The remains of three people who died in a crash while returning from a wedding last Saturday in Jos, Plateau State, have been laid to rest in Bauchi State.
The deceased were the father of the bride, Joseph Dadi; the bus driver, Gideon Ayuba, and a woman, Mrs Mary Goddy.
PUNCH Metro learnt that Joseph’s wife, Paulina, who was also involved in the crash, was receiving treatment at the Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University Teaching Hospital, Bauchi.
The lone crash occurred less than 30 kilometres to the Bauchi metropolis while the victims were returning to Bauchi from Jos, where the wedding took place.
Joseph, 62, a retired personal assistant to the executive secretary of the Tertiary Education Trust Fund, was until his death a board member of the Bauchi State Christian Pilgrims Welfare Board.
Ayuba, 39, until his death, was the personal driver of the Special Adviser to the Bauchi State Governor on Legal Matters, Kefas Magaji.
Goddy, 31, was working with the SEDO Microfinance Bank, Bauchi, before his death.
The funeral service for the three victims held on Wednesday at the Church of Christ in Nations, LCC, Millennium Quarters.
While Joseph and Ayuba were buried at the Christian Cemetery, Yelwa, Bauchi, Goddy was buried at Murai in the Bogoro Local Government Area of the state.
Speaking at the funeral, the governor’s aide, Magaji, described the incident as tragic and devastating.
He said, “I feel devastated by these deaths because Joseph Dadi was my close friend for many years, while Gideon (Ayuba) was my worker for close to 19 years. God has called them and I’ve accepted what has happened in good faith.
“On Friday, my friend, Joseph Dadi, called me that since I won’t make it to his daughter’s wedding in Jos, I should give him my car to use, although he had a car, he needed my Jeep because of the terrain of where the wedding would take place. I gave him my Prado and asked Gideon to drive him.
“Around 9pm while I was returning from a meeting, Gideon’s wife called me that her husband was not yet back, but I calmed her down that all was well and I told her to go and sleep. Just about two minutes later, my friend called me that Gideon had an accident and he had died.
“I couldn’t believe the story, so I entered my house and stood outside for a long time without knowing what to do. Finally, I went in and told my wife. But I still didn’t know what to do. I started making calls and I was later told that some of them were in the hospital.
“I drove to the hospital and as I was getting in, the lady (Goddy) gave up. Gideon and Joseph Dadi were brought to the hospital as corpses. But the other lady had a fracture and died the next day, Sunday.”
The Commissioner for Agriculture in the state, Mbami Tula, urged the bereaved families and the church to get closer to God in moments of grief.
The Chairman of the Christian Association of Nigeria, Bauchi State, Rev. Abraham Damina, and the Chairman, Bogoro LGA, who also spoke for the Tafawa Balewa LGA, Iliya Habila, asked God not to allow such tragedies befall the community again.