IT was a harvest of tears at the Muslim cemetery in Akure, the Ondo State capital on Monday, as the remains of Okanlawon Olalekan Ibrahim, a member of the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) who died while on election duty on Saturday, March 9, was laid to rest.
The 29-year -old Ibrahim, with the state code OD/18C/1199, was deployed as an ad-hoc staff of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in Arogbo Ward 11 in Ese-Odo Local Government, but on his way back after the election, the boat transporting him and other electoral officers capsized.
The corps member did not survive the accident as he drowned. Six others were quickly rescued and rushed to the hospital with minor injuries. Reports say Ibrahim did not wear the life jacket given to him before boarding the boat.
Being a member of the last batch of corps members mobilised in 2018, Ibrahim was due to pass out of NYSC by October this year.
The NYSC, in a statement shared on its official Facebook handle, described the deceased as “a young man, burning with patriotic zest (who) stood to be counted at the hour of national need by availing the Nation of his services as INEC ad-hoc staff.”
“Regrettably, he had successfully concluded the national task before meeting his untimely death, arising from boat mishap on his way back to his place of abode,” part of the statement read.
Ibrahim’s body was interred at Akure, though he hails from Abeokuta, Ogun State.
The Ondo State Chairman of the NYSC Governing Board who is also the Commissioner for Youth and Sports Development, Saka Yusuf-Ogunleye, explained that the body would have been taken to Abeokuta but Ibrahim’s family requested that he should be buried in Akure, where he was serving.
He added the corps member was buried in the presence of government and NYSC officials, as well as some members of his family.
Condolences have been pouring in on social media for Ibrahim whom many described as a gentle, humble person.
“I was shocked this morning when I heard about your death from your neighbour. Very humble guy, continue to rest on Ibrahim,” wrote one Christianah Olawuyi on Facebook.
Also, Okanlawon Adebesin, a member of the deceased’s family, described Ibrahim’S death as a shock to his parent and his entire family. “I pray to Almighty Allah to forgive all his shortcomings…,” she wrote.
Another person named Daramola Olumide said: “So shocking losing a colleague…rest in peace, bro.”
One AbdulHameed Abiodun, while describing Ibrahim as “a hero of democracy”, advised corps members serving in riverine areas to always be safety conscious when travelling on water.