By Maria Famakinwa
For the family, colleagues and friends of Dr Amos Arijesuyo, a Senior Pastor of Christ Apostolic Church, Glory Tabanacle and Deputy Registrar, Federal University of Technology Akure (FUTA), January 16 2021, will forever be remembered as a sad day when a man they described as a father, friend and confidant fell to the bullets of armed herdsmen along Ilesha/Akure road.
This is coming at a time when the state is still grieving over the gruesome murder of a first class traditional ruler, HRM, Oba Israel Adewusi, Olufon of Ifon, who was caught in the web of the devious plans of these workers of evil late last year, on his way back to his domain along Owo/Ifon road.
If Dr Arijesuyo had any premonition of the looming tragedy, maybe he would have postponed the journey to another day, when the road would be safe to ply. Investigation by The Hope revealed that Dr Arijesuyo, who was said to be blessed with five grown-up boys, was coming from the introduction of one of his sons held in Ibadan with his wife and three others when his vehicle ran into an ambush laid by unknown gunmen who shot sporadically at the vehicle along Ilesa/Akure road.
Unfortunately, Dr Arijesuyo who sat at the front seat with the driver was hit by some of the bullets on the chest and later died from the injuries sustained, while his driver who was said to be recuperating at an undisclosed hospital was also hit by the bullets on his arm.
In the reaction of the first child of the deceased, Barr. Biodun Arijesuyo, he revealed that his late father lived a fulfilled life but said that his sudden death came to the family as a rude shock and left the family devastated, because nobody thought such would happen to a man who was full of life. He described his father as a man committed to his family who balanced his daily activities with his spiritual life and was ready to help, as he wondered what his father had done to deserve such a painful death.
The son who revealed that he would miss everything about his daddy, bemoaned lack of necessary medical facilities in most hospitals where the father was rushed to and revealed that before they got to the fourth hospital at Ipetu in Osun State, where his father would have been probably attended to, it was too late, as he was pronounced dead on arrival. He said, “My father’s untimely death has devastated the family. It is a huge loss to us but we shall keep praying and praising God for the family sustenance at this trying period.”
Biodun while trying to control his emotion said that if the country’s health sector was what it should be, his daddy might not have died. He revealed that the family will do everything possible to keep his daddy’s legacy through starting an NGO in his late daddy’s name. On some of the legacies left by the late Arijesuyo, he said,” My late father served God wholeheartedly, never joked with his family, impacted people’s lives, was very humble and ready to assist if within his reach. I am starting to feel how much he loved and care for us.”
Biodun advised that the bush path should be about 200-300 metres gap to the road for people to see anyone coming from the bush. He also appealed to the government to revive our ailing health sector in order to attend to emergency.
When The Hope visited the Students Affairs Unit of the institution, most of the staff who appeared in black wore mournful look and were not willing to talk on the issue. One of the staff directed this writer to the Deputy Registrar, Dr Felix Olufeyisayo Adetula, who also works in the same unit with the deceased.
Adetula who mustered courage to speak described Dr Arijesuyo as his personal friend not only because they attended the same College of Education, but that they also worked in the same unit at FUTA.
He said the deceased painful death has created a sore in his heart and that only God can heal it.
“Despite being the eldest and longest serving staff in Students Affairs Department, he was so humble and humane. A man of God whose choice of occupation as the Head of Guidance and Counseling Unit of the institution affected his relationship with others. We all called him father because he gave his life as a practical example of a good family man and genuine man of God. ”
On the solution to insecurity, Dr Adetula, advised that the people of the South-West should come together irrespective of party affiliation to fight insecurity. He suggested home made solutions as a way forward: “We need to tackle insecurity with a local solution, making our local hunters to collaborate with Amotekun will help at achieving the desired results because they understand the terrain better. Government must act fast as development can only come when lives and property are secure. The needless death of Dr Arijesuyo could have been avoided if the issue of security had been given needed attention for long. Another area that is calling for government attention is unemployment. Failure to find permanent solution to insecurity and unemployment, the country will be sitting on a keg of gun powder.” he warned.
When this writer visited the church of the late pastor along FUTA North gate, it was under lock and key and she was directed to the house of Dr Mayowa Owoyemi, a Senior Pastor of the same church with the late Arijesuyo who is also a lecturer at the Forestry Department of FUTA. The atmosphere at his house was tense as sympathisers throng the place to identify with the bereaved family. Dr Owoyemi, who disclosed that he has been a friend to the late Arijesuyo since their days at the College of Education, Ikere Ekiti, before they later re-united at FUTA in 1995, said that his late friend’s unfortunate death was as if his half body was severed. While explaining the incident that led to his friend’s untimely death in an emotional laden voice, he revealed that he also travelled with his late friend to Ibadan for the same occasion but had a stop over at Ile-Ife.
His words, “My late friend and I were colleagues in FUTA, though in different departments. We both pastor in the same church and raise our children together. We see the two families as one, so when my friend was traveling for the introduction of his second to the last born in Ibadan, we went together. While my friend, his wife, driver and two others were in a separate car, I was in another car but I did not come directly with them to Akure because of the assignment I went to do in Ile-Ife. I was busy with the assignment when I received a distress call that my friend’s car was attacked and I immediately left what I was doing and rushed to the scene.
“I reliably gathered that the two men who attacked them came out from the bush. While the first one who shot at the tyres missed the target, the second man shot sporadically at the vehicle targeting the five occupants. Unfortunately, some of the bullets hit Dr Arijesuyo on the chest because he was at front seat with the driver, while the driver, who is still recuperating at the hospital, was hit at the arm. We quickly rushed him to the nearest hospitals but none of the three hospitals have the necessary medical equipment to attend to my dying friend. We were later directed to the Airforce Base hospital at Ipetu, but Dr Arijesuyo could not make it, as he was confirmed dead on arrival.”
The man who condemned the senseless killings of helpless Nigerians called on the State government to include local hunters in Amotekun, as he maintained that the Yorubas are not cowards if allowed to defend themselves. “Government should give security issue a priority, because it is our turn today, nobody knows who the next victim will be.” He described his late friend as a selfless man who used his time for God and humanity.