The story of Miss Iniobong Umoren, the slain job seeker in Akwa Ibom State, is a manifestation of man’s inhumanity against man.
It was what the Christian holy book captured as the “heart of man is desperately wicked”. The sequence of her murder was grusome, barbaric and cruel.
Miss Iniobong was desirous of getting a job to pay her bills and extend some form of assistance to her family. She didn’t want to hawk her body like some of her contemporaries. She wanted to earn a decent income before her call up for the National Youth Service but it didn’t happen.
She was raped, killed and buried in a shallow grave by a family engaged in one of the most bizzare killing enterprise in the world. Her dreams were cut short, her hopes dashed and all that was spent on her education and upbringing wasted, leaving her family, friends and loved ones in pain, sorrow and agony.
Iniobong was a victim of an avoidable circumstance. She like many others who died through similar circumstances, could still have been alive if the society they found themselves was functional.
Their lives wouldn’t have been wasted so cheaply if the government they looked up to had created job opportunities or provide entrepreneurial programmes for them to learn a skill after school and cater for themselves.
Perhaps, if the university school system was working as it ought to be, Iniobong would not have waited so long before being mobilized for the NYSC scheme. She would have been in any of the states serving her fatherland.
INIUBONG UMOREN, as you are laid to Rest today, May your soul find rest in the Bosoms of ABRAHAM
— Osaze (@akwaibomdaily) May 14, 2021
There are so many Iniobong’s who are roaming the streets of Lagos, Abuja, Port Harcourt, Enugu, and so on, in search of an elusive job. Many of them will still fall prey to monsters like Uduak Frank Akpan.
It is not because they choose to, but they are in a desperate situation. Their dream was never to stay idle or unemployed for years after school.
They had planned and anticipated that they will work, settle down and raise their own families but the rot in the country, caused by some greedy and clueless leaders shattered their dreams. They are now at the mercy of doing all kinds of things to survive, including prostitution for the girls. It’s a pitiable situation we have found ourselves.
It is now common to see youths looking for means to leave the country in search of greener pasture. Every weekday, they besiege the embassies and high commissions of different countries to apply for visas.
— Uche Okoro (@UOkoroTVC) May 14, 2021
Their minds are made up, that the country of their birth cannot secure their envisaged future and truly so. Maybe if Iniobong had the opportunity, she too would have planned to “escape” from Nigeria and become more useful.
The death of Iniobong should serve as a lesson to many young job seekers. Like her, many have died while trying to secure non-existing jobs. Others have been swindled, all because of their desperation.
Her case was brought to the fore by a vigilant friend who was always looking out for her. Otherwise, it would have been another missing person that was never found. It is important that a proper investigation is launched before setting out to any location or organization for job vacancies. The internet is there to serve as guide, using google map to locate places.
On the hand, government at all levels should prioritize youth engagement, job creation and empowerment as a cardinal objective of their administration. The government does not need to be told that if more young people are meaningfully engaged the better it will be for us all.
There will be a drastic reduction in crime and criminality as well as other social vices. The youths will have a country to proudly call their own.
But most importantly, the alleged killer of Iniobong, alongside all his collaborators must be brought to book. We stand with the Akwa Ibom State chapter of the Nigeria Association of Women Journalists (NAWOJ), the International Federation of Women Lawyers (FIDA) and other rights groups that the matter shouldn’t be treated with kid gloves.
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The Akwa Ibom State Government under whose jurisdiction the case is, must leave nothing to chance to diligently prosecute the culprits and make them pay for the heinous crime against the Philosophy graduate.
The wife of the governor, Martha Udom, should personally follow up the case. She should ensure that the case is not frustrated.
We understand that there might be some powerful people behind Uduak Frank Akpan. If it is true, then the fight for justice will be fierce. The media must continue to be on the case, every step of the way and report all proceedings.
For a family that is said to have murdered many innocent souls, they too don’t deserve to live. The cries of the victims, the tears of the bereaved families will continue to hunt them but it is only justice that can assuage the feelings of the families of the departed, particularly Iniobong.
The government should not disappoint her the second time.