Grief-stricken widow of one of the slain members of Ejemekwuru Community Vigilante Group in Oguta LGA of Imo State, Mrs. Nkeiruka Nwaoza sees the future as very bleak for her and her six children.
Mrs. Nwaoza does not know how she would bear the burden of catering for the children left behind by her slain husband, Emeka.
Emeka, 43 and his cousin, Chijioke Nwaoza, 35 were shot dead early morning of Thursday, May 20 at Ejemekwuru-Akabo junction by security operatives suspected to be soldiers.
In an interview with our correspondent, the widow, who clasped her hands on her shoulder said in-between sobs; “Who will take care of my children. I just put to bed.
“I had six children with him. My world has crumbled. This is very unfortunate. I was with him before he left for the night duty. I never knew I will not see him again. My last born is not up to seven months old.”
Emeka’s youngest brother, Adindu, told our correspondent that the family has in its kitty evidence that it was security operatives that shot his brothers.
Adindu called on the government to give the family, justice by unravelling the killers of his siblings and meting out commensurate punishment.
He submitted that his brothers were not “criminals, rather community policing officers, who were performing a lawful duty at the time they were shot dead.”
Our correspondent learnt Chijioke also left behind six children.
Chijioke’s father, Chief Ikechukwu Nwaoza, had tears-filled eyes at the time our correspondent arrived at their compound.
The distraught father told our correspondent that he was alerted around 2:00am that his son, Chijioke had been shot at a security checkpoint where he was on duty.
He disclosed that on arrival, he met Emeka already dead while Chijioke was gasping for breath.
Chief Nwaoza said Chijioke was quickly rushed to a hospital in nearby Ogbaku Community where he gave up the ghost.
He said, “I was awoken around 2:00am that my son, Chijioke had been shot. I rushed to the scene and saw him struggling for life. Emeka was already dead by the time I got there. We quickly took him to a hospital at Ogbaku, where the doctors said that he was losing too much blood. He died afterwards around 4:00am.
“We went to Izombe police station same time and the policemen suggested we deposited their corpses in a morgue.
“I am calling on the government to give me justice because their colleagues said that it was the security agents that shot them.
“Chijioke left a very young family. He got married in 2013 and he had six children, including a set of twins who are just ten months old. This is quiet unfortunate. He was my first son.”
A large number of sympathizers had massed at the Nwaoza’s family compound in Umuagwu Village in Ejemekwuru Community, at the time our correspondent visited.
Mrs Ijeoma Nwaoza, widow of slain Chijioke was too shell-shocked to talk. Weeping profusely, she would throw herself to the ground with relatives and sympathizers consoling her to take heart.
The police spokesperson in the state, Bala Elkana, told our correspondent that the manhunt for the killers of the security operatives had begun.
Elkana said, “We have commenced investigation into the incident and the manhunt for their killers had begun immediately. I have been told that hoodlums attacked them while on duty in the community”.