‘Why did they watch him die?’

HAA! It is like a dream that my brother is gone. Why couldn’t people rescue him? Why? Why did they watch him die?”

These were the words of the grief-stricken sister of Tajudeen Smith (32), an electrical engineer, who was killed by a train at Cappa near Oshodi, Lagos on Wednesday.

At his family’s Ijegun, Lagos home yesterday, sympathisers gathered, discussing the tragedy.

His sister, who refused to mention her name, described her brother as intelligent.

Lamenting the circumstance of Smith’s death, she said: “I learnt his phone was stolen at the scene. I knew he lacked peace of mind in his home but I never knew he was depressed,” she said.

The late Smith’s mother, a family member said, was about to eat when she received the news.

She said:”Maami couldn’t eat the food when she heard the news. As I speak, she hasn’t tasted anything. It is indeed a sad incident.”

Those who came to sympathise with the bereaved family whispered that Smith had been complaining about having problems at home.

His elder brother, Gbenga, said he saw his brother a day before he died.

“I was on my way home on Tuesday around 10.30pm when I saw my brother. I told my wife who was with me that my brother didn’t look happy. I couldn’t come down from my car, thinking I was going to see him the following day. If only I had a strong feeling about my brother’s demise, I would have spoken with him.

“Fate dealt us a cruel blow. Of all my siblings, he was the most intelligent. I don’t want to blame anyone; I just know destiny prevailed. I just pray God continues to protect the daughter he left behind, “he said.

He said he got an ambulance immediately he learnt about the accident, adding that his brother died before they got to the scene.

When our correspondent visited the late Smith’s office in Ilupeju, Lagos, all was quiet.

His boss, Alex Ogunmokun, an engineer, said he had lost a dedicated staff, adding: “He worked with me for five years and I had no issue with him. He was honest to a fault. I am short of words. We all miss him.”

A colleague, who declined to give his name, said the late Smith hadn’t been happy lately. “We rushed to the rail track when a stranger traced our office with his identity card. I was stupefied when I saw his lifeless body. He kept complaining about facing some challenges at home. I know he was lost in thought. His body was intact. I miss my jovial friend. He impacted positively in my life,” he said.

It was learnt that Smith was buried at the Ahmadiyya Cemetery in Lagos.

He is survived by his widow and a child.

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