BY CHIDI NKWOPARA
OWERRI — Palpable confusion reigned in Owerri, yesterday, as a father tied his seven children, including his triplet, to a wheel-barrow and was heading to an unknown destination before officials of Ministry of Women Affairs and Social Development intervened.
Vanguard investigations revealed that the 44-year-old man, Israel Dike, is a native of Odenkume, Obowo Local Government Area of Imo State, but resides in Ugwu Ekwema, Egbu Road, Owerri.
The children’s hands were securely tied to a wheelbarrow while the man was soliciting for buyers for the children, saying he was fed up with his dwindling economic fortunes.
A staff of the ministry told Vanguard: “Following a tip off, a high powered team led by the Commissioner for Women Affairs, Mrs. Nma Onyechere, quickly went and rescued the children.”
Apart from disclosing that he planned selling some of them with a view to enabling him take proper care of others, Dike equally lamented that Governor Rochas Okorocha put him in the mess he has found himself today.
“Owelle Okorocha is the cause of what I am passing through today. He made me a promise in the past and has failed to redeem it till today,” Dike said.
Speaking to newsmen at the scene, the commissioner described Dike as a “depressed man, who is mentally deranged.”
While urging Dike’s wife to go for family planning, the commissioner equally promised that government would carefully ascertain the level of the man’s mental problem.
Answering a question, Mrs. Onyechere said the ministry would find a way of giving out the children to foster parents with a view to ensuring adequate care and their education.