…She wouldn’t ve died if… — Jackson, NANS joint campus c’ttee chair
By Chioma Onuegbu
CITIZENS of Akwa Ibom State, particularly those from Oruk Anam Local Government Area, where University of Uyo, UNIUYO graduate, Miss Iniubong Umoren, horrifically murdered while searching for job, hails from, have carpeted the Governor, Mr. Udom Emmanuel and his government for staying away from her internment, last Friday.
Residents who spoke with NDV after the funeral service of the 26-year-old graduate of Philosophy conducted by Faith Tabernacle Congregation, Ikot Ibritam, Oruk Anam Local Government Area, at the deceased’s father’s compound in Nung Ita Ikot Essien village, described the development as disappointing and unexpected.
I’m saddened gov didn’t attend — Akan, villager
Speaking angrily, a local, who simply identified himself as Mr. Akan, said: “I am here to commiserate with this family over their sister and our young daughter murdered in cold blood. I am a businessman, although I am from here but I stay in Abak Local Government Area. I am here because I am saddened by the circumstances that led to her untimely death.
“But it is a disappointment that after all the widespread press statements on radio, television, and newspapers that they will support the family, the street protests to condemn the kidnap, rape and subsequent murder of this daughter of Akwa Ibom State, no single state government official is here today at this burial. You are here, or have you seen any of them?
“Since the governor could not attend, he did not even consider it important to send a representative. In moments of grief like this, it is not all about financial support. The bereaved family needs moral support too, especially considering how she was murdered.
“I sincerely commend people of our community and especially friends of the deceased, who did not mind the heavy rain to come here all the way from Uyo. It shows they really care. Iniubong’s death is a great loss to the family and the community too. She was an intelligent girl and we are praying that God exposes everybody who has a hand in her death,” he said.
All she needs now is justice— Jackson, student leader
On his part, Chairman, National Association of Nigerian Students, NANS Joint Campus Committee, JCC, Akwa Ibom State axis, Moses Jackson, said Akwa Ibom students were pained and displeased by the killing of their colleague in cold blood, and appealed to both federal and state governments, Inspector-General of Police and state Commissioner of Police to ensure she got justice.
“Honestly, we insist on justice for the late Iniubong Umoren. All she needs now is justice, the perpetrators must be brought to book, and a situation where they fail to give her justice, they will hear from us. She was killed in cold blood while she went in search of a job, so we are not happy. If you look around you can see in the eyes of the students that they are feeling pain, they are crying,” he said.
The student leader who was in company of others at the burial ceremony, lamented that apart from the high unemployment rate in Akwa Ibom State, the National Youth Service Corps, NYSC, also contributed to the death of their colleague, stressing: “We blame NYSC as well for her death because of the late postings. Had it been the posting came out early, two or three months ago, Iniubong Umoren would not have died.
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“She would have gone for the national service instead of going to seek a job. But just a week after her death, the call-up came out. It is unfortunate,” Jackson disclosed.
Why did state EXCO meeting hold same day?
Similarly, a close friend to the bereaved family and civil servant that spoke in confidence with NDV, queried:” Have you asked yourself why they have to fix all their meetings and events the same Friday that this girl that was gruesomely murdered was being buried? I just heard in this place that as we speak, they are holding State Executive Council meetings.Is today the only day they could meet? And I think they had EXCO meeting on Monday, so why another one today?
“And why is it also today (last Friday) that the police decided to parade the suspect to make confessional statement? For me, I think the whole thing was well planned as an excuse not to attend the burial ceremony. Iniubong’s killing has attracted so much controversy and attention, both locally and internationally. I never expected that this same governor that has made vows to bring the perpetrators to book failed to attend the burial and he was even in the state.
“This action can even give the impression that there is something fishy. The rumors that there are moves to protect those behind this girl’s death could be true. It is unfortunate. But you see, in this life, no one can deceive God. I strongly believe that God will fight this battle because this case is different,” he noted.
Security agencies will get to the root of the matter — Gov Emmanuel
Meanwhile, Governor Emmanuel during his #TheGovSpeaks, same Friday, which focused on Security, COVID-19, his mid-term scorecard, aired live on radio and television stations operating in the state, restated his vow to get justice for the deceased.
The governor who expressed confidence in the security agencies to get to the root of the matter even challenged female security officers in the state to work hard to ensure justice is served.
“We are doing everything to unravel the mystery behind the killing of Iniubong Umoren, I will leave no stone unturned to get justice done in this case, I await the Police and DSS to conclude their investigations.
“Once again, my sincere condolences to the bereaved family,” the governor said.