BY Evelyn Usman and Esther Onyegbula
The Magbon abode of he late Samson Okedusi, the DCO was filled to its capacity as sympathizers thronged to condole with the bereaved family.
His widow, who still found it difficult to come to terms with the rude reality of his husband demise, was speechless for hours and only gave a blank stare to those around her.
Entreaties for her to speak to Vanguard failed initially. But at a point, she opened up and spoke in a low tone, saying: “We were asleep on Sunday, when my husband received a call on the news of the death of a soldier by a policeman and that Army officials have blocked the road and were attacking policemen. But because it was late, he called some men at the area to find out what was happening there.
Then, in the morning on Monday at about past seven, he received a call from the DPO, that the situation had calmed down, so he went to the office and met with the DPO. When he got there, he called me and asked me to stop panicking that there was no problem.
“He met with the DPO that Monday and they both went to see the Commandant of Ibereko Army Barracks to discuss the issue and after the close of work, he came back home and related to me how they were able to resolve the situation.
“He told me eye witness account proved that the death of the soldier on Sunday was not deliberate. According to him, the policeman had stopped the soldier only for him to want to disarm him and it was while the police man was struggling with the solider over his gun that has already been corked that the gun went off.
He also told me that according to eye witness account, it was the soldier that mistakenly pulled trigger of the gun. He told me that the Commandant of the barracks even accepted their explanation, after which they promised to contain the situation.
“So, in the morning of Tuesday, he said I should make tea for him and I did and poured it into his flask, which he took it to the office. Since he said they have settled the issue, it never occurred to me that was the last time I would see my husband alive.
“After he left for the office, I went to the site where I am building a hall, when all of a sudden, my phone rang and some one suggested I called my husband. When I did, his lines were all switched of. None of his lines were going. I called the DPO number it was also switched off.
I now called one of the Sergeants who said all was not well but my husband could be hiding some where. But when my Pastor came to the house, he said that my husband needed to change his clothes and I asked why he needed clothes and he said that they needed to operate on him. Then I was curious and kept asking before he broke the news to me on how my husband who left the home hale and hearty was murdered in cold blood for a crime he knew nothing about,” she broke down in tears afresh.
“The most painful aspect of it all is that he was billed to retire by December this year. Is this the best way to exit from a profession he loved dearly?, she asked, directing the question at no one in particular. The widow who said she had been married to her late husband of 59 years old, for 15 years, cried wondering why such fate should befall her now that she needed her husband most.
“Another painful aspect is that my husband died without even taking his tea. He died hungry. He went to the great beyond with an empty stomach. Ah! Who could have done this to me?”
Younger brother to the deceased who gave his name as Prince Ade stressed on the need for the Military, particularly the Army authorities to call their men to order.
“They cannot continue to kill like this. Why would they, at any little given opportunity, go on the rampage and thereby put the entire nation in jeopardy. The other time, it was that of Ojuelegba , now this one involving my brother,” he stated.