Posted by ACHO ORABUCHI on
Nigerian community, particularly the Orlu community, in USA is mourning for the unfortunate loss of two of its own, Ignatius Ike Chukwuka and his only daughter, a 16-year-old, Ifeoma Chukwuka.
Nigerian community, particularly the Orlu community, in USA is mourning for the unfortunate loss of two of its own, Ignatius Ike Chukwuka and his only daughter, a 16-year-old, Ifeoma Chukwuka. Their precious lives were taken in a ghastly motor accident caused by Gabriel Zamarripa, a suspected drunk-driver, on June 7, 2005 in Aurora, Colorado.
According to Rocky Mountain News in Aurora, Colorado, "The driver of the Blazer, Gabriel Zamarripa, 33, of Aurora, is suspected of being drunk or on drugs at the time of the accident, said Aurora police spokesman Lt. Charles Holzheimer. He has been charged with two counts of vehicular homicide."
On that faithful night, it was gathered that Ike was driving home with his daughter at about 8:41 p.m. when the grisly auto crash occurred; the family was eagerly waiting for the return of the two not knowing what had befallen them on the road. The shock that greeted the news has not still eased up as preparations are being made for a memorial service on June 24, 2005 and a wake the following day.
Shock and devastation could not even describe the state of Nigerian community in the US, particularly the immediate family, about the untimely loss of Ignatius and Ifeoma. Though the remaining four boys, ranging from age 8 to 11, have been strong in handling the sad news of loss of their dad and sister, their mother, Mrs. Ngozi Chukwuka is still in shock. According to Nze Ben Nnawuihe, a relative of the deceased, "everyone is still disorganized; his wife I learned could not talk and there is a medical doctor attending to her in their home."
Champion had the opportunity to speak with Mrs. Ngozi Chukwuka, the late Ike Chukwuka’s wife. With a trembling voice and chocking with tears, Mrs. Ngozi Chukwuka managed to utter these words, "It was a "big time" blow to all of us," referring to deaths that have devastated her family. "He’s the breadwinner of the house." "It seems like a dream to the boys, who go to bed every night with the picture of their dad," she continued. "We need support in order to send the bodies of my husband and daughter to Nigeria," she added.
Chief Cyril Duru, a cousin to the deceased, echoed, "The bodies will be taken to Nigeria," He continued, "viewing of the bodies at the funeral home will be on the 17th of June, after which the exact date to transport the bodies home will be determined. We need help," he pleaded.
Late Chukwuka, who ran a successful car lot, Ike’s Motors, was a very hardworking Nigerian. Chief Cyril Duru said, "Ike was a very hardworking and well-groomed young man with future ambitions." After he received high honors in his School Certificate, he worked with Nigerian Mint—the Currency Printing Press; he worked his way to the US in 1983 where he received BA in Accounting and Masters in Finance."
Nze Ignatius Ike Chukwuka was a native of Umuezukwe in Awo-Omamma, Orlu in Imo State. His remains will leave USA for Nigeria shortly. "We’ve set up a memorial fund for Ike Chukwuka’s children at Wells Fargo Bank, 999 S. Sable Blvd., Aurora, CO 80012 with 5533034061 account number," Chief Duru said.
Nze Ignatius Ike Chukwuka was the president of Old Orlu Progressive Association in the Denver Metropolitan Area. He had bought his flight ticket to Detroit in preparation for the Orlu Regional Assembly USA (ORA USA) National Convention in Detroit on June 24-26, 2005. Little did he know that he was not going to make it. What a sad situation!
The outpouring of emotions and love to the family of the deceased has trailed the tragedy. On hearing the sad news, condolence messages started pouring from the Nigerian community, friends, and well-wishers.
Felix Okereke, a member of Pan Ndi-Igbo Foundation USA (PNF USA), expressed, "I will like to wish his family and Ndi-Orlu God’s strength and power to bear the loss of one of our brothers and his daughter. Some times we can’t explain why things happen, but we just have to believe that God is in total control at all times and nothing happens without his knowing about it. Please accept my deepest sympathy. May their souls rest in peace; we have heaviness in our hearts but God knows best and he would not give us what we can’t bear. Please stay strong and continue asking God for strength as he is the only way."
Dr. Azubike Okpalaeze echoed, "My heart-felt condolence goes to the family of Ignatius Chukwuka in particular and the people of Umuezukwe and Umuezike community in general for the loss of dear one. The Good Lord who knows the reasons for the seasons will continue to comfort and protect those he left behind. May the souls of father and daughter rest in the peace of the Lord."
On hearing the news Nze Gibson C. Chigbu, National President of Orlu Regional Assembly USA (ORA-USA, Inc.) wrote, "Nze Nnawuihe and Orlu Senatorial Family: I just came back to see this unfortunate news in print. It is VERY sad indeed. May their souls rest in perfect peace with the Lord. God help us. This is the simple reason we must live our lives with love and like there is no tomorrow. Shame on Satan!"
Nze Eddy Unaegbu expressed, "On behalf of the Board of Directors of ORA USA Inc. and my family, I wish to express our sympathies to the family of Nze Ignatius Chukwuka, Nze Ben Nnawuihe, and the entire Awo-Omanma community on this double tragedy that has befallen us. We at the Board had eagerly awaited to see this brother take his rightful place at our convention in Detroit. But, alas, this was not to be! We wish the family, Awo-Omamma, and Orlu people God’s guidance and protection in these trying times and days. May his patriotic and caring soul rest in perfect peace."
Cornelius Akubueze echoed, "We sympathize with you all. May God accept their souls." Eddy Nwokocha expressed, "May God give each and everyone of you the strength to bear this irreparable loss."
Mourning with the Orlu community, Okey Adibe said, "To our brothers/sisters from Orlu Region we mourn with you and pray that God be with the family. Please accept our condolences as you mourn this loss." Prince Jimmy E. Asiegbu, National President, ASA-USA said, "What an unfortunate news! May God be with the family and our Orlu brothers/sisters. Please accept our condolences as you mourn this loss. May their souls rest in peace."
Engr. Gerald Dike sent this: "On behalf of officers and members of Amaigbo Town Union USA, the Old Orlu Ezinwanne Association of Michigan, and my family here in Detroit, Michigan, I wish to express our heartfelt sympathy to the family of our brother Nze Ignatius Ike Chukwuka, to all our Orlu brothers and sisters in Denver, and to members of Umuezukwe & Umuezike community of Awo-Omamma, Oru East. We have suffered a tragic loss. We all share in the afflicted sorrow of his sudden death and the death of our daughter Ifeoma. Our prayers are with his wife and children. May the blessed soul of our brother Nze Ignatius Ike Chukwuka, and the divine soul of our daughter Ifeoma rest in perfect peace."
Dr. Odindu Odunze "Please accept my heart-felt condolences on behalf of Orlu people in general and the communities of Umuezukwe and Umuezike in particular. It is a tragedy that we the Igbo suffer this loss at such a time as this when we need the best in us. May the good Lord allow them a place in his abode."
As we mourn the sudden death of our brother and his daughter, I am reminded of not only the inevitability of death, but also its unscheduled cause of action. It is this impromptu phenomenon that makes it imperative for each of us alive today to examine our daily lives to ensure that our activities are congruent with the desired values. May the souls of those departed rest in peace as their family members are finding strength in God.
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