Late cyclist ‘rides’ home today as Lagos vows to apprehend, prosecute killers
• Cyclists task govt on security, quality healthcare
As Dr. Afolabi Mabogunje, the late electrical engineer, who was stabbed by hoodlums on September 9, is being laid to rest today, Tuesday, members of Cycology Club have called on Lagos State Government to take more seriously the security of life and property.
The members, who staged a ride in honour of their deceased member at the weekend, also called for the provision of quality healthcare.
Mabogunje, was not just a member of a cycling club, Cycology, but rode almost every day and was stabbed by hoodlums while on early morning cycling exercise.
According to a family source, there will be awake today and evening of tributes in Ikeja, while the funeral service will be held tomorrow at the Cathedral Church of Christ, Marina, Lagos, to be preceded by a private interment.
The ride in honour of Mabogunje, which had over 100 cyclists, started at Syrian Club, Ikoyi and terminated at Shodex Garden, Anthony, where he was accosted and stabbed five times by hoodlums in different parts of his body.
On hand to commiserate with the cyclists from the state government were commissioners of Health, Prof Akin Abayomi and the state Attorney General, Moyosore Onigbanjo.
Members of the club including the Captain, Tunde Laoye and membership Secretary, Mrs. Temitope George, took turns to share experiences of their interaction with Mobogunje over the years, eulogising him for being a kind-hearted person.
George noted that a wrong done to one is a wrong done to all and as a club, they needed to use the ride to appeal to the state and government to do better in protecting the safety of citizens by providing better security and healthcare facilities.
“People shouldn’t have to die while pursuing their passion for a healthy lifestyle. People shouldn’t have to die needlessly,” she stated.
In his remarks, Onigbanjo said it was one of the toughest state assignments he has carried out because the incident kind of indicted the government since the job of the government is to ensure the security and safety of its citizens.
He promised that the perpetrators of the dastardly act would not go unpunished as the state government will leave no stone unturned to track the hoodlums so that they can be arrested and prosecuted, pledging to lead the team that would prosecute the criminals.
“We also need to be very vigilant as there are so many people out there who are just taken to criminality. We should not ride alone and when we want to ride in the early hours of the morning, we must make sure we are vigilant.”
On his part, Abayomi said Mabojunge will not die in vain as the state government will look deeply into the sequence of events to ensure lessons learned from the incident and to prevent a repeat.
“As far as this case is concerned, we are going to interrogate it and where things may have gone wrong, I can assure you that we are going to put the information out there and that the lessons learnt will be lessons that will make sure that this kind of event becomes less of an occurrence. I am deeply really sorry to the family, it is not easy to lose somebody of this calibre, husband, father. He was a good man, helper, brother, it is hard for us to lose people in the prime of their lives. I assure you his death will not be in vain and we will continue to improve the system.”
Mabogunje’s daughter, Titilayo thanked all those who spoke kindly of his father, urging them to continue in the line her father has taught them. “If my father taught you to smile, continue to smile if my father taught you to be optimistic, please be optimistic. If my father taught you to never give up, please keep pushing yourself. If my father taught you not to hesitate to help someone, do not hesitate before helping the person next to you.”
One of Mabogunje’s younger sisters, Funmi noted that though the health workers did their best to save his brother, the health system was weak. She said: “We need to advocate change in our system and we all know that our system needs strengthening. For me, he has fulfilled his purpose and for that we are grateful.”