Until Jimoh Isiaq was killed by the police at a peaceful #ENDSARS demonstration, he had his whole life ahead of him, with a goal to change his family’s fortunes.
Jimoh Isiaq, 21, who died three days after being shot by the members of the Nigeria Police Force on October 10 2020 was his family’s hope for a better future.
His mother, Ramota Isiaq, says that Jimoh, six days before his death, had promised to “end the poverty” in their family.
Jimoh was one of those shot in Ogbomoso, in the Southwestern Nigerian state of Oyo on October 10, 2020, when police clamped down on peaceful #EndSARS protesters. He died three hours later from severe haemorrhaging after being shot three times in his chest. At one of the hospitals, his family was asked to get a police report before the bullets could be removed.
Jimoh was the joy of his father and the hope of a better future for his mother.
“Those who killed my son did not allow him to fulfil any of his promises to me,” she sobs.
Jimoh was a happy young man who enjoyed the attention of his aged parents. As the last child, he was pampered by his parents, who saw him as the fruit of their old age.
“He really loved us,” his father says. “His death is a big loss for me. I did not know this was how things would end for him. He would give me money every time I didn’t have it despite him only being an apprentice. His death is an incomprehensible loss.”
Jimoh extended the same love he shared with his parents to friends and neighbours. The Imam of the local mosque where Jimoh worshipped was distraught after hearing of his death.
Jimoh had recently repaired bad electrical bulbs in the mosque without charging any fees, one of many acts of service and generosity not only towards the mosque but towards his close-knit community at large.
“Everyone in the community loved him. He loved to greet people and was warm towards children, who would rush towards him all the time because he bought them things,¨ Ramota recalls.
Adio Mayowa, one of Jimoh’s childhood friends says there are places in the community he is no longer able to visit because it reminds him of his late friend. He says they were inseparable.
Jimoh left behind a two-year-old daughter, Nofisat – birthed by his childhood girlfriend.
“When the girl came to tell me she was pregnant for him, he wanted to deny it, but I told him I had seen them together a number of times,¨ recalls Ramota Isiaq.
“It was a good thing I accepted the pregnancy. What would have been left of my child now? That child is what I have left of my son.”
Jimoh was not the only young life lost in Ogbomoso at the hands of the police on October 10, 2020.
19-year-old Ibrahim Ganiyu, was shot and died three days later at the same Bowen University Teaching Hospital.
The Adeoye family also lost a beloved husband, and twin brother, Taiwo Adeoye.
One year later, all three families continue to seek justice, and the police continue to deny any involvement.