A man dies mysteriously, watching Arsenal vs Liverpool match – Widow Narrates full story
Do you know that the excitement you get sometimes from watching a football match, in a poor health condition, being a true supporter of a team; could lead to a high blood pressure? This could be one of the or cause of the death of Mr Johnson Ayodeji, a 60-year-old man who died at a football viewing centre behind his house where he had gone to watch Arsenal’s match against Liverpool in Byazhin, Abuja.
Ayodeji, who hailed from Okuku village in Odo-Otin local government area of Osun State, had left his house to watch the football match without symptoms of ill health on that day. He left his phone behind to avoid distraction from callers, got to the viewing centre and sat on a chair like every other person there.
Halfway into the match, Ayodeji pleaded with a young man by his side to adjust his seat so he could relax properly, perhaps the seats where too close for comfort. The young man in obedience to the plea of the old man stood up and continued watching the game standing. And the game went on.
After the match ended, almost everybody at the viewing centre left but Ayodeji remained on his chair. The owner of the centre, who thought the man had dosed off, went to tap him only to discover that Ayodeji was lifeless.
He raised the alarm and people rushed to the centre. Nobody could identify him. The police, who were immediately contacted, took the body to their station hoping that someone would come around to identify the lifeless body of Ayodeji before midnight but nobody came; so the body was taken to the mortuary.
Recounting what happened, Mrs. Rachael Ayodeji, wife of Ayodeji, aged 55, mother of two girls and a boy, said she and her children had struggled to survive since the demise of her husband.
“My husband was an easy going and quiet man. My husband was a fun, happy guy; he hardly fell sick. The last thing that he would ever want for me would be for my life to stop or be miserable. I’m not talking about my grief here, that is necessary, but all of the consequences his death has brought me. I am talking about this unexpected life I have now.
The plight of a widow’s children as sole supporter of her offsprings is that she is forced to withdraw her children from school and to rely on their labour. The daughters of a widow suffer multiple deprivations, increasing their vulnerability to abuse. The only son of the family, who is the second born, sacrificed his education for an apprenticeship considering his mother’s situation.
*How it happened
“On November 2, 2013, a Saturday, we went to church, Mountain of Fire. When we came back from the church, my husband ate because we were fasting that day. After eating, he said he wanted to sleep. l left him and went to Byazhin market where l sell potato. On that day, there was no light and my son was not around to put on the generator for him, so he said he would go to the viewing centre to watch the Premier League by 5pm. The viewing centre is just behind our house. When the match started, I was still at the market.
When I got back home around 7pm. I asked my children about their father’s whereabouts and they said he was yet to return. Then l asked my son to put on the generator while we wait for his return. I became worried when it was 11pm and he was still to return home which was very unusual of him. We started praying because we couldn’t sleep, after which l called his brother at Suleja. When I called my husband’s brother, he was also surprised because he hardly kept late nights.
So my husband’s brother and I continued calling his number not knowing his phone had been in the house all the while. It was when we switched off the generator that we realized his phone was all the while ringing in the house where he left it. I then called my pastor who came and went with us to incident the development at Byazhin Police Station. While we were at the station, someone told us that a man had died while watching a match.
l ignored that person because I ruled out the possibility of his death for a man who left home hale and hearty. Then on Sunday, we went to Kubwa General Hospital to check just to satisfy my curiosity. While in the hospital premises, a nurse told us that a man was brought dead the previous night. I told her the dead man couldn’t have been my husband hence l refused to go into the mortuary to check who the person was. So we left the hospital and went home that Sunday. The search entered Monday. I got even more worried.
“People kept persuading me to check the mortuary. I was still not convinced that my husband could be in the mortuary; so some people went to the mortuary and saw my husband dead cold there. And they were asking me if my husband was sick before. I told them that my husband hardly fell sick for the 24years we were married. I hurriedly went to confirm if he was indeed the one they saw lying dead.
“He was into building of houses and had some people working with him. On Friday, November 1, 2013, he told the boys that he needed to rest hence they should suspend all work till Monday, November 4 only to die on Saturday”.
The widow continued: “I have three children. The first is 22 years old, the second, 18, and the last, 14. My first child is in the University of Abuja, Gwagalada, the second, the only boy, was seeking admission before the death of his father but now he is an apprentice trying to learn a skill as l cannot finance his university education and my third child is in S.S 2.
“Extended family members made promises after the death of my husband but since then we haven’t heard from them. My church tried a lot for us. My second child, the only boy, said he will forget about admission for now due to the death of his father to learn how to trade so that he can help us and his own family in the future”.