By Sunday Ani
The kidnap and murder of Miss Chioma Eunice Igweike, allegedly for ritual purposes in Ogun State last week, has added to the growing number of Nigerians who have been savagely sent to their early graves .
Chioma, a graduate from the Federal Polytechnic, Oko, Anambra State, had high hopes of a good life like her colleagues after they finished their Higher National Diploma (HND) programme. She looked forward to a glorious working life after her one-year compulsory National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) programme. When she got her call-up to be mobilised for the exercise in Ogun State, she was jubilant and anxious to witness the almighty NYSC programme.
She wanted to give her best to her fatherland. Alas, her country betrayed her. Her country dashed her hopes and cut short her life.
On her way to the Ogun State NYSC orientation camp on July 20, the messengers of death, those who have visited pain, sorrow, anguish and terror on defenceless Nigerians, struck. She was abducted and allegedly taken to the slaughter slab, where she was butchered like an animal and her essential parts taken as articles of trade by human parts dealers.
The prospective corps member begged, shouted, cried and wailed for assistance but Nigeria failed her. There was no security agent in sight to rescue her from her tormentors.
Nigeria could not provide security for Chioma. She was abducted. Her life’s dreams were shattered. She was brutally killed and her body parts taken without a whimper from any of the many security agencies in Nigeria.
Her lacerated body was eventually discovered on July 29, almost nine days after she was abducted. All efforts to trace her abductors did not yield any positive result until the worst had happened.
Chioma’s school mates and classmates have been commenting about the dastardly incident even as they all agreed that her death should be blamed on the government that has failed in its primary constitutional responsibility to secure the life and property of citizens.
One of such school mates, Ike Sunday Chinedu, lamenting Chioma’s uncanny death said: “I can remember the stress we went through in school before graduation, the quizzes, assignments, examinations and all that.
“I can vividly remember how your classmates used to come to our lodge to receive lectures from you as a result of your brilliant approach to most of your departmental courses. I can remember that I never had any issue with you throughout our stay as neighbours; something that’s very rare among students in this generation. And this is how you ended up. I first thought that it was a joke when I heard that you were missing. But then, days later I now heard they have taken your life. RIP my hero; farewell, Chioma.”
Ogun State Police Public Relations Officer, Abimbola Oyeyemi, said the Homicide Section of the Ogun State Police Command was still trying to unravel the circumstance surrounding her abduction and murder. He said that the command was doing everything possible to bring the masterminds of the act to book.
Meanwhile, the NYSC has commiserated with Chioma’s family. This was contained in a statement issued in Abuja by the director, Press and Public Relations, Mr. Eddy Megwa.
Megwa said Chioma set out for the NYSC orientation camp in Sagamu, Ogun State, from Abia, having been deployed to the state for national service under 2022 Batch ‘B’ service year.
He said: “A call by her elder brother to the NYSC on July 20, 2022, reporting that he had not been able to reach her on phone since her departure to NYSC Ogun camp from Aba, prompted the scheme to contact the security agencies to know her whereabouts.
“Sadly, on July 21, 2022, her remains, which were intact (and not mutilated as reported in the media) were recovered along Sagamu-Imota road and deposited in the morgue.
“Security agencies are working round the clock to unravel the circumstances surrounding the death of Igweike.”
He also extended the NYSC’ s condolences to the Ohafia community and the government and people of Abia State over Chioma’s murder.
He added that the NYSC felt diminished by Chioma’s death.
Chioma has joined the number of promising young Nigerians that would have been great ambassadors of the country, contributing their quota to reinvent Nigeria, but were killed before attaining their dreams.