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Our children’s last moments, by parents of Police cadets

Parents, relatives and residents of the ancient city of Zaria in Kaduna State are still mourning the demise of five cadets of the Police Academy,…

Parents, relatives and residents of the ancient city of Zaria in Kaduna State are still mourning the demise of five cadets of the Police Academy, Wudil. They died on Sunday, May 6, 2018 in a ghastly motor accident. Daily Trust on Sunday reports.

 

Having concluded their semester examination on Friday, May 4, Tijjani Rufa’i Dikko, Abdulrahman Dari, Yusuf Shehu, Muhammad Bello, also known as Yammad, cadets of Police Academy, Wudil, Kano State, embarked on a journey to Zaria, their home town, alongside A’isha Bello, their female colleague who came from Abuja. They never knew that death was waiting for them on the way. They had successfully covered over 170 kilometres out of the 180 from Wudil to Zaria. A’isha was said to be the Ameera (female president) of the academy’s Muslim Students Society.

The five cadets and other passengers died at Maraban Gwanda, a village located about 10 kilometres on the outskirt of Zaria. 

According to eyewitness accounts, the Golf car they were travelling in had a head-on collision with a J5 bus that was on high speed. The two vehicles were immediately engulfed in flames. The cadets were burnt beyond recognition. Their remains were packed in sacks and moved to the Haruna Danja Juma’at Mosque for funeral, according to Islamic rites.

Daily Trust on Sunday gathered that the ongoing repairs on the Kano-Zaria expressway were responsible for the accident.

Aliyu Usman, who witnessed the accident said, “One lane of the road was blocked by the construction workers. Therefore, all vehicles coming to Zaria and those moving out were made to use one lane. There were no safety signs to indicate that the dualised expressway was reduced to one lane because of the repairs. That would have made motorists to take precautionary measures and be more careful. That was what caused the accident.”

Daily Trust on Sunday also gathered that the deceased cadets were all in Tama 4 in the second regular batch of the ASP trainees. This means that they had only a year to complete the respective programmes that would have qualified them to be enrolled into the Nigeria Police Force as Assistant Superintendents of Police (ASP). 

In an interview, parents of the deceased cadets recounted their last moments with their children. 

Abdurahim Sallau, the father of Muhammad Bello Abdulrahim, recounted how his son called him on Thursday, requesting for transport fare.

 “I sent the money to him on Friday. That was my last interaction with him. I was called on Sunday and told that they were involved in an accident. When we got to the scene, we discovered that all of them had been burnt beyond recognition. We take solace in the fact that we are all from Allah and to Him we shall certainly return,” he said.

Alhaji Shehu Abdullahi Danhaya, the father of Yusuf Shehu, said he spoke with his son on Saturday when he said he would return home on Sunday. “While waiting for him to arrive, I received a call that my son was involved in an accident. As a Moslem, I believe that death is inevitable. However, as humans we are really in serious grief. But Allah knows why he took their lives at this time. We console ourselves with the fact that Allah loves them best.”

The Chief Imam of Haruna Danja Juma’at Mosque, Sheikh Sani Gumi, described the death of the cadets as a great loss, considering their potentials. He said that at a time Nigeria was battling insecurity, Zaria, Kaduna State and the country as a whole needed the services of the young potential police officers.

Gumi urged Moslems and all Nigerians to take the death of the cadets as a lesson. He said that since death would not give notice of its coming, everyone should fear God and discharge their duties with sincerity.

DSP Rufa’i Suleman, who represented the management of the Police Academy at the funeral prayers, described the death of the cadets as irreparable loss to the institution and Nigeria as a whole.

As they continued to mourn, parents, relatives and friends of the deceased cadets, as well as residents of Zaria interviewed by our correspondent, called on the Federal Government to approve automatic replacements for them, particularly from their respective families. This, according to them, would further console the affected families and the entire Zaria city. 

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