A 43-year-old electrician in Bayelsa state, Sobokime Igodo, was attacked two days before Christmas by a cow intended to be slaughtered for the Christmas celebration. The deceased’s older brother, Eniye Igodo, talks to DANIELS IGONI about the sad incident
How Are you related to the late Sobokime Igodo, who supposedly died after being attacked by a cow?
My name is Eniya Igodo. I am the immediate older brother of the late Sobokime Igodo. He was 43 years old.
Under what circumstances was he attacked by a cow that led to his death?
Actually, you know that we are in the holiday season and he and his group of friends decided to contribute money to buy a cow so that they could slaughter it and share among themselves and have fun with their families. Thus, on December 23, they brought the cow to his residence as the group’s secretary. But the place where the cow was kept was not the actual place where they wanted to slaughter and butcher it. They tried to move the cow to the place where they wanted to slaughter it, but the cow refused to move. She stayed on the ground. Someone was holding the rope with which they tied him up. Suddenly, the cow got up and rushed towards Sobokime and attacked him, hitting him, and he immediately fell to the ground. The person holding the rope was unable to hold the cow because she let go of the rope. The cow left him and ran in another direction after no one in particular.
Did he get up off the ground afterwards?
No. We expected it to rise off the ground but it couldn’t. She briefly lost consciousness, but she regained it almost immediately. We asked her how she felt and she said that she felt like she was floating; we tried to lift her hand but she fell. We also try to lift his legs, no way. Instantly, she said that she couldn’t feel any sensation in any part of her body. There was complete paralysis.
What did you and other people do at that time?
We rushed him to Yenagoa Federal Medical Center. The doctor who treated him said that he had a spinal injury and that the hospital did not have a specialist to attend to his case.
The doctor then recommended that we take him to the University of Benin Teaching Hospital or the University Teaching Hospital of Port Harcourt or Enugu. So, we choose to take it to the UPTH since it is the closest to us.
Did you leave for the UPTH that same day?
No. The next day, December 24, we got an ambulance and took him to UPTH. He was talking to us in the ambulance on the way to UPTH. He said that he had difficulty breathing. As soon as we got to the UPTH, he said we had to get him out and we did. We brought it to the attention of a doctor because FMC Yenagoa gave us a referral letter. So the doctor gave him prompt attention. My brother was taken to the ER to be examined by the doctor. It was while the doctor was examining him that he gave up the ghost.
Did Sobokime participate in the attempt to move the cow to the actual place where they wanted to slaughter it?
The group hired the services of two butchers; one of them was holding the rope on the cow’s neck and the other was holding the rope on the cow’s back. My other younger brother told me that someone had called Sobokime on the phone to meet him at the nearby crossing, and he wanted to go meet the person, but changed his mind to also help the butchers move the cow to the right place for sacrifice her. . He joined the one in front of the cow, and that’s when the cow suddenly jumped up and attacked him, and he fell off.
Did he fall on his back?
Yes, he fell backwards to the ground. She continued to complain of headaches after the incident.
What is the name of your group of friends?
They don’t really have a name. They are just a group of friends who work on construction sites. Sobokime was an electrician. In the group they have carpenters, tilers, masons, suppliers of blocks, etc. Whenever they have a job, they work as a team.
What happened to the cow, finally?
Well, they went ahead to slaughter the cow and share it. They also delivered my brother’s portion.
What kind of person was Sobokime in the family and community?
He was a promising young man. He was a responsible member of the family until his death. He was the secretary of the Igodo family. He was married. In fact, we are mourning his death because he was happily married with children: two boys and two girls. In the community, he was a former youth president. He served the community very well. That is why many people came to his funeral. He was a peaceful person. You would never hear of him falling out with anyone. He was loved by many people in the community. From the funeral to the grave to the family compound, everything was packed with well-wishers.
When did you serve as youth president?
He served from 2018 to 2020. Typically this is a two-year term. His tenure was peaceful and good for the community. He made a positive impact and there were no problems. You know, as a community you are going to work and put things on the ground, his executive carried out some community projects. There was no rancor.
When was he buried?
We buried him on the morning of December 26, 2022. We did not want to stay with his corpse for a long time because of his sudden death and also there is an event that is coming up in the community, which worries us Igodos. One of us would be installed as the supreme ruler of our community. We wanted to put him to rest so the family can move on because a lot of preparations for the chieftaincy were already underway before the incident of his death.
Did you two grow up together?
He was my immediate younger brother and we grew up together in our town here. But it was during my high school that we broke up.
What was your life ambition while growing up as a child?
I don’t remember why, like I said, I left town to attend high school in Yenagoa while he was in town.
How would you describe the quality of your work as an electrician?
Sobokime was not an ordinary electrician because he trained at the Petroleum Training Institute, Effurun, Delta State. The training was sponsored by Brass LNG and he was among those selected for it. So, he was a qualified electrician. He was very well before his sad death. He had even just come home from work before his group decided to slaughter the cow. He did the electrical wiring for many houses inside and outside of our community. He always had electrician jobs in and out of Bayelsa because he was good at his job. If he telegraphed your house, you would have no reason to complain.
Besides being an electrician, what other things did you do?
Well, I think he was also into politics. He worked for some aspirants and candidates who were running for elective office. He was in active politics.
How are your wife and children taking the sad incident?
Me, his wife and one of our younger brothers took him to the UPTH. When we got to the hospital, they told us there was no room for a bed for him, but the ambulance man donated the bed from the vehicle for him to use until my brother had one. We didn’t believe when the doctor confirmed him dead. We were praying for God to do his miracle for us on my brother. But I think it was God’s will for him to leave. Sad! However, we did not disclose his death to his wife because we did not want to create a situation that we could not control. We called his pastor on the phone and told her what had happened. So we told her that the pastor said that we should keep praying for her husband. We told him we would take it to the pastor when we got back to Yenagoa. We did praise and worship throughout our trip back to Yenagoa and she also joined us. Inside the ambulance her face was not covered, making it appear as if he was asleep. She held her head and tried to protect her, especially when the vehicle went through rough places on the road. In some cases, he told the driver to drive more carefully. We arrived in Yenagoa in the afternoon and took her body home, but then we decided to take it to the morgue.