Man mourns young wife killed by Boko Haram

A grief stricken husband is yet to come to terms with the death of his wife in a mindless Boko Haram attack in Jos.

For 43-year-old Audu Go­yar Chime, a native of Plateau State, the 11th of December, 2014, will always remain a black Thursday for him as that was the day the dreaded Islamist insurgent sect Boko Haram blown his young wife and mother of his six children, Jummai to death in a market in Jos, the state capital, in what has been described as one of the deadliest in the once peaceful city.

Besides losing his wife in the mindless attack, Chime is yet to come to terms with how he is going to raise the children she left behind, including the toddler who is just one year and two months old.

Audu Chime is beside himself with grief after losing his companion of 22 years. Chime who only got to know that he has lost his beloved wife after going round mortuaries in the city when he could not locate her, Jummai’s husband, is still dazed by the horror and shock of what happened to his wife, seeing the loss as a great disaster for his family, himself and his young children.

Audu recalls that it was after he had gone round the hospitals, and could not locate Jummai, that he was asked to go to the mortuary to check if her remains could be there. It was at the Plateau Hospital morgue that he found her corpse lying on the floor with others.

The grief stricken man narrated his ordeal:

"I was devastated. If she was sick and died, it would have been easier to bear than to find someone who left home hale and hearty dead in a mortuary about 24 hours later. If I say it has been easy for me to bear, I will be lying.

When I went out today, it was to collect drugs from the clinic to help my heart. I cannot think of how I will cater for six children alone. I am a mason. I fend for my family from the proceeds I make from working at construction sites. But lately business has been bad. We do not get much to do.

It was this woman that was helping out from the little she makes. She usually bought what we ate on her way back home. The children are also not finding it easy to bear. The little one cries throughout the night because he cannot get breast milk. We now give him the food we eat and supplement it with Viju milk. When he gets up in the night, we give him Viju milk again. After whimpering for some time, he sleeps off.

I have been hearing about Boko Haram but never thought it will ever come close to me or that I will ever become a victim. We are poor and only going out to look for our own daily bread. If we decide to stay at home, nobody will come to our rescue. So, see what has become of us going to look for our daily bread.

My appeal now is that people should assist me with a job. I do not want to remove my children from school. I have three in secondary school and two in primary. The eldest one needs to write his SSCE exams to be able to further his studies.

It is only the last one that is yet to start school. I am now looking onto God to assist me. When their mother was alive, she was assisting me with their feeding and schooling but now the future looks bleak. Even though the traders were blamed for going to that market, but my own wife was not selling there.

She was just unfortunate to be there at the time of the incident. She has no stall there. There is no way one could have known that danger was lurking at a corner. Govern­ment should know that any gathering can become a target for these evil people. They attack churches and mosques.

Can they also blame people for going there? While my family learns to cope with this sad situation in which we have found our­selves, we leave our fate in God’s hand. Just like my son’s name, we believe God’s will be done."

Going by reports carried by the Sun Newspaper, Jummai who was 36-years-old at the time she died, resided in the Jenta Adamu area of Jos with her family. On the fateful day, she had woke up early in the morning, had the usual morning devotion with her husband and children before leaving for Farin Gada, a popular vegetable market, to buy cucumber, watermelon and paw-paw.

Done with making her purchases, Jummai returned home. After washing the whole stock of fruits, she loaded her tray and set out to hawk, moving from street to street, from Joseph Gomwalk Road to West of Mines, all around Tafawa Balewa Street and eventually trekked up to Terminus roundabout, a daily journey she has been been making for years.

But on that fateful Thursday, a female Boko Haram suicide bomber was lurking in the corner, her weapon of mass destruc­tion primed and ready to explode. When she detonated the bomb around 6.30pm, Jummai and many other people within the destructive range of the bomb were killed.

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