BY FRANCIS IGATA
ENUGU—Three hit-and-run accident victims, Agata Eze, Emilier Ugwu and Roseline Okolo, who were killed last September 2, precisely in front of All Saints Catholic Church,Ibagwa-Nike,Enugu, along T’Junction-Opi-Nsukka expressroad,were last weekend, declared Martyrs of their parish.
Agata and Emilier were killed around 4.30AM when parishioners were returning from a night vigil while the Roseline was knocked down at the same spot,by another hit-and-run driver as she made her way into the church.
Parishioners had on the ill-fated evening,trooped out at the All Saints Catholic Church Ibagwa, for their usual first Friday night vigil conducted in all catholic churches in Enugu Diocese to offer special intercession prayers.
The vigil, South-East Voice gathered from the Parish Priest, Rev. Fr. Marcel Ani, took them on a rosary procession to Onu-Ngene village from where they were returning at about 4.00AM Saturday when a J5 Van,carrying tomatoes from the northern part of the country,over ran the parishioners in front of the church,killing two instantly, while eight others were severely injured.
The deceased victims Agata and Emilier were both from Isi-Uzo Local Government Area of Enugu State while the latter was said to be carrying an eight months pregnancy. The other eight severely injured victims were rushed to Ntasiobi Hospital,Trans-Ekulu,Enugu.
South-East checks showed that the incident devastated the parishioners who quickly launched an emergency appeal fund to enable them offset medical debts of those at the hospital and bury the dead.
The parish,also declared the three victims as martyrs of their parish. Confirming the development, Fr. Marcel revealed that the best way to immortalize them was to declare them martyrs of the parish.