Onyinyechi Osuigwe, a 25-year-old mother of five, has called for justice for her late husband, The Nation reports.
The woman whose husband was allegedly killed by a soldier during the recent national ENDSARS protests has asked the government to uncover the killer of her breadwinner.
The nursing mother and resident of 17B, Ndiuche Street by Ngwa Road, Aba South Local Government Area, Abia State, says she is left wondering how to continue the task of caring for her five children without her husband.
Neighbors are also concerned and upset that the 35-year-old Ebere Osuigwe was not even participating in the protest when he was killed by the soldier’s bullets.
Osuigwe was said to have left his residence on the morning of Friday October 23 for his family’s home in Osuigwe Lane, Ngwa Road, Aba in search of electricity to charge his phone and be able to communicate with other relatives and friends in his hometown. in Umueze Amigbo in Nwangele Local Government Area, Imo State, when the tragedy occurred.
It is said that he came across soldiers on a patrol who stopped him on his way home to find out where he was coming from. Osuigwe was said to have raised both hands in a gesture of surrender and told security personnel that he was just going to charge his phone and that he would be back to meet his wife and children.
Refusing to accept his explanation, a trigger-happy soldier is said to have shot him in the ankle. But apparently sensing that he missed his target, the soldier opened fire again, hitting Osuigwe in the very close turns.
Expressing her surprise in a conversation with our correspondent, Osuigwe’s widow Onyinyechi said: “I am saddened by the way my husband was brutally shot and bled to death.”
Continuing, she said: “On that fateful day, there was no electricity and all the batteries in our phone were dead. My husband said he needed to charge them so he could communicate with his people to find out what was going on with the ENDSARS protest.
“I told him to be careful and he assured me that he would return immediately. After bathing and feeding the children, I put away our food, waiting for him to come back so we could eat.
“After waiting a long time, I called him on a neighbor’s phone several times but he wouldn’t answer his calls.
“I was concerned because usually, no matter where I was, once he saw my call, he would call me to find out why I was calling.
“I went out and sat down and then decided to go see him around 11 am. With fear in my heart, I went to the place where he said he was going to charge his phone.
“Upon arriving, I saw some children and asked them what had happened. They said that his brother, Ebere, had been shot and killed. I was shocked and started screaming like crazy. “
Amis sobs, added: “Things have not been easy for me since he died. It is my landlord’s wife who has been feeding my children and forcing me to eat.
She recalled that she had given up her job as a seamstress because of the delivery and was looking forward to going back to work next year after weaning her five-month-old son.
She urged the federal government to fish for the soldier who killed her husband and also help train the five children (four girls and one boy) that her husband left behind.
The late Osuigwe
Narrating what happened in the family lane, Osuigwe’s older sister, Benedicta (42), said: “My brother had plugged in the phone and then came back to pick it up.
“On your way back, there is a street in front of Diamond Bank and the street is named after our last name. It is a small lane called Osuigwe Lane.
“He was in this lane when he saw the soldiers and one of them ran up to him and asked where he was coming from. Ebere (Osuigwe) surrendered raising both hands and told them that he was going to charge his phone and now he was meeting his family again, and that he was a family man.
“The Fulani soldier shot him first in the ankle and maybe he felt that he didn’t hit my brother very well, he shot him again in the turns. The other soldier asked the assassin soldier, “Why did you shoot this man?” and the assassin soldier replied, “Let him go treat himself.”
“After shooting him, he waited there and watched my brother bleed to death. Then they left him and the neighbors took him in a wheelbarrow to the town, looking for a keke (tricycle) or vehicle to take him to the hospital while he was still bleeding ”.
According to Benedicta, when Osuigwe was transferred to a Christiana Christian Hospital, the hospital examined him and certified his death.
She continued: “My people doubted it and they referred us to St. Anthony Hospital, Aba. It was there that another doctor confirmed him dead. He’s in the morgue now. “
Benedicta described the late Osuigwe as a good man who could not hurt a fly.
She said: “My brother was not a bad man. He was not a cultist. He does not smoke or drink and was not part of the protesters. They just killed him.
“If you look at the distance from where he was killed to the bank, you will see that the soldiers intentionally killed an innocent soul.
“While this was happening, people were inside their houses spying on the stage. I feel bad because something similar happened to the family in 2017 ”.
He recalled how another younger brother of his, Ikechukwu Osuigwe, a member of the Watch Service (Bakassi) of Abia state, was returning from Umuahia in the company of other members of the self-defense group when on the Aba-Owerri highway, the kidnappers shot and killed. eight of them, “And the state government did nothing. He left a wife and two children, and this has come up again. “
She said: “I want those who killed Ebere to be brought to justice. And that the government compensates the family, since they have five children and I don’t know how I’m going to take care of them. Let them come and kill me too.
“I called the police to inform them, but they did not hear from them again.”
Furthermore, a witness and a neighbor of the family home, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said: “I was on the same street with him until I went out to charge my phone at a nearby pharmacy. After a while, we heard gunshots and everyone ran into the house.
“For a while, we saw some army men coming out of where they shot Ebere and started chasing people. After they left, people came out to hear that someone had been killed in front of my store.
“We all went out to see that our neighbor Ebere had been shot. A man took off his shirt and tied the wound and we all started looking for a way to get him to the hospital.
“They took him in a wheelbarrow to the main road and transferred him to a keke that took him to the hospital.”
Also speaking, the mother of the deceased, Bessy Osuigwe (55), a widow who sells firewood, said that since the death of her son, she had had high blood pressure.
“I cry every day because my son did nothing. He went to charge his phone when a young man caught him. He pleaded, but his captor refused and shot him dead.
“I don’t know what to do next and I don’t know how I’m going to take care of the five children that she left behind. How am I going to train these kids if I’m not healthy now? “
“I want the Federal Government to fish for that soldier who killed my son and to know how to deal with the soldier. They kill and carry the corpses of people, but my son was shot and left to die. They did not take his body.
“My son is innocent. Why did the soldier kill him and leave five children that I don’t know how to train?