A nursing mother, Mishack Obera, on Sunday was suspected to have died of electrocution at her apartment on Ter Guma Street, North Bank, Makurdi in Benue State.
The woman and her two-month old baby, Solomon, were the only ones in the house when the incident happened.
Her griefing husband, Emmanuel Obera, a business man, who hails from Olamaboro Local Government Area of Kogi State, spoke with newsmen at his family house adjacent the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) in Makurdi.
Narrating how the tragic incident happened, amid tears, the father of three said: ” We all woke up as a family, had our morning prayers and engaged in other things without any inkling of the calamity that was ahead that day.
“We live on 8th Avenue, off Ter Guma Street, in North Bank, Makurdi, the Benue State capital. My wife’s name is Mishack Obera. On May 6, 2022, we would have been six years in marriage before death snatched her from me. She was a seamstress. We have three kids, a girl and two boys. The last baby, Solomon, was born only two months ago.
“On that Sunday morning, we all woke up and prayed together. Thereafter, I took our two-month old son from her to allow her take a little nap before she started doing house chores. That’s what we did every morning.
“So, the baby boy was with me while she rested a little bit. Then she woke up to cook something for us all to eat. At some point, while she was still cooking, both the baby and I fell asleep. After sometime, we woke up and by that time the food she was making was ready. So, I ate with one of my neighbours, a soldier.
“Aftewards, we stayed and chatted till around 1.00pm and I prepared and went for a family meeting in town. While I was still at the family meeting, at about 4:52pm, my wife called me and said I should get baby diapers and yogurt on my way home, if I had cash and I said okay.
“I left the meeting around 5.00pm for my family house behind the NUJ on Ankpa Road. I got there and met my dad and my brother in the compound and we were talking and laughing. Less than 10 minutes after I spoke to my wife and got to the family house, one of my neighbours called and asked where I was and I told him I was in town. He then told me that my baby was crying inside the room and my wife was lying on the ground in the room and the room was locked.
“He then said anywhere I was I should start coming back home. So, I told him that I was in town and would be coming home immediately but, instead of waiting for me to return, they should break the door and see what was happening.
“After dropping the phone, I told my dad what my neighbour just told me. I said I just spoke with my wife eight minutes earlier, how come they were now calling me that something was wrong with her?
“Later, I was told that my neighbours had to break the door to gain entrance into the room. While they rushed my wife to the hospital for medical assistance I immediately left my family house to meet them at the hopsital.
“They then told me to meet them at the General Hospital, North Bank, but when I got there, the nurses refered me back to St. Theresa’s Hospital in town. When I got to St. Theresa’s Hospital, I saw my wife inside a tricycle already dead.
“The doctor that I spoke told me that the hospital didn’t admit my wife because she was brought in dead.
“But when I went home, some of my neighbours ushered me into my apartment, and there we saw that the pressing iron was plugged to the wall and the cloth she was sewing throughout the night was arranged on the chair. So, it’s possible she was ironing the clothes when there was a power surge.
“Many people in my area said when the light was restored that evening, the current was very high and fluctuating. My neighbour who ate together with me earlier that day confirmed this and said he even experienced a shock that evening in his room too.”
When asked if he had any premonition of his wife’s death, he said: “Nothing of such. Even that very day, if anyone had told her that she would die, I don’t think she would believe it. Imagine somebody who called me at 4:52pm only to be found dead in our room eight minutes later.
“In fact, she had arranged things to bathe our baby. I am sure it was while she was arranging to bathe our baby that they restored the light and she tried to quickly use the opportunity to iron the cloth she was sewing and got killed in the process.
“Even the black soap she uses to bathe our baby was already opened and the bath water was already mixed. Her own cloth that she had planned to wear after bathing the baby was already arranged on the bed too.
“She usually bathed the baby first, then took her own bath and both of them would go and rest in the room. So, there’s no way that any of us would have known that death would happen to her that day.
“I will miss everything about her. She was my world. She was my friend, my jist partner and my lover. We were even planning how our sixth wedding anniversary would be that Saturday night before the incidence.
“We were also planning to take the baby to church next month for dedication when he will be three months old. In fact, we planned to grow old together and take care of our children. We didn’t plan for sudden death of any one of us.
“Coping with Solomon has been stressful and it has been very difficult for me. We both planned to do baby friendly (exclusive breastfeeding) for him.
“My mother is the one taking care of the baby since the demise of my wife. It’s been difficult for the baby also because transiting from breast milk to baby milk hasn’t been easy for him. Since his mother passed on, the baby has not been able to go to toilet as he used to go before because his system is still trying to adjust. He is going through a lot right now.”
Also, Obera’s neighbour, Emeka Anyaogu, said there was power surge that affected many people, including his own daughter, that evening in the neighbourhood.
According to him: “The day the incident happened, Emmanuel’s wife was sitting with other women under the tree in front of my house. Later, she entered inside her room to bath her baby. It was while she was inside the room that light was restored.
“As soon as the light was restored, everyone on the General Hospital axis of North Bank noticed the high voltage and some even confirmed that they experienced shock in their various homes. Even my daughter had a shock too. That’s why we all believe that she died from shock as a result of power surge.”