By Ikechukwu Odu
Recently, there have been harvest of tragic deaths at Igbo-Eze North Local Government Area of Enugu State.
The council area seems consumed and manipulated by forces beyond human control; as if an angel of death has been let loose on the people to surreptitiously pounce life out of both the suspecting and unsuspecting occupants, most of them in their prime.
The council area continued to lose innocent souls to ritual killings, rape cases, deaths by generator fume and kidnappers invasion.
Just few months back, the women of Isiugwu community dressed in black and marched to the local government headquarters, Ogrute, to protest what they called “arbitrary raping of women and girls in their community.” Their outcry generated sympathy for the victims as well as condemnation for the men of loose morals who carry out such dastardly acts for sheer pleasure and rituals.
Then, Ngozi Eze, whose father had dropped off to attend lesson for the just conducted Joint Admission and Matriculation Board, JAMB, examination was raped to death and her private parts severed and carted away by the hoodlums. Eze, from Imufu community who was cut short in her prime would have been an undergraduate in the university but her parents pleaded with her due to financial constraints, to exercise patience so that her elder brother would graduate. Her dreams are now aborted.
Also, a chemist, Chibueze Uramah whose wife put to bed four days before he was gruesomely murdered by members of Aji vigilante group for purchasing stolen herbs from a suspected thief has also added to the numbers of those whose lives were snapped prematurely. His death provoked protest from Umu-Idoko community, in Ogrute, also in the council area. The irate mob who protested Urama’s death alleged that he became the fifth person killed in their cold blood by Aji community who are notorious for ritual killings.
One may lose counts of souls allegedly wasted by the community’s extra-judicially, and the culprits always went scot-free.
Onuora Odo, was also hit to death by a stray bullet on the day of the last gubernatorial election in the state. He had gone on a solidarity mission with his brother who contested for Enugu State House of Assembly, Igbo-Eze North Constituency 1 seat. A stray bullet from one of the security personnel attached to the All Progressives Congress, APC, candidate in the last governorship election in the state, hit him on the head and he died immediately.
The mother of all tragedies happened on the 22nd July, 2019, at a rustic Igogoro community, also in the local government, when eight labourers were suffocated to death by carbon dioxide from a generator inside a septic tank at a construction site belonging to one Stephen Mamah. That was the day the devil really worked overtime.
The victims whose names were given as Omenkeya Eze, Oluchukwu Eze, Ejike Onu, Emeka Abugu, Amuche Abugu, Ifeanyi Abugu, and Uchenna Idoko, have not been buried as security personnel are still investigating their death. However, a family source confirmed to South East Voice that they would be buried on the 28th of this month.
As the people of the council are still trying to come to terms with the lose of eight vibrant youths in one day, the kidnappers struck and gunned down Job Ikechukwu Alih, a 29-year-old unemployed graduate of Public Administration,who tried to stop the abduction of his friend, Nathaniel Ayogu.
While these and other clandestine activities happened in the local government in a space of few months, one would agree that there is no better time than now to exorcise the council area of the angel of death.