The bereaved families, the entire Adazi-Nnukwu community, Anaocha Local Government area and Anambra state, including the other genealogically related communities of Adazi-Ani and Adazi-Enu would mourn for a very long time. The last time any community in the state lost up to 12 of its beloved and hardworking citizens was only during the Nigeria/Biafra civil war.
It was therefore explainable why the loss of 12 citizens in one fell swoop brought indescribable tears to Anambra state and the Adazi-Nnukwu in particular. Because it happened unannounced and in a period of peace; a period of celebration of the yuletide. Among the dead were:
*SIMEON ASOR, 47, a trader who sold men’s wears. He left behind a widow and nine children.
*SUNDAY OKOYE, 54, left a widow with five children. He sold general wears for men, women and babies.
*OBINNA OKOYE, a 16 year old student. A Senior Secondary school 2 student. His dream was cut short so fast and unannounced.
UCHENNA OKPALA, 45, left behind a widow and five children. He was a trader who sold building materials.
ONWUKIKE AMECHI, 42, he left behind five children for his widow. While alive he sold bakery accessories.
*JOHN OBIAKONWA, 62. He was apparently the eldest. He left six children and a widow. He was a trader on men/women’s wears.
*UGOCHUKWU EZENWEKWE, 48, he had four children and sold textile materials
*PATRICK AGHACHI, 49, sold foodstuffs and had six children.
*JOB MGBEMENA, 53, he sold cooking utensils and left behind three children.
*OSITA AFORKA, 52, he sold shoes and men’s wears while he lived. He left behind a widow and five children.
*UKAMAKA AFORKA, a staff of the Federal Polytechnic, Mubi and sister in-law to Osita Aforka who was the first to be killed by the murderous sect and she went to participate in the burial arrangement of the brother in-law when she suddenly became a victim too.
As usual with losing a family member or close relation, their assassination remained a fable to virtually everyone including their wives and close relations until the hearse bearing their remains started arriving the St Andrew’a Catholic Church premises, Adazi-Nnukwu in Anaocha council area of Anambra state in the moning of Thursday, feb 2, 2012.
This solemn and unusual event instantly ignited a gale of tears from all by-standers and even passers-bye who had to shelve their personal businesses to detour into the church premises to catch a glimpse of the sad scenario. It was truly bone-chilling and sad, really very sad to behold. Everyone cried!
So sad was the whole situation because, their surviving kinsmen noted that while Igbos believe, accepted and daily show their willingness to make every part of the nation and world a home, events over the years have continued to point that other Nigerian tribes do not see things same way at all. They therefore wondered how long the Igbo blood would flow thick enough to cement the nation into one entity.
Today all the noise, the sirens-blaring cars, fancy talks and kinky dressed visitors and government officials have gone with their razzmatazz. The reality has since begun to settle in and impact of the loss of their bread winners have started to sink.
When The Guardian paid an unscheduled visit to the community some of the widows-Chinyere Okoye, Fidelia Obiakonwa, Lilian Amechi, Francisca Asor, Rose mary Aniagbado and Agatha Aghachi and other relations of the slain businessmen had started making alternative survival arrangements. Investigations revealed that some had traveled back to Adamawa state to tidy up the businesses left behind by their fathers, brothers and husbands. Actually some declined commenting on the journey for fear of being ambushed by their perceived Boko Haram traducers again, assurances of the state governments not withstanding.
Going by their physical appearances, these widows are still very young and were visibly so disturbed about the calamity of their losses that it take only the courage of one suddenly thrown into unexpected negative public glare they relieved how on the eve of Jan 5, 2012, Mr Asor was shot at point blank along with a friend he was relaxing with in a bar at Mubi. His widow acknowledged that the sad news was first kept away from her, but not for too long because the kinsmen had to meet urgently to plan on how to convey his corpse home for burial.
Unlike the later posture of the officials of Adamawa state government that they were killed fro business deal gone sour, it was the police investigation that revealed that it was the handiwork of the bloodthirsty Boko Haram Islamic sect.
They praised and thanked the Anambra state government, Senator Chris Ngige, Prof Dora Akunyili, Mr Dozie Nwankwo and Mrs Uche Ekwunife, a member of the House of Representatives, ‘for their kind gestures, donations, efforts and words of encourage that have helped us immensely in this moment of grief’.
They thanked Gov peter Obi for his promises of scholarship for their children, financial gifts and jobs to help sustain and enable them settle in which they described as a soothing balm on their bruised and broken hearts. Though not easy to relocate suddenly from the only place you have known, lived in and loved all your life, they had to brave the situation gradually for the sake of their lives and those of their children. Some of their children have already started schools in the state. Unfortunately it was not only the children of the victims, but just like it was announced by Gov Obi, all those indigenes of the state who is currently feeling unsafe continuing in any part of the country other than anambra and want to relocate were free to return home and have free and easy access into any school in the state, irrespective of their class or level-Nursery, primary, secondary or a tertiary institution.
Some of these men of honour left behind many uncompleted tasks and projects, glaring signs of an unplanned exit, children’s school fees, uncompleted building projects and unfulfilled business ideas. It was uncharitable for anyone to allude their untimely death to any other cause but religious ethnic cleansing
They reasoned that if a group could kill a man, come back to kill his family when they converged to plan his burial, such group could still not blink an eye to wipe out his remaining offspring and relations if they defy relocation.
However, going by the reaction of well-placed Nigerians, if the Federal Government wastes further time in tackling the killing machine of the Boko Haram, it wont be far before we kiss good by to a one Nigeria mantra. Because a situation no one feels safe in an environment other than his tribe and home state, then the end is surely near for the nation.