By Egufe Yafugborhi & Davies Iheamnachor
My daughter called while dying—Mother
PORT HARCOURT—GRIEVING family members of some of those killed in the New Year eve by marauding gunmen in Omoku, Ogba/Egbema/Ndoni, ONELGA, Local Government Area, Rivers State, yesterday, narrated how their loved ones were killed and the pains they are going through.
Bright Nwokocha said his wife, Joy, who died among those shot could have been alive if soldiers that met her bleeding didn’t turn a blind eye.
Nwokocha, 34, told Vanguard at his Lucky Ojobo residence, that his 34-year-old wife, who hails from Isoko in Delta State, was entrapped with their three children on a bike metres away from their home while returning from the New Year eve service.
He said: “I read in the paper that there were two shooting scenes. Far more than that; the bloodsuckers were on a rampage. They met my wife and children already near home on our street. I had cautioned that they stay home and watch Emmanuel TV for the crossover service, but she insisted they go to church.
“I went my way, returned home earlier, called them at past midnight and they said they were home-bound. Minutes later, I called to know how close they were, but there was no response.
“The next minute, I heard booming sound of guns in succession close to the house we live. My second daughter rushed in shouting, ‘Daddy, Daddy, come, come some people are shooting knock-out and Mummy is sleeping there.’
Soldiers came, saw, zoomed off
Nwokocha further narrated: “I rushed to the scene and saw my wife lying on the road in a pool of blood. Our four year-old baby, shot in the buttocks too, was screaming. All my neighbours, who could help, ran into hiding out of fear.
“I held my wife, confused as to how to rush her to hospital. Then an Army van came in. I raised my hands up, shouting, ‘don’t kill me oo, my wife and daughter have been shot among other persons coming from New Year eve service. Please help me’.
“The soldiers in the truck peeped from the vehicle. One muttered some words in Hausa and they zoomed off, leaving my wife dying in my arms. It was too late when help finally came from a neighbour, who volunteered to take us to the hospital in his car, where my wife was pronounced dead.”
When Vanguard visited his home, relatives, friends and neighbours were gathered consoling him.
He cried: “My wife has left me. Men who have their own wives, children and parents, just trapped and shot my wife dead and they expect their homes and wards to be safe. It is well.”
‘Mama, they’ve shot me; I’m dying’
For Madam Gold Ordu, 72, her New Year Eve shock was the phone call from her dying daughter, Jennifer Ohia, 38, who was shot dead along with her son, Innocent Ohia, 14.
Success, her other daughter, who survived the shooting, is nursing her injuries at a hospital in Omoku.
Madam Ordu, speaking at her Ordu Quarters, told Vanguard that “they were all around and attended the crossover with us uptown at the Deeper Life Church.
“They then left, trekking to their home in Aligu,” the Omoku outpost that is home to dreaded Don Waney, who is being fingered by community sources as the mastermind of the massacre.
The septuagenarian bereaved mother, who lost his daughter and grandson, continued that: “We were jolted by shouting and people running from the direction my daughter was headed with her children, with the fear-stricken runners shouting that they have shot a crowd of trekkers in Aligu.
“In no time, my daughter called, talking faintly in pain: ‘Mama they have shot me, I am dying’.
“We tried rushing down, but were sternly warned not to go in the dead of the night. We waited and left at dawn. There they were, my daughter and her son, Innocent, dead.
“Success was shot in the leg and only Amaka, the eldest daughter, was unhurt. We have since taken the bodies and buried them on the plot they acquired when her husband was still alive.
“Success is being treated at an Omoku Hospital. The governor (Wike) visited and promised to pay the bills and assist us.”
At the hospital
Coincidentally, Augustine Ordu, husband of Prophetess Comfort Ordu, who was shot with his two children is paternally related to the Ordus, who lost Jennifer and her son in two separate shootings.
At the Castle Clinic, Omoku, where little Success is being treated, Vanguard met another baby, Mercy Ogadinma, 7, nursing more serious gunshot injuries: her left leg in POP, from toes to waist, from the impact of another shooting at Kringine Road, Omoku.
Godday ThanksGod, brother to Mercy’s mother, said: “My sister, Oyi Ogadinma and her daughter, Nwakaego Ogadinma, were both killed in that shooting, leaving Mercy at God’s own mercy. It is hard to recount this experience.”
OSPAC razes suspected killers’ home
Meanwhile, the local vigilante, ONELGA Security, Planning and Advisory Committee, OSPAC, may have begun burning houses belonging to alleged suspects involved in the New Year Eve killings.
An OSPAC member, who confided in Vanguard, said: “We have started torching some places, including that of persons reportedly selling out OSPAC information to these hoodlums.”