Friday, March 25, 2016 9:17 pm
Emotion ran high and tears flowed freely on the faces of family members of the slain youth corps member,Samuel Chukwudumeibi Okonta who was killed during the re-run election in Rivers State.
It was during the condolence visit of the Director-General of National Youth Service Corps (NYSC), Brig-Gen. Johnson Olawumi to Okonta’s family in Illah, Delta State.
Olawumi who was accompanied by the State Coordinator of NYSC, Mrs. Olive Essien Etukudo and other senior officials of the scheme, expressed sadness and shock over the gruesome murder of Samuel Chukwudumeibi Okonta, in the same community where he was serving.
He disclosed that late corps member had finished his assignment at the polling unit and was going home when he was shot dead along with
two others by yet to be unidentified hoodlums.
Brig-Gen. Olawumi assured the family and entire Ilah Community that every effort was being made to apprehend the killers of the corps member.
He assured them that the NYSC would not abandon the family in this time of grief, adding that it would participate actively in the burial activities.
The NYSC Director-General expressed grief in the message he wrote in the condolence register opened at the family compound of the late Okonta, who studied Political Science at the Ambrose Alli University, Ekpoma, Edo State.
He wrote: “It is so sad that you were cut down in the process of serving your nation. Myself, the entire management and staff as well as all members of the corps nationwide are deeply grieved by your death.
“I promise that I will not relent until we ensure that those who keep you permanently silent forever are brought to book. Adieu Samuel and RIP.”
Responding on behalf of the family, Chief Chikwenye Maduku, who said they have put in so much to train the slain corps member, added, “we can only pray for the repose of his soul.”
A sister of the late corps member, Mrs. Victoria Akpa, who wept uncontrollably told journalists that her late brother went through so much suffering to graduate and that his death was shocking to the family.
“The news of his death was shocking. They stabbed my heart. They killed me. His father died in 1993, and his mother in 2015. I have been taking care of him. No relation helped us. Everybody ran away but we managed until he graduated,” Mrs. Akpu said.
Olawumi’s delegation also visited the traditional ruler of Illah, Obi Akazue Gbemudu II, Ogbelani of Ilah, where the DG praised the prevailing peace in the town.
The DG later told corps members serving in the community not to be deterred by the circumstances of Samuel Okonta’s death in the discharge of their national assignment.
*The author, Jethro Ibileke, can be reached at [email protected]