Rashida Isa, wife of the bricklayer who died in a collapsed building in Tirwun area of Bauchi Metropolis, is still in a state of shock and disbelief days after the incident.
Rashida’s husband, Adamu Isa, 30, was one of those who lost their lives following a powerful windstorm that wreaked havoc on some parts of Bauchi Metropolis on Saturday, June 16.
Acting permanent secretary of the Bauchi State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA), Shehu Ningi, confirmed that six people were killed by the windstorm, while buildings and other property worth millions of naira were destroyed.
Isa, our correspondent learnt, was working at a building site when the windstorm forced him and his co-workers to scamper in different directions for safety.
Isa took cover in a nearby house but, unfortunately, the wall of the house collapsed on him. The family that owned the house escaped alive, but by the time Isa was pulled out of the debris, he was dead.
His bereaved wife, 27-year-old Rashida, recalled seeing her husband at the site close to their house as she was going to the market.
“I passed the area and I saw him working. He didn’t see me, so I just proceeded to where I was going because I didn’t want to disturb him,” she told Daily Sun.
Two months ago, the couple had moved into their own property, a brick house with the windows yet to be fixed and the wall yet to be plastered. In spite of the meagre finishing, the home served as a shelter from the devastating windstorm in the area.
Compared to the houses situated in the suburb of Tirwun, most of them unplanned and substandard, the home of the Adamus was solid enough to withstand the windstorm.
“I was in the house with my children when the heavy wind started. I was thinking of my husband and I thought he was safe,” she said.
Rashida recalled that, when the windstorm subsided, she was at home when Isa’s friend brought the news that a building had collapsed on her husband.
“He told me that my husband had been rushed to the hospital, and I was praying that he would be okay,” she said.
After some time, news reached her that her husband was dead. She said she was advised to remain strong and accept the development as the wish of God.
“My husband was hardworking and caring to me and my children. Whenever he didn’t have money, he would explain to me and I would understand. When he had money, he always took care of us. I don’t know what I would do now without him,” she told the reporter.
Rashida, a housewife with no means of income, said she was at a loss on how she would cope with the five children that her late husband left behind.
“The last one is just 11 months old. The eldest boy is Surajo. He is 11. Four of them are in school,” she said.
Isa also left an aged mother and two siblings.
“Their father died when they were young. Adamu is the first child. He was a hardworking and responsible child. He had been the one taking care of us since his father died,” Maryam Isa, the deceased’s mother, said.
Ningi disclosed that deaths were recorded in Tirwun and Kandahar area of Bauchi metropolis, adding that the state government had mobilised relief materials to assist victims.
The fence of the Abubakar Tafawa Balewa Stadium and some telecommunication and transmission facilities of a Lagos-based private broadcasting outfit were destroyed by the windstorm. It also wrecked a number of residential houses, shops, schools and telecommunications masts, among others.
Other areas affected were Federal Low Cost Housing Estate, Bauchi, Yelwa Kagadama, Yakubu Wanka, Kobi and Fadamada, among others.
Governor Mohammed Abdullahi Abubakar visited the area the following day. He sympathised with the people of the state, especially those who lost relatives, homes and property as a result of the windstorm that raged in some parts of the state. He assured residents that his administration would do its best to assist those affected by the incident.
His wife, Hajia Hadiza Abubakar, also sympathised with those affected by the windstorms, even as she described the incident as a natural disaster.
Mrs. Abubakar, who said she received the news with sadness, called on various government agencies, the public and kind-hearted individuals to help provide immediate relief to the affected communities.
But at the moment, Rashida is in a sombre, sorrowful mood. The woman, who is nursing the pain of losing a dear one, is not only in need of emotional and physical support, she also needs a helping hand so that the education of her children would not be truncated by their father’s death.