The ill-fated Dana plane crash of Sunday, 3rd June, 2012, in Lagos, must have come and gone; but the devastating memories in the minds of Nigerians, especially, those who lost loved ones in the incident, will forever remain indelible.
The memories of the crash again re-echoed on Saturday, 18th August, 2012, in Pushit District of Mangu Local Government Area of Plateau State, when the remains of Mr. Istifanus Ibrahim Mutihir, were laid to rest.
The deceased, a Deputy Director in the Financial Policy and Regulations Department, Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), who was among the about 158 passengers and crew that lost their lives in the unfortunate Dana plane crash, was the beloved husband of Mrs. Fintinrinam Ibrahim Mutihir, a staff in the Research and Documentation Department of the National Institute for Cultural Orientation (NICO).
Two months after the ill-fated aircrash, the body of late Mutihir was identified after DNA tests were performed on some of the victims, whose bodies could not be easily identified immediately, setting the stage for his funeral arrangement.
A service of songs was conducted for the deceased at his compound in Pushit District, Mangu LGA, of Plateau State, on Friday, 17th August, 2012.
The body left Jos University Teaching Hospital (JUTH) mortuary, the next day, Saturday 18th August, 2012, at exactly 7:10am, in a motorcade to his home town, a two hours’ drive, for a funeral service at the Church of Christ in Nigeria (COCIN), Local Church Council (LCC), Pushit.
Conducting the funeral service, COCIN President, Reverend Dr. Soja Bewarang, charged family and friends of the deceased to draw closer to God and depend solely on Him at a time like this, noting that as Christians, our stay and earth should end with the Lord.
He stated further that, though he did not meet late Istifanus, in person, but through his works and service for the Lord, the deceased had left a legacy, which was very important, and urged others to strive to emulate.
Rev. Gyang M. Chuwang, Pastor in charge of COCIN Church, Garki, Abuja, where the deceased worshipped until his death, in his sermon, titled, “Appointment with Death,” called on late Mutihir’s family, friends and sympathizers, to be prepared at all times to meet death because it is inevitable.
Taking his text from the book of Hebrews, Chapter 9, Verses 27 and 28, Rev. Chuwang admonished all present to live righteous lives, as death comes to all and that it was not how long we live on earth that matters, but how well we lived our lives and how positively we affected the lives of others around us.
Speaking further, the Reverend praised the life of the deceased, noting that though the nature of his job was demanding, he had made out time to fellowship with other believers and to serve God in his own quiet way, stating also that to live and die in Christ is a blessing, so people should endeavour to live holy lives, so that when death comes, there would not be anything to worry about.
While giving testimonies on the life of late Mr. Mutihir, friends, association members, employers, colleagues, family and community members, all lauded his good qualities and exemplary character, with the wife, Mrs. Fintinrinam Mutihir, summoning it all up when she stated that she had the best husband in the world.
Earlier, Mrs. Mutihir and the children, had sang the deceased best song which said, “what would I say to my Lord Jesus Christ, but to say Jesus I thank you” as special number in farewell to him and immediately after the funeral service, his body was interred at his compound, beside St. Michael’s Catholic Church in Pushit, Mangu local government area of Plateau State.
Late Mr. Istifanus Ibrahim Mutihir was born on the 10th of June 1959, in Pushit and attended LEA Primary School, Pushit, from 1967 to 1973, and then proceeded to Kings College, Lagos, for his secondary education and completed in 1978.
He attended Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, from 1980 to 1983, where he obtained a Bachelor of Science degree in Economics, and joined the Federal Ministry of Trade and Tourism in Lagos in November 1984 after his National Youth Service Programme which he did in Kaduna State.
In October 1989, he joined the services of the Central Bank of Nigeria as a Senior Supervisor and was posted to Enugu Zonal Office, and was promoted Assistant Manager in 1991.
In 1996, on attaining the rank of Manager, Mutihir was posted to the Banking Supervision Department at CBN Headquarters in Abuja, where he worked until the creation of the Financial Policy and Regulations Department in 2012, and was redeployed there as a Deputy Director.
The deceased was a founding committee member of CBN’s Bank Analysis System (BAS), which later became the Electronic Financial Analysis and Surveillance System (e-FASS), as well as a founding committee member of the Credit Risk Management System (CRMS) and headed this department, representing her most times at the weekly Monetary Policy Implementation Committee (MPIC), a committee charged with the responsibility of reviewing the impact of the policy decisions in the financial system and proffering recommendations to the Bank’s management.
Late Mutihir was a committed Christian, as he was one of the most active parents in bringing his children to Sunday School punctually, and was one of the greatest quiet contributors to the Garki COCIN Church Project.
He was hardworking, peaceful, quiet, humbly and easy to relate with and was also a man with a comportment that cannot be bestowed by nobility or wealth, but one who was entirely comfortable in his own skin.
Mr. Mutihir was a happy, contented family man, a committed staff, who had travelled to all the five continents of the world in pursuit of self-actualization and professional excellence, a quest he was pursuing as he was on his way to attend a course on Foreign Exchange in Lagos, when he met his death.
Late Istifanus Ibrahim Mutihir is survived by Mrs. Fintirinam I. Mutihir (wife), Mr. David Pankyes I. Mutihir (son), Mr. Derek Nandom I. Mutihir (son) and Miss Deborah Nankling I. Mutihir (daughter), as well as many brothers and sisters.
The entire management and staff of the National Institute for Cultural Orientation (NICO), mourn with one of theirs, Mrs. Finti I. Mutihir, wife of the deceased, as a large delegation of staff from the Institute, led by Mr. Mike O. Ekoko, Assistant Director, Research and Documentation Department, Pastor Herbert A. Ogbe, Assistant Chief Internal Auditor and Head, Audit Unit, Mrs. Maria Okpuzor, Assistant Chief Cultural Officer, Research and Documentation Department, Hajiya Mariam Amin, Principal Executive Officer II, Research and Documentation Department, as well as other NICO staff, travelled to Pushit to lend support to their colleague as she buried her husband.
Jonathan N. Nicodemus