It was an occasion he looked forward to, but alas, he was not part of it. Graduating student of Library and Information Technology of the Federal University of Technology, Minna (FUTMINNA), Niger State, Justus Jiya, died in a road crash on his way to the convocation ground from Mokwa, his hometown.
Like his colleagues, Mr. Justus Jiya planned to attend the 28th convocation and Founder’s Day of the Federal University of Technology, Minna (FUTMINNA), in Niger State, and thereafter return to Mokwa, his home town.
But while others made the trip, Jiya could not. He was killed in a motor accident that occured last Thursday morning.
CAMPUSLIFE gathered that the late 23-year-old Jiya with three other passengers died in the auto crash that occurred along Mokwa-Bida road.
It was also learnt that Jiya, who just completed his programme in Library and Information Technology (LIT), was traveling to Minna for his convocation at FUTMINNA when the car he boarded had a head-on collision with another vehicle coming from the opposite direction.
A witness, who pleaded not to be mentioned, said the commercial bus conveying Jiya was trying to evade a big pothole when it collided with a truck.
He said Jiya’s remains were buried on the same day as his body parts were mangled due to the damage done to the bus he boarded.
The sad news of Jiya’s death broke through the campus, leaving many of his colleagues and course mates shell shocked.
Some of his mates, who came for the convocation, CAMPUSLIFE gathered, held a candle-light procession at Bosso Campus to mourn their late classmate.
The deceased’s project supervisor, Prof. Georgina Oyedum, and his class representative addressed the bereaved students at the LIT Building complex around 8pm after the candlelight.
The don described his late student as a hardworking, courteous, gentle and responsible person, adding that he was shocked to hear about Jiya’s death in a car accident.
He said the entire workers in the department were pained by news of Jiya’s loss, urging other students to strive to lead a life of positive influence and good example as led by the deceased.
“The late Jiya, who I personally supervised his project, was a student with an uncommon passion to learn. He was hardworking and at the same time brilliant. He was always receptive to my corrections on his dissertation, which he would humbly rework perfectly, and without delay. It was like a thunderbolt hearing the news of his demise. While I have the fervent belief that Almighty God will grant him a tranquil rest, I urge his family, friends and colleagues to be comforted that his exemplary and blossoming life was a reference point,” he said.
Evelyn Karse, a coursemate of the deceased, expressed shock over his death, saying the 2018 graduating set of LIT would miss him for many reasons. “We are all mourning the tragic loss of our dear friend, humble brother and brilliant classmate. Jiya was a colleague who meant different things to many of us. He was truly caring, gentle, cheerful, amiable and a highly-devoted Christian, who was very active in campus evangelism. It was demoralising hearing that he was killed in an accident while travelling to Minna for his convocation.”
A 400-Level student of FUTMINNA, Obinna Okoye, said Jiya whom he called Babson, was eventually confirmed dead at a hospital in Mokwa after the auto crash.
He said: “Though, the accident happened in the morning of Thursday, getting accurate information about his condition was difficult. However, our worst fear was confirmed when my late friend’s class representative called his family, and was told of Jiya’s death. As I join others to grief over Babson’s painful death, I ask God to comfort his bereaved family at this trying moment.”
A former roommate of Jiya, who simply identified himself as Mr. Smart, said the deceased epitomised true, caring and affectionate friendship. He also described the deceased as a selfless giver and cheerful companion.
Though Jiya may have departed this world forever, Smart is optimistic that the deceased’s memory would remain fond and evergreen in the minds of those who crossed his path.
“The time we spent together as roommate in 200-Level was one of my best moments in FUTMINNA,” Smart recalled.
He continued: “On several occasions when I was financially handicapped, it was Jiya who usually rescued me. He usually gave without expecting anything in return. Being a devout Christian was the hallmark of his personality. It was as a result of his tireless preaching that I was co-opted into the Fellowship of Christian Students (FCS) and participated in many evangelical activities on campus.”
Another graduate of the university and a relative of the deceased, who politely declined mentioning his name, told CAMPUSLIFE that the late Jiya was someone every parent would be proud to have as a child.
“It is devastating that we couldn’t witness his convocation,” the source lamented.
“This (convocation) is something every member of Justus’ family had eagerly awaited. Jiya’s death came as a rude shock to us, his close family relatives. At this tough moment, I join other sympathisers to mourn his glorious exit, and ask God to grant him peaceful rest. Adieu Jiya,” the bereaved-family member said.
CAMPUSLIFE learnt that some graduating students, who came for the convocation ceremony, also took to their social media accounts to mourn their departed colleague.
One Monday Abraham’s Facebook account read thus: “I woke up this morning to the breaking of the news of my inimitable, calm, and extremely Babson Jiya’s death. A devoted Christian, and a librarian to be certified tomorrow (last Friday). I can’t forget the pleasurable moments we shared together, especially when we ate from the same plate. My bosom friend, though I am yet to come to terms with the reality that you are permanently gone, yet I can’t question the authority of Almighty God. Your death, indeed, has enriched my life experience and broadened my scope generally about this transient life.
“LIT department, will forever, miss you. Adieu Egbon!”
“So sad to hear that you are no more,” lamented Opeyemi Moses, another sympathiser on his Facebook account.
“Tomorrow (last Friday) is your convocation and you passed away today. It is equally tragic that you left after our five-year struggles in school. Dear friend, adjectives will fail me if I attempt to describe your exceptional personality. Not me, or even any other colleague of yours, can describe the extent of the pain your departure brought to us. Jiya, we love you, but God loves you more. #RestInPeace.”