She clutched the beautiful picture frame and stared passionately at the images therein .
Mrs Muslimat Fashola took the shot four years ago with her family members to mark her 60th birthday .
It was meant to document memories of bond and fondness inherent in the household and that had been so until in the early hours of Saturday , November 30 when the tragic death of Ola Oyeshina – an official of the Lagos State Traffic Management Authority – threw the family into grief .
Having nurtured Oyeshina for about three decades following the death of his mother , Fashola looked forward to that glamorous occasion when she would pride herself on fulfilling the role of a foster mum and see the 34- year – old walks down the aisle .
Sadly, her expectation, like a pack of cards, shattered with Oyeshina ’ s death .
The late official and his team were on an operation at Iganmu – Sifax, Apapa , to rid the area of trucks parked indiscriminately there when they were attacked by some hoodlums .
While his colleagues escaped, he was not lucky as one of the thugs smashed a big stone on his face .
He was rushed to Randle Hospital, Surulere – some distance away from his residence on Oni Street – and was later referred to Lagos University Teaching Hospital , Idi – Araba where he breathed his last around 1 am .
That fateful Friday evening when Oyeshina was battling to hang on to life , Fashola , who now resides with her husband in Ikorodu , was on a visit to Oni Street, waiting patiently for her adopted son to return from work.
She had no inkling of the gravity of sorrow lurking in the shadows .
“ I had attended a friend ’ s party on Cole Street (Lagos Mainland) on Thursday and I used that opportunity to visit our family house in Surulere on Friday evening , ” she explained , looking forlorn and nervous .
“ As I was coming into the compound , I shouted, ‘ LASTMA Shina ’ as usual , thinking he was in his room.
If he was at home , he would have responded by calling me , ‘ nourishing mother .
’ That was around 6 pm ; I never knew he had been attacked then .
“ I became worried when it was 11pm and he had not returned home .
Surprisingly , I called his line and a family member known as Lekan answered the call .
He said Shina was responding to treatment .
I asked him what was wrong and he said Shina was attacked .
“ Lekan and other family members returned home around 2 am.
They didn ’ t tell me he was dead .
When it was 6 am , I stood up to go to LUTH but they told me to wait an hour more .
On my way to the hospital , two of my friends met me outside and led me back to the compound to break the sad news .
My expectation was to witness the day he would get married ; not his death, ” she recalled as tears welled up her face .
Narrating the fond memories she shared with the late Oyeshina , Fashola stated that only few people knew she was not his biological mother .
She said the most painful imprint his demise left on her was that he had no child she could bond with to sustain the love.
Fashola stated , “His parents used to be our tenants.
They were from Osogbo (Osun State) but both of them died several years ago.
I had been acting as her mother since his parents were alive .
He was four years old when his mother died .
Later, his father relocated and took him to Shitta (a neighbourhood in Surulere ).
“He left Shitta and came to our house . Since then, he had been living with us .
He had all his education here, from primary to the tertiary level .
His parents and my family are not related at all but it was like I am his biological mother .
When I bought clothes for my children , I bought the same type for him too.
He had blended with our family so well that he told my husband that he wanted to change his surname to Fashola .
“ The only thing he did that pained me most was his failure to get married on time and have a child .
About one month ago when he was on leave , he came to visit me in Ikorodu .
I told him that if he came next time without bringing along his fiancée , I would not allow him to enter .
I would have been happy if he had a child that would be around me . ”
The sexagenarian urged government to ensure that the perpetrators of the dastardly act – two of whom had been arrested and arraigned – be brought to book .
“ All I want is justice must take its cause.
And if the government fails to do so , the Almighty God will do , ” she added .
Her son , Wole, told City Round that until much later , he had thought Adeshina was his elder brother.
Wole , who works at the General Hospital, Apapa , said he was on his way home from work around 5 pm on Friday , when he saw the hoodlums attacking LASTMA officials . Unknown to him , his foster brother’ s life was at stake .
He said , “ I got home exhausted only for me to get a call from his friend around 7 pm .
He told me my brother was unconscious and that he was being taken to LUTH from Randle Hospital.
One of my cousins , Mr Lekan , and I went to LUTH immediately to see him .
He was bleeding uncontrollably from the nose and was vomiting. He was shouting, ‘ I need help . ’
“ We were running around buying drugs and other things needed for his treatment .
It was around 2 am that my wife who went to check him discovered he had stopped breathing .
“ I would blame LUTH officials for their attitude to work.
I don’ t understand why someone would get hit by a stone in the nose region around 5 pm and treatment would not start until around 10. 30pm .
The people who took him to LUTH said they almost fought with the officials before they could secure a bed space for him . ”
Wole described Oyeshina as a fantastic person and jolly good fellow whose death had left a huge vacuum no one could fill.
He added , “My relationship with Shina was more like that of blood brothers.
In fact , I grew up to know him as my elder brother.
We wear the same clothes to events and the bond was so real .
“ I have not had a good sleep since that Friday.
We grew up like twins and many people didn’ t know we were not biological brothers .
“He was fun to be with but was not lucky to have a serious relationship.
He was ready to get married .
“ We don’ t want this case to be like other previous cases swept under the carpet. whereby we would not get to the root of the matter.
All we want is justice
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