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Precisely eight month ago, the Late Mrs. Mary Igboenweze of Ifite village, Nteje in Oyi Local Government Area of Anambra State lost her husband. He left behind five children, three girls and two boys for her to carter for.
The late Mary had no white collar job, having married shortly after her secondary education at Community Secondary School, Umunya. She joined her fellow rural women in their peasant farming.
And so on that black Tuesday morning, April 10, to be precise, Mary had after the breakfast instructed her children, who are from the age of 10 downwards to sweep the compound , fetch firewood and water so that as soon as she comes back, she would prepare lunch. The unsuspecting children echoed okay, and bid their mother bye, not knowing that they would not see their mother alive again.
According to the younger brother to the late husband, Prince Obi Okumegbuna, the family became jittery when the woman could not return till late in the evening.
“The whole family became worried and a search party was immediately dispatched to the farm located at the boundary between Nteje and Umuleri. When we got to the farm, we met her lying in her pool of blood with her hands and legs tied with some piece of her cloth and her bra.
“I raised an alarm but there was nothing we could do. We came back, reported to the family and the police at the Nteje police headquarters and this is the position we find ourselves my brother” Asked whether anybody has been arrested in connection with the murder, he said yes, but he is with the police at Otuocha because the incident happened at Umuleri land which is at the Otuocha police jurisdiction.
When correspondent visited the Nteje police headquarters, the divisional police officer was not on seat but the divisional crime officer, confirmed the killing.
He said she was killed by some suspected Fulani herdsmen, but the police was doing everything possible to bring the culprits to book.
The DCO however told our correspondent that he was not in position to brief the press on the matter, and the incident did not take place at Nteje police judicial division. The DCO, who did not want his name mentioned directed this reporter to Otuocha police division or the PPRO Anambra State command for further information.
At their father’s family compound at Amadibia village, some correspondent met her kinsmen and her 75-year-old mother lying helplessly outside the compound while the men were seated discussing in low tunes.
The spokesman of the family, who pleaded anonymity, told our correspondent that the killer herdsmen raped her and slaughtered her after tying her legs and hands. He said the aged mother has also falling sick since the incident, describing her death as a great loss to the family.
“We are not worried that she died but the way and manner she was killed in gruesome murder is worrisome. Her husband just died some few months ago, leaving behind five children, all in primary and nursery schools.
What shall we do?” We are appealing to the state governor, Chief Willie Obiano and the security agents to do everything possible to bring the perpetrators of this dastardly act to book. The Fulani herdsmen have taken everywhere in this community and there is no safe place in this country.
The Federal Government should urgently arrest the situation, otherwise, people would be forced to not only to defend themselves but would be forced to take a reprisal attack.” When contacted, the Police Public Relations Officer, ASP Nkiru Nwode, after several calls put across to her reluctantly said she was in a meeting.
The PPRO did not get back to this reporter till the press time even with several calls put across to her. In his reaction, the Traditional Ruler of Nteje HRH Igwe Ronald Odegbo, confirmed to our reporter that the victim was alleged to have been killed by Fulani herdsmen.
He said that the police DPO at Nteje Police Division confirmed to him that the late widow was killed at Umueri and not at Nteje as believed in some quarters. Igwe Odegbo, however, said that he has not received any complaint from the family confirming also that the woman was a native of Nteje town and was also married in Nteje.
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