What would have become seasons of celebrations in the family of Mr. Edward Soje became tragic and confusion in the family, in the labour circle, Kogi State and the country in general.
The death of Soje, a Grade Level 16 Director in the Teaching Service Commission has become a torn in the flesh of the administration of Governor Yahaya Bello of Kogi State who was accused of 11 months of unpaid salaries.
Investigations recently conducted by SOJ Worldwide confirms that this family have been looking for the fruit of the womb since they went to the altar as husband and wife 17 years ago all to no avail.
A reliable source who confided to us said the man was 53 years old at the time of his untimely death.
Soje, who did not show any sign of depression at the time of his tragic demise was discovered hanging on a tree beside Mammy Market at the Maigumeri Barracks in Lokoja, Kogi State 10 days after his wife of 17 years gave birth to a set of male triplets. That was after 17 years of endless waiting for the babies.
Soje, hailed from Ogori town in Ogori-Magongo Local Government Area of Kogi State.
He had before committing suicide travelled to Abuja and left a note for his wife who works in one of the Federal Ministries in Abuja.
His last suicide note read, â€œPsalm 121:3 God will not suffer your foot to be moved: He that keepeth you will not slumber. Amen. You and the three boys, God Almighty keep you and prosperous, Amen. I love you.â€
The State Police Command PRO, ASP William Aya confirmed the incident, said his body was found hanging on a tree behind the barracks on October 16, 2017.
â€œPolice moved to the scene, removed the corpse to the morgue of the Federal Medical Centre in Lokoja. Investigation is on-going,â€ Aya said.
A family source said Soje had before the tragic event been going through traumatic financial pressures like other workers in the state due to non-payment of up to 11 months salaries. This led him selling his car and a three bedroom bungalow at a giveaway prices to meet his immediate financial needs.
According to the source, Sojeâ€™s financial woes became compounded when his wife gave birth to a set of triplets through Caesarean section at a private hospital in Abuja on October 7.
The deceased remained at the hospital to look after his wife and the babies until October 13, a day before the naming ceremony, when he decided to come back to Lokoja.
On getting to Lokoja, Soje went to his bank to collect the remaining N30, 000 in his salary account with one of the commercial banks and thereafter informed the bank in writing about his decision to close the account. He immediately left Lokoja for the hospital in Abuja where he joined his wife and handed over the N30,000 cash to her.
The naming ceremony was conducted by two pastors and few relatives with Soje in attendance. It was after the ceremony that he left the hospital with excuse to pick few things he said he forgot in his wifeâ€™s apartment in Abuja with a word that he would be back immediately.
He never came back.
Efforts made to locate him did not yield fruitful result until relations decided to visit hospitals in Lokoja. The decision paid off eventually on Friday, October 20, when the corpse of Soje was found in the morgue of the Federal Medical Centre, Lokoja.
A member of the family said the management of the hospital explained to them that Sojeâ€™s corpse was brought in by the police who found it hanging on a tree. The family member, who craved anonymity, described late Soje as a â€œvery quiet and lovable human being.â€
Reactions continue to trail the sudden demise of Mr. Edward Soje who died at the age of 53.
The state government confirmed to have owed the deceased only nine months instead of 11 months as being speculated.
The President of Nigeria Labour Congress, Ayuba Waba called on all Nigerians to donate relief materials to Kogi workers to avert another tragedy. Ayuba while addressing the press said; â€œwith the suicide mission embarked upon by the state worker, it shows that Kogi state workers are already internally displaced.â€
He said further; â€œThis unfortunate suicide mission embarked upon by the Kogi worker is an issue that should worry all Nigerians, as non-payment of salaries is becoming a reality among workers in the state,â€Waba said.
He said non-payment of workersâ€™ salaries have assumed a dangerous dimension in the country leading to workers committing suicide.
The sudden death of Edward Soje by non-payment of months of salaries has placed Kogi State in the front burner as a state that do not care for its citizens.
www.sojworld.com Â© October 26, 2017.
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