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Jos Bomb Victim Was in Her Final Year — Sister

Jos Bomb Victim Was in Her Final Year — Sister

Blessing, elder sister of a final year student of the College of Education, Akwanga, Nasarawa State, Shekinah Ejeh, who died in the May 20 Jos bombing, speaks with Temitayo Famutimi.

What is your name?

My name is Blessing Ejeh, a Mass Communication student of the Federal Polytechnic, Bauchi. I lost my immediate younger sister, Shekinah to the Jos bomb blast of May 20.

What was your sister doing at the Terminus Market, the scene of the blast?

My sister was a final year student of the College of Education, Akwanga, Nasarawa State where she was studying Computer Science/Economics until she was killed by the explosion. She had just finished her teaching practice exercise and preparing to resume her last semester in the college.

She already had all that she needed to take to school for the resumption of the new semester. But some of her friends called her to help them to get some fanciful second-hand caps which they had seen her wear in school. So, she went to the Terminus Market to get them as they were far cheaper in Jos than in Nasarawa State.

How did you get to hear the news of the blast?

Shekinah left home before 2pm on that fateful day. We were inside and we did not know what was happening then. We were preparing to go to church for Bible study when my younger brother called that the bomb blast just occurred in Terminus Market.

Immediately my mum heard about it, she started panicking and I was in the sitting room too, watching movies. Although she left home with three phones, none of her lines went through as we tried to get in touch with her. My father who was supposed to lead the service set out to look for her at the scene of the blast while my mother and I reluctantly went to church.

After an unsuccessful search for her at the scene of the blast and the hospital where the injured were taken to, my father found her body at the mortuary.

How did you receive the news?

A family friend came to see us in the church and when we sighted him, we knew something very wrong had happened to us. We started crying even before we received the news. They finally broke the news to us at home. The wailing was just too much.

Did you see her body?

Yes, we saw her mangled body at the mortuary. The burns were, however, minimal. We have gone to bury her. We just came back from our village in Kogi State on Saturday.

What were her lifelong ambitions and dreams?

As a young girl of 19 still growing up, she had very lofty dreams, many of which I wouldn’t know. But if there is one thing she was notable for, it is her love and passion for children. She was the children leader of our local church. She was supposed to coordinate a children’s programme in our church from Thursday to this Sunday. She would have been back to school on Monday (yesterday).

The handbill announcing the event was already out before she lost her life in the bomb blast. She had been preparing all this while for this but, unfortunately, it could not hold. Now because of her love for children, we are planning to start a foundation in her name to reach out to orphans and children who are less privileged in the society.

How are your parents taking the situation?

God is in control. My parents are pastors. Generally, we hold the view that only God is the comforter.

Do you have any advice for the President on how to curtail the Boko Haram insurgency?

I won’t give any advice to Jonathan. Should he let the whole world die before doing something? Should he just be there watching and let everybody die. Now, it appears that security is very tight, just give them some days, the whole security being put in place will be relaxed. It is not that the government cannot do something about it. It is just that they are not just doing the right thing. They have the money and resources. They are just not ready at all.

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