As reported by ThePunch.
Fifty-year-old panel beater, Moses Atanda, was recently killed in his shop by a stray bullet from a gun allegedly fired by an officer of the Nigeria Customs Service. Atanda is survived by four wives and 18 children. One of the wives, Titilayo, tells DAUD OLATUNJI how difficult it will be for the family to cope with the loss
What can you say about the death of your husband, Moses Atanda?
Our concern now is how to take care of our children; they are very young and still schooling. Some of them are learning one skill or the other and they are still apprentices. Our worry is how to survive and take care of all the children now that our breadwinner has been killed. We (wives) are four: Mrs Dupe Moses is the first wife; I am the second wife; Mrs Cecilia Moses is the third and Mrs Janet Moses is the youngest wife. Altogether, we have 18 children.
What do you all do for a living?
We are traders but we relied on our husband for sustenance. We are confused now that they have killed our breadwinner; we don’t know what to do. We don’t have anything. Our husband provided for us every day. There is no one to pay our children’s tuition and take care of their feeding.
Apart from being a panel beater, what else was your husband doing for a living?
Our husband had no other job apart from panel beating; he was never a smuggler. He even discouraged people from smuggling.
Son of Ogun panel beater: My father was eating when hit by stray bullet
Adeniyi Atanda is the 20-year-old son of Ogun panel beater, Moses Atanda, who died after he was hit by a stray bullet in Ogun.
How did your father die?
I am a painter and my shop is beside my father’s workshop. I was around when the incident happened. My father had just finished working on a vehicle when it happened. He told my younger brother, Fidel, to park the vehicle somewhere. It happened around 10am. My dad had sent someone to buy his food and Fidel had also left; it was while he was eating that the bullet hit him.
The incident happened in my presence. I saw my father fall down and I rushed to carry him. While we were taking him to the hospital, a vehicle belonging to the Nigeria Customs Service crossed our path and our driver shouted, ‘You have killed somebody.’ Then they gave way and left. At the first hospital we took him to, they told us to find where the bullet would be removed.
Why did you take him to Abeokuta from Oja-Odan?
All the hospitals here (Oja-Odan) couldn’t operate on him, so we had to travel to Abeokuta. We went to the Federal Medical Centre, Abeokuta. We were told the operation could not be done till 7pm.
What time did you arrive at the FMC, Abeokuta?
We got there around 5pm. We were there, hoping and praying till my father died around 6pm.
How would you describe your father?
My dad was well known in this area, he was loved by everyone. He was peace loving. My concern now is how his four wives and my younger siblings will survive. The government should do something to ensure they do not suffer. The threat posed by Customs officers here must stop. The killing of innocent people by Customs must stop. My dad was also responsible for taking care of his aged mother who is ill. We had to take the woman out of Oja-Odan to prevent another tragedy. My dad was the only child of his mother.