Fwinbe Gofwan: What manner of death is this?

By Katdapba Yunana Gobum

A post had appeared on the community platform where I am domiciled on Wednesday, September 27, 2023. It was short and terse: Bad news! We lost a member of the community day before yesterday named Fwinbe Thomas Gofwan.


As it is usual with such posts, the replies from members of the community on the platform were largely to sympathize with the family. Nothing in that post suggested what took place that led to the loss of life and property.

The new media on Wednesday night was inundated with pictures of the gory scenes of the death of Fwinbe Thomas Gofwan. The visit of Dunka Jallo Pikopba to my house Thursday morning gave a clear picture of the victim.


It was then that the face of his mother, Afiya was broadly displayed in his picture. His father, Toma Gofwan; an old horse in the development world was at some point a Special Adviser to Governor Jonah David Jang on Non-Governmental Organizations. Both have served the state meritoriously in the health sector and retired with honour.

All the posts mourned the death of Fwinbe without knowing the details of what had happened. They may have known but it was hard and painful to relate; thus leaving the readers to mere conjectures, while seeking justice for him in the circumstance.

The cry for justice became rife any where the story was read; to the point that sympathizers had urged the security to go after the perpetrators, perhaps the incident may serve to stop the barbaric act anywhere human beings were haunted and killed as in this case.


What was the nature of his death? Who were responsible for snuffing life out of him? Did his accusers have patience to find out if he was guilty of the offence he was accused of? They just ‘pursued him with unwavering determination and within moments, they changed the narrative, accusing him of stealing’ the car that was actually his.

They never did, otherwise, common reason would have prevailed to take him to the police. It is the prayer of all who have demanded for justice that the killers would be identified from the maze of his accusers and made to pay the price.

Fwinbe may have been given a befitting burial; yet, the conscience of his killers can never go to rest, knowing that an innocent 35 year young man; easily everyone’s friend was silence on account of the words of their mouths.


Did it not appear to them as he struggled with fright and pains to explain to them that he was not what they thought of him that fateful evening as they descended on him that something was wrong about the accusation?

Could a man ever steal the car he has used in real time to run a business? He has always owned a car since he was in the university; the one he was killed in was not the first he had used.
Fwinbe, indeed, anyone in that situation must have been overwhelmed with fear.

Surrounded by a menacing mob that was shouting ‘thief’, ‘barawo’, ‘thief’, on an almost deserted road, anyone would have cringed in fear. If he found himself powerless to run, the result of a car accident on October 5, 2007 which affected his hip joint certainly had impeded him. He surrendered himself to fate, thus he sadly paid for his life.

Several questions raced through my mind without any answers. The mob did not want anything except to beat him to death, with all manners of cudgels, stones, tires, dry firewood and dangerous weapons they could lay their hands on and subjected him to merciless beating.

After all, the unruly group that chased him as an animal had labeled him a thief, no one dared to change the course of justice that awaited him.

The unruly mob’s narrative prevailed-he was a thief according to them. He was only 35, Fwinbe thus left behind grieving parents and several loved ones he was fond of.

Since, there were no security men around as they hotly chased him to Domkat Bali, one thing was apparent: Death smelt and was lurking around him; before long, he was history, as he lay in his pool of blood.

Even at that point none of his traducers cared to find out if he was indeed guilty of stealing the car (KWK 536 XA) registered in his name and had used over time to fend for himself with a beautiful life that lay before him. They snuffed that life on the altar of stupidity by desecrating his body and regrettably celebrating a Pyrrhic Victory.

Fwinbe’s brother, Wakbul Gofwan had written him thus: My brother was not killed by bandits. He was not killed by herdsmen militia. He was not killed by cultist or armed robbers. He was not killed by unknown gunmen. He was not killed by boko haram or terrorists. He was violently killed by supposed community members in the heart of the city we love and the land we call home.’

Such a eulogy on his younger brother, the man everyone who knows him calls ‘Bushman’ demonstrates the bond they had shared between them. His siblings had plans for him as one who was ready to settle with his heartthrob, Kwanmen Tracy Na’ankang. That plan too has also evaporated, no thanks to the hoodlums walking around in the garb of being transporters, denied her the joy of a life partner.

