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I planned my 11 children would bag PhD but terrible Lafia-Jos road cut Felix’s life short – Bereaved Nasarawa lecturer

A lecturer at the Nasarawa State University, Keffi, Dr Osekweyi Odonye, speaks to COLLINS SUNDAY about an auto crash that claimed the life of his 30-year-old son, Felix.

Tell us a little about yourself.

My name is Osekweyi Joel Odonye, PhD. I am a lecturer in the Department of Economics in the Nasarawa State University, Keffi. I am also the coordinator of the postgraduate studies of the same department.

I am Alago by tribe and I am an indigene of Obi Local Government Area of Nasarawa State. I started my lecturing career at the State Polytechnic in Lafia in 2001 and I was there till 2006 before I proceeded to the university where I work till date.

How many wives and children do you have?

I have three wives and 11 children. They are nine males and two females. But I lost the third child, Felix, in a car accident last week Thursday, which was June 2nd. He was 30 years old before his untimely death.

Where did the accident happen?

The accident happened on the federal road in Fadan karshi, which links Nasarawa, Kaduna and Plateau states. I was not aware of his intention to travel on that fateful day, but he and his friend decided to travel from Lafia to Jos, Plateau State capital, in a vehicle his friend uses for business.

Felix’s friend appealed to him to accompany him to drop a particular machine in Jos, promising that they would return to Lafia that same day. It was while they were returning from Jos that they had a head-on collision with an incoming vehicle and he died on the spot.

The terrible nature of the Lafia-Jos Road caused the untimely death of my son because they were trying to dodge a very deep porthole on the road which made them run into the incoming vehicle.

Who broke the news to you?

It was some policemen in the area who picked his phone and called his elder brother, informing him of the death of Felix.

On that fateful day, I was in Abuja for a meeting when I received the shocking news that my son had died in a motor accident. I was shocked to my bones to the extent that I lost balance; I could no longer stand well after I received the sad news.

I was so shocked because I was with Felix in Lafia, the Nasarawa State capital, two days before he died. He was even the one who washed my car before I travelled to Abuja. He was so healthy and he hardly complained of any illness. He was a very strong young man. So, that was why the news of his death hit me so hard.

What did you do when you heard of his death?

When I heard of the sad news of his death, I immediately made arrangements to travel to Fadan karshi to see how we could handle the situation.

Did any other person die in the accident?

No other person died in the accident. Both vehicles had two passengers each. So, four people were involved. It was only my son that died. Others were rushed to the hospital for treatment.

READ ALSO: Six Undergraduates Killed In An Auto Crash While Returning From Night Club In Delta

Was Felix a student?

Yes, he was a student of the Nasarawa State University, Keffi. He was a 300-level student of the Public Administration Department.

Did he share some of his future aspirations with you?

Well, it is often said that man proposes, God disposes. My plan for him and all my other children was to support them in their educational pursuit to at least to PhD level, so that in the future, they will have a great impact in the society. I want them to be financially stable so that they can help the underprivileged in society and contribute to the growth of Nasarawa State.

Felix is dead now but I won’t give up in my efforts to ensure that my other children are all well educated.

What kind of person was Felix?

He was a very peaceful young man. He never had issues with people. He loved God so much and he was very mindful of how he related with people because he did not like having misunderstanding with anyone.

I will miss so many things about him. Felix was a very good son to me and his mother. He was also a good brother to his siblings.

While he was growing up, because of the situation of the country where most graduates do not get jobs many years after leaving the higher institution, I decided that my children will learn handcrafts alongside their school. So, I took Felix to a place where he learnt how to repair all kinds of electronic devices. And because he knew how to repair electronics, we hardly took any of our faulty devices out for repairs.

Since he became mature, he did not bother me and my wife about money for school expenses and other of his needs. What we did was to pay his school fees while we bought food items for him whenever a new session began. He used his talent of repairing electronics to raise money to settle some of his little bills in the university.

His wish was for us to have enough funds to also train his younger siblings in school. He supported our family in his own little way even though he was still a student. I will continue to be proud of Felix. He was indeed a good son.

How is your family coping with the loss?

The incident is really a big tragedy to us. My wife and children have all been crying since the day Felix died. His death came to us as a shock. The situation is really hard for us but we just cannot question God. He knows the best, so we have accepted our fate.

Has he been buried?

Yes, he was buried last week Friday (June 3, 2022).

You said the accident that claimed your son’s life was due to the bad state of the Lafia-Jos Road. Do you intend to sue the government; what are your demands from government?

I do not have a demand but I have an appeal to the Federal Government. My appeal is that the government should fix our roads. The number of portholes on the Lafia-Jos Road is too much. My son died because of the bad nature of the road. They should work on the road and other roads needing attention across the country in order to avert this kind of situation in the future.

READ ALSO: “At First, It Scared Me To Climb Up The Ceiling” – Female Electrical Engineer Reveals

CREDIT: ALLSCHOOL, Punch

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