Uneasy calm pervades the sleepy town of Ekweumilli Community in Nnewi South Local Government Council Area of Anambra State since the mysterious death of six children of the same parents 6 months ago.
Facts emerged recently that the situation had also been compounded following the absence of police autopsy six month after from the state homicide squad state CID Awka Anambra State police command which collected the samples of the diseased particulars before they were buried.
When news48hour.com contacted the PPRO ASP Nkiru Nwode, she said she was not in position to give any answer. All other phone calls put across to her were not answered, but the Elders of the community confirmed that they are yet to get the result.
It would be recalled that on the 16th July, 2016, the sleepy town of Ekwulimili was thrown unto darkness in the broad day light as the six children of the same parents died one after the other in less than an hour.
This tragic incident had several interpretations which meet community, police and Anambra State government to embark on different voyage to unravel the circumstances that led to the sudden death of those children of the town took to the street charting war song demanding immediate answer from the Elder of the community.
Among those who were accused were the father of the diseased children belongs to the brotherhood of cross and star, a church which most people belongs in a secret society. Another victim was the first wife of the father of those children whom family source said she abandoned the marriage because she refused to join her husband in the same church.
The six siblings namely Chukwuebuka 17, Chinemerem 15, Afomachukwu 13, Chekwubechukwu 11, Onyekachukwu 9, Chukwuziterem 6 had returned from school on the faithful day and after eating their lunch or a flour meal developed stomach upset and within few munities died one after the other. Specification was however roped that the children had used them in exchange of spiritual powers a claim nobody was able to substantiate.
President General o f the community, Chief Ugochukwu Eweluaku told news48hour.com that Ekwulumilli is a peaceful town and has always lived in harmony showing love to one another by instituting scholarship scheme while some wealthy individuals donates tricycle, motorcycle, cash to the unemployed youths to be self employed and that is why the rate of crime and youth restiveness were reduced to the barest minimum in the community.
According to him, Chief Emeka Chukwuebe, Donatus Onusolu, Odinaka Ojukwu, Onwu Ezeoke and Lawrence Ezeifeka individually and collectively have made tremendous contributions to develop the community.
He said the state government will commission a 50 kilometer road project built by Chief Ojukwu, in the town this festive season while over 200 students of the community in University and tertiary institution are on scholarship.
The President General, however disclosed that the community is still awaiting the result of the autopsy conducted on the unfortunate children and will not rest on their oars until the cause of their death is made public.
“We will not even mind to exhume the remains to conduct a fresh one if the Homicide square are finding if difficult because the community would not allow anything to dent their image.”
It was gathered that the youths of the town are regrouping for a shown down, putting their axed together against the Elders of the community.
But Chairman of the Elders forum and Elder statesman in the community, Chief Patrick Dim Anyichie told our correspondent that normalcy is gradually returning to the town as they keep doing everything to unravel the mystery.
He went memory lane, tracing the origin of the town to about 15th century during which he noted that such has not happened in the recent time or recorded anywhere in the history of their history.
“Ekwulumili as a town in Nnewi South Local Government Area, Anambra State is never known for calamity and has been the most peaceful town in the council area and even Anambra State. We have 14 Villages made up of 25 political Wards under the watch of HRH Igwe G.O Umeanadu, the Eze Onyeolulu.
“Our God’s fearing community don’t habour criminals or cultist neither do we condone any evil that is more reason why the youth reacted and we welcomed it, but we all should look inward and at the end of the day God must answer us. That is our position. The community is also run by a constituted legally instructions like the Ekwululmilli development union (EDU) with a written constitution and other traditional institutions.
“So what happened in our community in tragic but we cannot question God. As patrons of the community, we have been pleading with the youths to calm down and join in the search for the mission object in the water. Nobody is hoppy and I am quite sure that God will reveal the circumstance, because nothing is hidden under the sun”.
Food poising according to him is one endemic thing that the federal government should look inward and find a lasting solution to .He recalled that in 1978, a family of six also perished in Nsukka after eating a cassava flour meal bought from the market and none survived it. There are similar stories in various parts of the country.
On his part Chief Ebenizer Okolie secretary of the Elders forum described the death as an unfortunate incident but remarked that nobody should use it as a measurement because death can come any form.
“As human being, we are to express our feelings when such a mysterious thing happened but one thing that was clear is that once it involves death there are little we could do. People might cast aspersion on the people of Ekulumilli Community but that also is speculation.
“The only thing we can do now was pray for the repose of our children because we cannot take revenge because vengers is for God and God alone. We as the people of Ekulumilli wish to use this medium to thank all those who came to sympathies with us during all these trial period and we wish to say that Ekwulumilli is just like every other community and may have its own trial period.
“I thank God that our youths were responsible enough and didn’t take laws into their hands. We will continue to protect the image of our community and will never condone evil or any crime that might tarnish our hard earned name bestowed to us by our great fore fathers”.