The mobs’ senseless narrative prevailed even for some who read the initials posts, until the right angle came up. The earlier story of having brushed someone’s vehicle soon evaporated.

He has never been a thief; his elder brother had written a panegyric even before his burial. It was touching as the motorcycle riders who initiated the death process were reduced to nothingness, but largely as band of killers who must be apprehended to face justice.

When he finally gave up in the most despicable manner on pieces of stones and logs of wood, it is possible they celebrated thinking, after all, they ‘got one of them’, without any inkling of who their victim was.

Consider all manner of invectives they must have used to place on the lifeless body of the young man, who has been variously described as a ‘hustler’ despite the station of his parents. As his other siblings, he wanted not to depend on them, but be a man of himself and being dedicated to his industry.

He didn’t want to be considered as one who depended on his parents. Having a father who uses every given opportunity to pass a message of self-improvement, his children must certainly be the first set of his students. That explains why he was out every day on the streets to make life meaningful to a family he was reported to be planning. Sadly, that dream was cut short.

Without sounding emotional on account of the death, would we continue to allow mob actions rule our streets? Do we not have the Police who would have settled the allegations labeled against Fwinbe, had they been invited on the scene?

Many innocent souls have been victims of mob actions in the past. It is only when the dust has settled that those caught in the web begun to wonder what has hit them. Most onlookers as well as passers-by most times watch as the mob dissipate their worthless energy on the incapacitated victim; who always is not able to save himself until the police arrive to pack his remains.

This was the case of Fwinbe Thomas Gofwan. Anyone who may have arrived the scene after the act was committed came late. The worst had been done; yet if they accused him, why is it that in most instances those who are found at such scenes come with ulterior motives? Do they not know they are guilty of the accusation also?

As I have asked like many, what crime did he commit to warrant being killed as a common criminal? Did he take what belong to someone they know? Did he hit someone and needed to go and report himself? Why did the horde of Achaba riding mob go after him until they got hold of ‘their victim’? When they caught up with him, did they make efforts to ascertain the veracity of the accusations leveled against him?

They may not have; they were only interested in taking their pound of flesh in the wrong way. They killed an innocent man, who, like them, was only out to eke a living. Accidents happen, yes, they do, but why would he be the one to face the consequences of a wrong decision? Why not they who chased him to his death as a common criminal?

Let must stop going in circle asking questions. What crime did he commit that should warrant him being killed? Who are those responsible for his death and how can they be apprehended and brought to justice?

While the police are working on the above questions for answers, we must keep insisting for Fwinbe Thomas Gofwan to get justice. Only those who do not respect the law can descend to such barbaric level to perpetrate the act.

It was alleged initially that on the fateful Monday, September 25, 2023, at the Tudun Wada Motor Park, he brushed a motor cycle prompting some of the riders to give him a hot chase and eventually caught up with him that evening, where they beat him without mercy until they sent him to the world beyond.

The act has many questions than answers: There is a law in place for Okada riders not to go beyond 6pm in Jos and Bukuru Metropolis. Where did they come from at that hour which is prohibited for doing business? How come they were in large number as if they arranged to be at the park at that hour?

Given the propensity of Keke and Okada riders at the Tudun Wada Park to be disorganized and unruly, security agents must establish their presence there. Those who use the road may have one form of experience or another to relate.

It is on record that the ban on the use of Motorcycle in the Metropolis is still in force in the metropolis. They should not be allowed to ply their trade, even as most of them have become a public nuisance.

Despite being a source of transportation many who live in the suburbs patronize, they riders have nonetheless become a law to themselves. It is an area that should not be left unattended to; otherwise lives will be treated with outright disregard by those who do not value it.

Those who snuffed the life out of Fwinbe don’t value life. If they do, the rightful thing to have done was to apprehend him and taken to the nearest police station for interrogation. They went for the extreme, but the law must serve its course by answering for their roles when investigations have been completed.

For how long will the blood-thirsty mob continue to rule the streets of the state? They may have succeeded in this, and in many instances; the law and sane persons amongst us must not let any repeat take place. Those who have a hand in silencing Fwinbe must answer for it; as it is the only way he can perfectly rest.


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