MOTHER OF ALL KILLINGS
The late Ifezue
The people of Agukwu Nri in Anaocha Local Government Area of Anambra State are still in shock over the gruesome murder of one of their sons and a gallant crime fighter with the Anambra State Vigilante Services, Mr Jonas Ofokansi Ifezue, in his village while guarding the community.
Ifezue, a security consultant who was also a member of the dreaded Bakassi Boys that were in charge of security in Anambra State between 2000 and 2001 during the administration of former Governor Chinwoke Mbadinuju succumbed to the over 100 bullets from the guns of assassins who invaded Nri town on May 18, 2010 at about 12:45a.m.
The blood-thirsty messengers of death were said to have stormed the house of the President General of Nri community, Mr Charles Tabansi at midnight, knocking on his gate, prompting the gallant and giant Ifezue, who was on duty, to come out to know what they wanted.
According to an eyewitness, they exchanged few words with him when gunshots began to rain on the deceased, leading to his death, adding that the assassins went home unchallenged and celebrating their victory having snuffed life out of the man that had been a thorn in their flesh.
Ifezue's death has subsequently thrown the community into serious fears, especially when the police and the government seem not to be doing anything to fish out the perpetrators of the dastardly act.
Also, the people are afraid that the perpetrators may someday come back to have a field day in the community and its environs as they have crushed the obstacle on their way.
Therefore, the community has expressed displeasure over the handling of its invasion and the killing of its illustrious son who had contributed a lot in securing lives and property beyond the community, calling on the state government and the police to ensure that justice is done.
They also appealed to the government to see to the welfare of Ifezue's widow, Mrs Matina Ifezue and her little daughter, as way of encouraging others in the vigilant services in the state.
Narrating how his younger brother was killed, elder brother to then late Ifezue, Mr Michael Ifezue, described him as a brave and fearless man who was dedicated to his duties, adding that, that was why he died in active service for the sake of his community and state.
He noted that Ifezue after serving in Bakassi and Onitsha Main Market Vigilante (White House), his community, Nri, invited him to assist in securing lives and property, a job he was doing before he was cut down at his prime.
His words: 'Jonas was dedicated to his job. He was hard working and his Master, Okponkpi, in the Main Market Onitsha confirmed this too. He was highly respected among his colleagues because he abhors bribe or doing anything that is not just. His colleagues said he was courageous, brave, a dogged fighter and did not fear anything. In fact, he was a fearless man.
'He died in active service in our community here, Nri, while giving service to the President-General, Mr Charles Tabansi (a.k.a Adaka) and the entire community of Nri. It took so many years of planning against him before he was gunned down by the hired killers. The hired killers did not take anything from him. They came for him and they got him with more than 120 bullets, which is too much for even an elephant in the bush. When they finished their bullets on him they left and burst into songs as they had conquered him, which is very surprising to them till the police came to carry him to the mortuary of St. Joseph's Hospital, Adazi Nnukwu.
'It was the combined group of kidnappers, the armed robbers and the cult people that planned and silenced him so that he will not be a stumbling block against terrorism within the town and beyond.
'Nri Vigilant outfit is recognized by the government of Anambra State and the Federal Government also recognizes the vigilante group. What we are saying is that Jonas died in the cause of securing Nri town, the state and the country in general. He died in active service. We wish the town government; the state government, the local government and the Federal Government will wade into his matter and investigate the death by urging the police to do more work so that justice will be seen to be done. Probe his death. The town union should as well probe his death. All the Nri villages that make up the Nri town should call a meeting among themselves to discuss a way out.
'As well we are calling all the government arms to rescue his family financially as he has a baby girl and a wife to cater for as well as immortalizing his name. He has risked his life for the people and he needs commendation even though he is no more.'
Speaking about her husband, Mrs Ifezue described him as Jonas Udo and Jonas the lion, noting that when on the fateful night she heard thousands of gunshots, she waited to see him come to the house as usual to enquire if they (she and the daughter) were safe, but to her greatest surprise, he was nowhere to be found.
At that point, she said she realised that something terrible had happened to the husband, as he would never be alive and leave his family unsecured.
Describing the death as painful, she regretted that all the dreams the deceased had for the daughter would never be fulfilled by him, but consoled herself that he died for the community he loved.
Jonas's master and leader of the Vigilante Group, Mr Chinedu Ihenkor (a.k.a. Okponkpi) who led the vigilante groups in the state to give him a befitting burial, described him as a brother and a great loyalist, saying, 'we have lost a friend, a brother and a great loyalist of ours. We have come to mourn him and show the world that he has people. But I want to assure you that in no distant time we will get those behind this and you can count on us , we shall do to them'.