Posted by By Evelyn Usman on
Looking dejected, with her palms holding on to her chins and apparently lost in thought, Mrs Agnes Nwachi stared into space, unaware of what was going on around her at that particular moment.
*Alleges elimination plan by community
*Home sacked, child abducted, family in hiding
Looking dejected, with her palms holding on to her chins and apparently lost in thought, Mrs Agnes Nwachi stared into space, unaware of what was going on around her at that particular moment. The 55-year old widow who looked pale owing to what she later described as her tale of woe, turned this reporter’s way when greeted, in shock. At first, she made an attempt to run but stopped after she was certain that her intruder was the only one around. She thereafter, heaved a sigh of relief and exclaimed in an Ebonyi dialect which she later interpreted to mean ‘ My God, when will all these stop?’
When she realized that her visitor was a journalist who had come to interview her, she clung unto her as if she (reporter) was the much awaited messiah sent to deliver her from her predicament.
When she opened up, she made a startling revelation of how an uncanny fate had continued to trail members of her family who were classified as second hand citizens in their country home Eru in Ebonyi State, a situation which forced them to leave the village and seek refuge in Badagry, Lagos. The matter would have been laid to rest if only the villagers had stopped there. But she revealed that since their departure in 1999, mysterious tragedies including the brutal murder of her husband, Mr David Nwobu Nwachi in Cross River state, where they first ran to when the heat became unbearable, have occurred
The family, again, suffered another devastating blow, when on November 30, 2006 some armed men numbering over fifteen, whom she alleged must have been detailed by the villagers who are bent on killing every member of her family, stormed their abode at number 20 Market road, Badagry, beat her to a state of coma and abducted one of her sons, Paul, when they could not find the heir.
The widow who pleaded to well meaning Nigerians to come to her aid before she and other remaining members of her family were totally eliminated, narrated in between tears:
“My name is Agnes Nwachi. I am 55 years old but you will think I am over 80 years because of the way I am looking. It is never my wish to look this way but that of some devilish people who will stop at nothing until they see me and members of my family erased from planet earth.
It all began in my village in Eru, Ebonyi State, where we were regarded as outcast. We were tormented and taunted all the time. In the heat of the torment, my late husband decided we left the village for Cross River State which we did. But he died mysteriously at the age of 70. Mysterious things started happening in my family which I can not explain since then. Infact we were told before we left the village that if we did not carry out one fetish sacrifice that we would continue experiencing evil occurrence .
“We later left Cross River and ran to take refuge in Badagry. we were actually living like refugees there; myself , my children and my son’s wife who just gave birth to a baby girl. I forgot to tell you that in the heat of the whole tragedy, my son, Joseph was arrested for committing a crime he knew nothing about, before we came to Badagry. He was thereafter arraigned for trump up charges and thrown into jail. It was after his release last year that we left Cross River for Lagos, precisely in the month of March. As we were leaving Cross River, I thought they would never trace us if we got to Lagos. But na lie, they still did”, she said, sobbing uncontrollably.
Cityscope gathered that where she was met last Thursday was not where they put up in Badagry. In fact, that was where she and other members of her family were said to be hiding, following the November 30, 2006 invasion of their home. The miscreants, armed with dangerous weapons according to her, stormed their building at about 2.15 am, requesting that her family members quietly came out or face their wrath.
Said she: We were woken up by shouts and sporadic shooting from outside. At first I thought they were armed robbers but when I heard them calling out the names of every member of my family I knew that the youths numbering over fifteen, must have been trailing us after we fled from our village. They broke into the building, rounded up every tenant. But because they were after my family, they asked other tenants to stay clear and threatened to kill everyone if we failed to hand over Joseph, one of my sons to them. We were all given the beating of our lives when we said Joseph was not around. They did not even have pity on Joseph’s wife who was with a new born baby.
Before my very eyes, they dragged her outside. I really did not know what happened to her thereafter because all of a sudden I passed out only to be revived moments after their departure at the hospital I was told they fled when the one that was beating me announced that I was dead. When I regained consciousness, I met myself in another place entirely different from where we were living. My daughter-in-law who was beaten to a state of coma, was left to die inside the gutter outside. I was told the hoodlums burnt down our home and abducted Joseph’s younger brother, Paul , saying he would be released if they get Joseph. Now we are homeless. They abducted my 23-year-old son who knew nothing about the traditional jargons.(she sobs) That was why you saw me shocked when you came in. I thought you were a spy sent by them. What have members of my family done to deserve such ill treatment in the hands of these villagers?” She asked, directing her question at no one in particular.
Asked if she had reported the case to the Police, she said, “We have reported to the Police but nothing has been done. We have even carried out a demonstration to government House Alausa, where we were told the matter would be referred to the Civil Society. Up till this very moment, nothing has been done. Our story was also published in one of the national newspapers Newspaper in year 2004 when our woes began.
Right now, I am calling on the international community to save our souls. I am also using this opportunity to call on well-meaning Nigerians including the international community to save me and other members of my family from this terror attack which have been unleashed on us for so long. Right now, we can not go to the market for fear of being traced by our assailants. We also can not walk in the public. In fact I was just thinking of where to go with my family when you came in. Right now, as I' m taking to you, my 23-year-old son is yet to return home, almost two months after he was abducted by the invaders. I don’t know where to look for him. Please do not watch me die for no just cause. I need every help that can be rendered”, she pleaded and continued to cry, wiping the tears with the loosed end of her wrapper.
It took much persuasion before she reluctantly directed Cityscope to a private hospital where her daughter-in-law who had a broken ankle was receiving treatment. Joseph’s wife who was seen breast feeding her baby revealed how her husband had been receiving threats from phones and letters by some people he claimed threatened to eliminate them. She however pleaded that the name of the hospital she was in should not be disclosed for fear of her attackers.
Contacted over the development, the Lagos State Police Public Relations Officer, Mr Olubode Ojajuni said he was not aware of the incident but assured that efforts would be made to find out what happened.
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