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A Visit To Bereaved Family Of Slain Nigerian Naval Officer, SirChibuzor
As we reached the house, Chibuzor’s young wife and the two kids were on hand to receive us. DPA delegates.
Due Process Advocates delegates visited the bereaved family of Nigerian slain Navy, SirChibuzor Emmanuel Ugotex, who was shot by unknown gunmen two weeks ago while on duty.
DPA’s Director Of Information, Ifeanyi Calistus, gave in-depth account of how the members of the Human Rights Group visited home of Chibuxor in Imo state, to confirm the shocking news.
According Ifeanyi, police is carrying out investigation to help apprehend the killers.
See excerpts below:
“HAVE YOU SEEN MY SON CHIBUZOR, HAS HE SENT MESSAGE TO YOU?”
The ride from Portharcourt to Ihube Okigwe IMO State was a tough one: no thanks to the bad portions of the ever busy Portharcourt/Enugu road. Ihube is situated in Okigwe, Imo, Nigeria. A rural dwelling; their major economic activities are cashew plantation and quarrying. The birth place of late Prof Adiele Afigbo, the historian. There are flashes of sophisticated buildings here and there in the community by their sons and daughters who made money of late
It was not difficult to locate SirChibuzo Emmanuel Ugotex family because immediately we mentioned that we were going to visit the family of the slain Navy man, the “Okada” man nodded and said “At Umueze”. There was uneasy calm around the place. One of the “Okada” men said in a low tone “so finally, this is true?”
Umueze is a community situated on a hill. It must take an expert driver to ascend the hills to the community. Some of the goats we passed looked at us briefly and returned to their feeding. The women and children folded their arms across their chest as they watched from a considerable distance.
As we reached the house, Chibuzor’s young wife and the two kids were on hand to receive us. The last child had a big swell on his left eye and we were told he injured himself while playing. As we entered the sitting room, we met the mother. She is in her early sixty and appeared to have forced great deal of tragedy out of life. Dark in completion but strikingly beautiful even in the mist of her travail and age.
“Unu o huru nwa m Chibuzor, onwere ozi o siri unu zie m?” – ” Have you seen my son Chibuzor, has he sent message to you?”. She asked, looking at us closely expecting an answer. As the DPA Rivers Chapter coordinator Florence Ada Okoro began to speak, Mama listened intently with rasp attention as if there could be anything we could say that could help bring back her son, Chibuzor.
We told her that we are members of The Due Process Advocates (DPA) Rivers Chapter. That Chibuzor was one of us.
” We heard conflicting reports about the death of Chibuzor, we are here today to find out what really happened, Chibuzor is like a younger brother to me and he took me like an elder brother, there is nothing he does not discuss with me. His death came to me as a rude shock. I couldn’t believe he is dead.
The wife, Ijeoma Esther Ugotex informed us that she was invited by the Navy with Chibuzor’s younger brother in the Navy to see the body deposited at the morgue at the Military hospital Portharcourt and truly, the body she saw was that of her late husband – Chibuzor . He was shot from behind and the bullet pieced through his chest. We may not like to share other details as the matter is still under investigation by the Navy but the suspect is in detention and we were told he is from Ebonyi State.
A modest sitting room – Chibuzor’s presence was felt all over the place. His enlarged photographs conspicuously adored all the walls of the living room. In one of the photographs, he was seen dressed in full military gear with his riffle. In the other photographs, he was seen in Navy full white wears, in what looked like a pass out parade.
We also saw him with the six sons of Aguson in a group photograph and upon enquiry, we were told that the picture was taken after their fathers burial few years ago. We also saw him as a civilian in other photographs beaming his ever smiling face.
We saw another photograph of a hard looking military man in full military fatigue and we were told that he was Ugoaguson himself, Chibuzor’s father. He served in the Nigerian army but when the Nigeria – Biafra war broke out in 1967, he enlisted in the Biafra Arny and fought till the end of the war. After the war, he was called back to the Nigerian Army but he declined.
We had planned to take pictures with the family but the pain of Chibuzor’s exit from the family is touching. What we saw on ground weakened us. We handed them what we brought for them and left; only God can console them and give them the fortitude to bear the loss.