"I narrowly escaped being burnt alive by hoodlums" - Chairman, NUP

By Mbam Ogodo, Abakaliki
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A 73 year old and Chairman, Nigeria Union of Pensioners, Ebonyi State Council, Chief Nwofe Donatus Okemini of Agubata Agbaja, Izzi Local Government Area of Ebonyi State has narrated how he escaped being burnt alive by some Hoodlums in the State.

Okemini who explained that his attackers came to his house at about 8:52pm and started shooting sporadically added that he escaped with his wife and children before his (home) was set ablaze.

Speaking to Newsmen on the electoral Violence that affected his family during the 2019 General Election in Ebonyi State, the Trade Unionist who went for a Special Thanksgiving Service at St. John of the Cross Catholic Church Agubata, Agbaja, appreciated those who contributed towards the well-being of his family since the occurred.

He said: "This is a year and seven months, people thought that it could have been the end of my life on 17th February, 2019 but God said 'no'. On that night, about 8:52, people started shooting gun at random, facing the whole house; shooting from all the angles; so, I don't know how God blind-folded them, they kept away and didn't see us.

"Then they started shooting and shooting. When they shoot, the fire will just blow highly so we knew it was dangerous. So we had to run away. I don't know what I committed anyway, because I'm not a politician per se; I have told you I'm a Trade Unionist, that's why I'm the Chairman.

Whatever they labelled me to be the cause of their problem, I don't know and I can't tell. Whether they are Politicians or not Politicians, I cannot say anything against anybody but God fought the war and won it. That is to say if we did not escape, we could have died of that incident - six(6) of us in the house(my wife, myself and four children)"

Thanking God for saving his father, the son of the celebrant, Don Philip Mgboko, stated that his is still alive contrary to the expectation of those that plotted his demise.

"Actually, what happened was during the National Election, 2019, some people(I may not know them actually because I was not here when it happened); I was in Abakaliki when I got a call that our house is on fire, then I decided to rush to this place. Am happy that I saw my Dad escape the incident and he survived it but it was political violence that erupted in our Community (Agbaja community) then and those who masterminded it decided to burn our house.

"The well Wishers are those coming to celebrate with him. It is not political affiliation; both those who are APC and PDP are coming to celebrate him because they love him and they are happy that he survived it. It is not just a political affair, it is celebration of life. He is 73 today."

In his remarks, Rt. Hon. Augustine Nwankwoagu, former Speaker, Ebonyi State House of Assembly called for peace and understanding during Election as there were no benefits of participating in electoral Violence.

"Sometime last year, his house was gutted by fire and was not gutted by accident, it was purposely set on fire by unknown persons for what they believed in and for whatever purposes they had in mind, we do not know: I think what they had in mind is that he should be burnt alive, his family members and properties.

"Man proposes, God disposes. God said "no, I will allow you burn the house for my own purpose but his life I will spare and the life of his family members. None of them was burnt but the house and all his properties were burnt, including money. That house was situated at the middle of the compound but for God's purpose, today, that house is a better house standing here by the side of the home, making provision for People to come in and come and stay to celebrate with him.

"In other words, God allowed the house to be burnt so that he will renovate the compound and rehabilitate the entire possible thing he had in mind. He had no thunder protector in that house, today, there is one you can see; that house was not built with solid concrete block but today he has a house that is built with concrete block. You can see the modern tiles, you can see the zinc too(modern zinc too)

"I think what this meant is that when God is leading, let us follow; God's time is the best. He had no vehicle before that incident, he was using a motorcycle which was also burnt. Today he is riding a Jeep. God made provision for all these; the people who made it possible, that is, those who bought and provided for him, we thank God. For those who did what they did, let us remember that whatever we do lives after us.

"The seed we sow, we will shall reap, it has not changed but you cannot change a man's destiny: I think he is destined for greatness and for whatever it is, he is also destined to be a Saint by the grace of God because he had always continued to remain a Christian and that is why he went to the church today; he offered gifts and offered his whole self and telling God I'm thanking you. I gave you this one out of what you have given me, I will still do more tomorrow. "