Chief Okoli said “we are also grateful to God that our youths listened to the words of wisdom and reasoning and embraced peace. It is very painful because it was extra-ordinarily too heavy for the entire community and nobody has ever witnessed such a colosal loss in our here or in our neighbouring communities. However, the community is still wallowing with great illusion even as we await the result of the autopsy”.
“I recall that it took the intervention of God to save another calamity on that fateful day. “I want to say that God loves this community because what would have happened that fateful day would have been a different thing all together, but as elders we continued to calm down the youths who had wanted to take a revenge on the elders who are all innocent of the incident”.
“Nobody who is sane would like to kill his son or daughter for either spiritual powers or whatever you may think, but remember I said sane human being. All we are saying was that our town Ekwulumili was blessed by God and has bestowed to us abundant human and material resources. Our youths are doing very well in their chosen vocations and our youths have never been publicly executed for any robbery or criminal cases across the State, so we are proud of them.”
Meanwhile, the head of the deceased family, Chief Umeannabue Oramulu in a chat with news48hour.co said they have forgotten the death. “To remember these children and the travail we passed through will be recalling the pains and the loss. We have resorted to prayers and hopefully God will revenge for us; if this act was done by a living human being let the God who watches over the world judge him or her, but what I am sure is that such cannot go unpunished”.
On the rift between the family and the father of the children, the head of the family said our differences with him have nothing to do with the death. “It is an internal matter as it happened in every other places, ours is not different. Even wife and husband, children and guardians quarrel, it is part of life and that makes life worth living.”
On the youths’ aggressiveness, Chief Oramulu explained that it was a mere expression of anger and it is not out of place, stressing that “we have pleaded with them that all should calm down let us together use our brains and pray to God to show us the way to unravel the circumstances that led to this great loss. I am however, worried that uptill now at least six months after the homicide squad ought to have finished us with the test they conducted.
“I want to use this opportunity to call on the Governor of Anambra State to call on the authorities of the police command to release the result at least to douse the tension and restore the confidence of our youths on the elders of the community.
“I am saying this because we don’t want any further calamity or death in this community because as an old adage has it, “a stitch in time saves nine”. We are peaceful and our community was never known for any form of crisis but I know that during the yuletide the people would want to know how far we have gone and the elders are bound to provide these answers as the custodian of the land.
“These are salient issues that the community should have answers, so that the cordial relationship existing in our sleepy town continues. I acknowledge that it is tragic and which can also happen to every other community or person, but we should try to do our own as human being to prevent such, so I am pleading that the government should come to our aid.
Meanwhile, palpable fear have gripped residents of the community as some of them who spoke to news48hour.com said the community is sitting on a keg of gun powder, waiting to explode.
“Oga, you are welcome. We all know that this community if care was not taken will again make history. This is because I have heard that our youths both at home and in Diaspora are all coming home during this Christmas and definitely they will ask questions and if they don’t get satisfactory answer, then there will be trouble. One of the women in the community said. But a youth who did not disclose his name said there was no such arrangement, but the community will hold general meeting as usual after the Christmas, where other issues including that of the deceased children would be ironed out.
“If anybody is organizing anything count me out of it. We are not ready to disturb the peace of the town because what happened is now a history. The only thing is that if anybody come up tomorrow to own up, then the community will decide what to do. The elders are members of Ekwulumili and are fathers and mothers of the children of Ewulumili so the important thing was that everybody have embraced peace and resorted to prayers and even if you know who killed these children they are not coming back to life. So to me, it is now an exercise in futility and the best thing is for everybody to pray for the repose of the souls of these children.”
A Pastor who gave his name simply as Pastor Simeon, of one of the Pentecostal churches in the neighbouring community told our reporter that the death was mysterious, but insisted that the people should hand themselves to God.
“You see, I have lived in this area for upwards of 15 years but I have never heard such story. As a Pastor of God, what happened to the children may not be far but it might not be man-made but a serious spiritual attack on the family.
“Again, all these flour meal bought from the market at times are very risky because some of them were preserved for several years with dangerous chemicals and that is why government should facilitate their findings on the autopsy conducted if any to save the community the embarrassment”.
“Ekwulumili as I know it is one of the peaceful communities in this local government. I am just like a native of this community but I hail from Imo State and I know all the communities in this local government very well. I want also to advise the leader of the community to ensure adequate security network during the Christmas to prevent some miscreants from taking the advantage of the dicey situation in the community to cause mayhem and unleash terror on the innocent citizens of the town.
“The community is even blessed because they help each other. There is one Ojukwu from this community; he is building road with gutter that is over 10 miles alone. One of them sometimes ago bought Keke Napepe and motorcycles and distributed it to the youths who have nothing doing and some of the members of my church were given and they are all doing very well. This unfortunate incident should be seen as handwork of the devil. So I want to advise the youths, elders, women and children to surrender themselves to God, and worship the true God because he is the Alpha and Omega.”