A 15-year-old girl, Onyinyechukwu Gloria Odinaka has been declared missing. And since her disappearance, there has been no trace of her anywhere, and no information on her whereabouts has been supplied so far by anyone.
The reporter gathered that Gloria was last seen in the evening of October 7 at her family house at No 33, Eleda Street, Iba New Site area of Lagos State.
Before her sudden disappearance, her family had been in mourning. Gloria’s mother, Dominica Adaku Odinaka died about four months ago, and family members told the reporter that she has not yet been buried.
Like a scary movie, hours have rolled into days and the days have stretched into weeks. It has been more than one month that the incident occurred, and in spite of the ceaseless search for the young teenager, the family does not have any information on what might have happened to the girl.
Is Gloria dead or alive? Is he hale and hearty wherever she might be? If she is alive, will she ever return home? What could be done to wipe the tears of her loved ones? These and many more are the questions on the lips of her relatives and friends. Unfortunately, no one seems to have an answer.
The reporter gathered that the young girl left the house unprovoked, leaving behind her younger one, a little baby that had been placed under Gloria’s care. Gloria has been the one looking after the child since the demise of their mother.
When she did not return home on time, her family members got agitated and became panicky. They alerted their neighbours and searched everywhere they suspected that she might have gone to, all to no avail.
The bereaved husband and Gloria’s father, Mr. Maxwell Odinaka, who lost his wife four months ago, said that if only shedding enough tears could alter the sad fate afflicting the family, perhaps their agony would have subsided by now.
Sadly, their pain is increasing every day. With the disappearance of Gloria, their wound is obviously deepened. As the ugly events unfolded in quick succession, the distraught father grieved that the world has collapsed on him.
He said that members of the family had travelled to their village on many occasions and searched even the most unlikely of places for the missing girl. Yet, Gloria’s whereabouts remains a mystery, he lamented.
It might not be out of place to say that unkind fate has kicked the storm against the Odinakas.
With teary eyes, Mr Odinaka narrated his family’s travails to the reporter: “On this particular Wednesday, October 7, I was not at home when she left home. She has been the one taking care of my last born, who is just a year plus. She has been in charge of keeping the home since my wife died. I instructed her that she must inform me of anywhere she was going.
“She didn’t leave with her phone. This made everyone to suspect that she was not going far. And the fact that she also left the little child at home didn’t give neighbours any cause for alarm. But till today, there has been no sign of her. It is still like a dream to me.
“We have been to her mother’s relatives to find out if she is with any of them. We have searched different police stations in case she might have run into trouble and got arrested.
“Nobody offended her on this fateful day. I can’t even recall any quarrel between her and any other members of the family before that day that she left home. I am confused. I don’t know what to do to find her.
“My wife is not yet buried. She died on July 22. We were preparing for her burial ceremony when this happened. It is as if I have lost two persons. My heart is heavy. I can no longer concentrate on anything that I’m doing.”
The grieving family hails from Ubahaezedeke Awo Idimili in Ozu Local Government Area (LGA) of Imo State. But they have been living in Lagos for a long time.
Her entire family is on the lookout for the young lady, whom her uncle, Mr Christian Okoligwe described as a cool-headed and easy-going girl.
Okoligwe, who lives in Lagos, said that he was shocked when he got a call from the girl’s father that they were looking for Gloria.
His words: “I didn’t expect that the search would last up to a day or two before we would find her, but I was wrong. This is too much for our family to bear. We are still mourning my late sister and this is happening again. The burden is getting too much for us.
“I have prayed and cried to God to reveal where the girls is to us. It is a challenging time for us. Gloria is not the wayward type, though she is not perfect.
“There is a man that I am suspecting out there, who might have deceived her and eloped with her. I can’t imagine her being kidnapped. If she was kidnapped, the abductors would have contacted us all this while. If she was knocked down by a vehicle or involved in any form of accident, we would have found her by now.
“We are pleading with anyone who might come across her to quickly inform us. If any man has deceived and kept her; he should know that he is causing the whole family serious pain. If the decision to leave the family house is on her own volition, we want her to reconsider her step and come back. It is dangerous for her, as no one knows her whereabouts.”
Her father said that the family had also contacted all her classmates and friends at Chiben Secondary School, Iba, in case they might have spotted her of late. The search remains a futile and frustrating one.
Sadly, findings reveal that nobody saw her going out on the day she left home. None of her neighbours has also given any information that might lead to finding the missing Gloria.
Several efforts have been made to find the missing young girl. Search parties made up of neighbours and church members have been to her school, church and all the nooks and crannies of Iba, yet the story remains the same. Gloria is nowhere to be found.
Mr Odinaka implored members of the public to join in the search for his precious daughter. He pleaded with anyone who sees her to take her to the nearest police station or place a call to her father and her uncle on these numbers: 08126675614 or 08069670962.