New Telegraph

Okposi: Community at the mercy of killers

Battle field

Okposi community in Ohaozara Local Govern- ment Area of Ebonyi State has not been freed from brutal killings which has been one of the major challenges facing the popular community in the state. About 10 year ago, a prominent son of the area, Chief Ihebunandu Okorie, was kidnapped in a church in the area and killed in a bush. His killers buried him in a shal- low grave after collecting ransom. The Department of State Security Services(DSS) in the state investigated the incident and made some arrests. The secret security paraded those arrested over the incident. It was the DSS that exhumed Okorie’s body which was decomposing in a shallow grave.

Okorie was a busi- ness mogul and Coordinator of Okposi Development Centre. On the 11th of March, this year at about 10:pm, a prominent politi- cian and another businessman in the community, Ugwu Ogbonnaya Samuel, was gruesomely murdered and burnt inside his car like the Labour Party Senatorial candidate of Enugu State in the just concluded general election, Oyibo Chukwu.

Recurring always

The incident is the third in the area within one year. The first person that was killed at the same spot that Ugwu was murdered was operative of the defunct Ebubeagu Security Network.

The incident happened around February this year. The deceased has been laid to rest. The second person that was also killed in the same spot was sell- ing bread. He has not been buried. Ugwu is the Ward Councillor representing Okposi ward, Ohao- zara Local Government Area of the state. He is the Deputy Chief Whip of Ohaozara legislative council and was returning home on that fateful 11th March after his business in his shop in the area when masked men who operated on a motorcycle ac- costed him and ordered him to come out of his car. Ugwu did not come down from the vehicle as or- dered by the gunmen.

Ugwu who is popularly known as Spaco, kept driving home while the gunmen rained bullets on him. His vehicle couldn’t move anymore because of the bullets the gunmen shot on it. At that point, Ugwu came down from the vehicle but the hood- lums pushed him inside and set the car ablaze. The gunmen went to a shop where fuel was being sold, carried some quantity of the commodity and poured on the car and set it on fire. They gunmen stayed there unchallenged till the vehicle got burnt completely before they left the scene. A police station, Okposi police station is located in front of the scene. On Friday last week, Ugwu was buried amidst tears, sorrow and curses which the community laid on his killers. The community carried his corpse and protested round the area. They wore black attires with his pictures on the attires.

The attires had inscriptions “Spaco, avenge your death, your killers have murdered sleep”.

Havoc

After the protest, Ugwu’s corpse was taken to Ohaozara legislative council in Obiozara where members of the council held valedictory session in his honour. One of the protesters, Mrs. Edina Okoro who described him as a good man who lived his life for all through for others, opined that his killers will not go unpunished. She said “anyone in this Mgbom Okposi that has a hand in the grue- some murder of our brother Ogbon- naya Ugwu will not go unpunished. Ogbonnaya Ugwu was a good man who carried the problems of our people on his head and somebody planned and eliminated his life like this and kept us in this sorrowful situation. “Spaco is not dead, he is only sleeping. That they killed and burnt you does not mean that you are dead.

You are sleeping and I know that you are in a better place. Your killers will surely pay for their evil. You were shouting, garnishing teeth, struggling when they were killing you and they did not look at you face. This is the same condition their lives will be for God will not look at their faces when they will be facing their punishments. It shall be well with your soul”.

 

Brother’s curse

On his part, the deceased young- er brother, Uchenna Ugwu, said “Where you are good, the almighty God will fight your battle. Your kill- ers will never go unpunished. As many as they are both men, wom- en, even if they are adults, they are youths, their deaths, your own death will be better than their own. It shall be well with your soul. “Anywhere you are, remember Mgbom and Echara, they have fought for you and they shall continue to fight.

The almighty God will definitely fight for you and fight for all of us. God will remove sleep from all those who planned and executed this evil act”. During the valedictory session, the Leader of Ohaozara legislative council, Hon. Evo Okechukwu de- scribed Ugwu as a good man, a fa- ther, a Patriot, a builder, an achiever, a respected intellectual and political icon, an administrator, erudite Legislator, a generous statesman and a community developer who was untimely called to the way of all mortals but in a most brutal, bar- baric and gruesome manner.

Ugwu’s virtues

He noted that the deceased was a man of many good parts. “Irrespective of the fact that Spa- co died untimely, he made memora- ble marks on the sand of time. Some of the unique and salient qualities of Hon. UgwuOgbonnaya Samuel (Spaco) was that only 20 minutes spent with him is enough for him to make a remarkable impact, either through his wise speeches and in- tellectual prowess or through his unprecedented humanitarian kind gestures.

Spaco, your impact on the Community and beyond lives on, though you are no more. You will be greatly missed. “In Ohaozara Legislative Coun- cil, as the Deputy Chief Whip Spaco was also a unique Legislator with uncommon skills and esoteric Knowledge in legislative processes and proceedings. Spaco had always demonstrated astonishing style of legal draftsmen. Hon.Ugwu Og- bonnaya Samuel (late) had always ensured that the Ohaozara Legislative Chambers was held very sacrosanctly at all time and all her proceedings approached by all con- cerned with utter sacrosanctity.

“The death of Spaco unilaterally plunged Ohaozara Legislative Council into a cacophonical, gloomy and lugubrious quagmire. Since he passed away, there has been a noticeable void in Ohoazara Legislative Council in particular and the entirety of the body of all the Councilors in Ebonyi State at large. We truly miss your talent, your uncommon refinement, your humility, your doggedness, your ex- pertise and your parliamentarian erudition. “Late Hon. Ugwu Ogbonnaya Samuel was a great grammarian and a true legend of multi-disci- plinary progressive art. Ordinar- ily, everyone can twist his or her tongue and speak with a native accent, but it is not everyone’s cup of tea to write or speak effectively, but Spaco was a commander of gram- mar both in speech and in writing. We have lost an embodiment and cumulus of grammar.

Accolades galoree

“Hon. Ogbonnaya Samuel (Spaco) was also a hardworking and industrious youngman who believed not only on second address, but also believed in multiple sources of in- come, hence his various business establishments. “Spaco was a bold and God-fearing man, the greatness he attained before his death was built on godly principles and he will always be remembered for his good lifestyle. -During our training in CSS Farm, Gora at Keffi, late, Hon. Ugwu Og- bonnaya Samuel was a great moti- vator to most of our colleagues, he was always encouraging our col- leagues, to be committed to their assignments and to be very close to God.

He was also a very jovial per- son to the point that some people called him “Mr. Jovial”.

Painful exit

“Words alone cannot fully demonstrate the person of late Hon. Ugwu Ogbonnaya Samuel (Spaco) and words alone cannot also show the pain that we are go- ing through because of the death of a wonderful Honourable Colleague. We can only take solace in to good life Spaco lived and the legacies he has left behind”, he stated. Elder brother to the late Ugwu, Okezie Ugwu said his late brother was always close to him throughout his lifetime and was always impacting on people’s lives. He lamented that Ugwu who was good to everyone, died very painful death. “My brother died a very painful death but he was very good to everybody. The solace we have is that he touched many lives before he died. We never knew that peo- ple could help people when they are politicians. It was when he became a Councillor that people from our remote area especially the women started benefiting.

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