…Their father initially absconded, but a philanthropist has offered to train them to varsity level
By Vincent Ujumadu
FORTUNE has smiled on the quintuplets (four males and one female) born to an unemployed housewife married to a tricycle operator in Anambra State, as an Nnewi –based philanthropist, Sir Louis Carter Onwugbenu has offered to train them to the university level.
Their parents, Mr. Abuchi Odo Ezugwu and Mrs. Ndidi Odo Ezugwu, who hailed from Okpaligbo Ogu, Nsukka in Enugu State, already had four children (three females and a male) before the arrival of the quintuplets.
Mrs. Ezugwu initially had three females and because the couple was looking for a male child, the fourth pregnancy resulted to triplets (all males), but two died after one year, leaving them with three females and a male before the latest delivery of the quintuplets. Altogether, the couple now has nine children, five males and four females.
Asked if they would like to have another child, the Ezugwu’s vowed that such a thing would never happen. Narrating his reaction when he was informed that his wife had put to bed, he said he initially ran away from his house because, according to him, there was even no money to feed one, not to talk of five babies born at the same time.
He said: “When my wife called on phone to inform me that she had put to bed, I was happy. But when she told me they were five, I ran away. To prevail on me to come and see them, she lied to me that they were only three. But when I came to the hospital, I saw five babies and that made me to run away from the house for the second time because of our poor financial situation.
“I cried profusely because I had only N7000 from all sources and I did not know how I was going to handle the situation. Because many people who visited the hospital consoled me and even assured me that God who gave them to us would not abandon us, I started feeling happy, even though I did not know how God was going to intervene.”
Ezugwu said though he had never met Sir Onwugbenu, he had heard about him in Nnewi, expressing delight that the man had touched his life.
Mrs Ezugwu, who also spoke to Saturday Vanguard said though she was informed that she would be delivered through caesarian operation, she never imagined that she was carrying five babies all along. “When I woke up after the operation, the nurses were asking me if I knew the number of babies I put to bed and because I was not strong yet, I could not answer.
“My only question was whether my babies were alive and I was assured that they were healthy, but I did not know they were five. Later when I was conscious, I pleaded with the nurse to allow me see them , only for me to come face to face with five babies lying on one bed.
“The first thing I said was that God who gave us these five babies knew that we are poor financially and that he should not abandon us.
“Since my delivery, individuals have been coming with gifts, otherwise there is nothing for us to eat. My prayer is that God who did this for us will see us through. I also pray that God would give Louis Carter, who paid our hospital bill and promised to train them, good health and long life to fulfill his wish to the children”
Though Mrs. Ezugwu said her family did not have history of multiple births, her husband, Abuchi Ezugwu said his father’s second wife had twins.
When Saturday Vanguard visited God’s Mercy Maternity Home at Obiuno, Otolo Nnewi, where they were delivered, both t mother and children were in a healthy condition. However, there was jubilation in the area when an announcement was made that Sir Onwugbenu, who is currently in the United States of America, USA, had undertaken to offset their hospital bill and to train the five children up to the university level under the Louis Carter Education Foundation, which he promoted some years ago.
An official of the Foundation, who broke the cheering news to the couple, linked them with Onwugbenu on telephone and he too confirmed the award and assured them that their children would never be in want.
The Louis Carter Foundation has about 400 people enjoying its scholarship, including two other sets of quintuples from Nnobi in Idemili South local government area of Anambra State and another set delivered at the University of Nigeria Teaching Hospital, UNTH, Enugu in 1986.
Speaking on phone, Onwugbenu said his promise to provide lifeline to the children was his humble way of appreciating God for his mercies to him and members of his family.
Incidentally, the day he announced the scholarship award to the children coincided with his 66th birthday anniversary and he used the occasion to sent goodwill messages to all those emjoying his scholarship.