaining how she received the news of the killing, the mother said, “I was confused and was not even sure how I reacted at that moment but I was told that I cried and screamed for more than eight hours.
“People just came. I saw them crying. I asked them what was happening but they could not talk. I didn’t even know them. They later said they came to see me. I asked them what was wrong, but they asked me to follow them to the police station that Fwinbe has been killed.
“Prior to his death, he would always tell me that he wanted to marry before the age of 36, and I would tell him that it will happen before that time. Unfortunately, he died just months to the marriage.”
His mother further explained that “He was very close to me. We travelled together. Because of my closeness with him, all those that know me know him. I didn’t know that he would leave just like that.
“He had had series of surgeries as a result of an accident he had with his brother. Because of the accident, he had an artificial hip joint. He would have jumped out of the vehicle and ran if not because he had an artificial hip joint. I cannot imagine what that boy went through. It is because of that illness that I kept him close to me. What happened has happened and we are trusting God. God knows why he took him now.
“I stand to be corrected; but I have never heard this kind of thing in Jos. This is not Boko Haram. This is not kidnapping. This is not crisis and this is not bomb blast. I don’t know what to call this but I have suffered it. I am praying it should not happen again. People in authority know what should be done. They should create awareness about the dangers of mob action to save lives in the future,” the mother added.
I will live to remember Fwinbe for many things – Wife-to-be
The deceased has already planned to get married early next year but the plan has been dashed by the unfortunate incident.
His wife-to-be, Tracy Nankan Kwanmen, said she would live to remember her fiancé for the rest of her life, believing that the deceased would have made a good husband.
Narration her last moment with him, Tracy said “The last time I spoke to Fwinbe was at 8.07pm on 25/9/2023 and we were to talk when he got home since he was about to start driving. I dialled his number twice around 9pm since I didn’t hear from him, but there was no response. The third time I dialled the number, it was switched off. I dropped him a message on messenger, but there was still no response.
“I got calls from some of his friends the following day saying they were just checking on me. Unknown to me, they were in the picture of what had happened. I tried calling him again, but his line was still switched off. Then I got a call from his brother, Wakbul, saying he had bad news. The first thing that came to my mind was maybe Fwinbe had an accident and was in need of blood, since our blood type is rare (B-), but he said Fwinbe’s body was found around Domkat Bali Junction.
“At that point, it felt like a knife had just been pierced through my chest because the pain I felt at that point was not something I can describe. It was after I cried for some time that I called back to ask what happened and was told he was mistaken for a thief,” she explained.
According to her, for the seven years she had known Fwinbe, not once had he taken anything that was not his. “Why would anyone accuse him of being a thief?”
She said “Just like every other relationship, we had our ups and downs. We started as friends in 2016. Afterwards, we became a couple and eventually planned on getting married in 2021, but we had to change our minds due to some reasons beyond our control.
“There were times we disagreed and there were times we agreed. But the love we had for each other guided us in our relationship. I will live to remember him for his love, selflessness, humility and kindness. I pray his soul rest in peace with the Lord and that the perpetrators of this evil act be caught and brought to book so that no family will go through the kind of pain we are going through,” she added.
Community, friends also mourn
Friends and members of his community have also expressed their feelings over the demise of Fwinbe, explaining that the deceased was just a victim of circumstance.
Weng Madugu, a neighbour of the deceased, described Fwinbe as a peace advocator who always stood for the truth. “I was shocked that such atrocity could happen to him in Jos where he was so popular. He was a fun-loving, down-to-earth person; and so caring that he makes sure he checks up on people all the time.
“I still remember his birthday which he celebrated in August. He told us that ‘this is my last birthday as a bachelor’. Those words keep ringing in my ears everyday. I knew he was looking forward to getting married because he was in a serious relationship.
“I never imagined such cruelty could be meted upon him because Fwinbe would not hurt a fly talk less of getting involved in any crime. I felt cheated because this wicked world just took away a good man,” Madugu said.
Jube Kopduna, a friend of the deceased, also described him as a good friend who often sacrificed for others. He said “Fwinbe has been a very good friend and brother who was caring, loving, loyal, very sacrificial, very hardworking and very jovial. He was one guy I will always meet or talk with when I feel down because I know that I will definitely feel relieved by the time we talk. He has a unique way of making people around him happy. He loves his family and friends so much. I know because we were in the same class all through our university period. He was also my room mate for some years. He was a very gentle soul who would never hurt a fly. He didn’t deserve to die like that. May God rest his soul.”