BY AGNES NWORIE, ABAKALIKI
It was a day of wailing at Onicha Igboeze community in Onicha Local Government Area of Ebonyi State as the remains of five young mothers who died in an auto crash were buried on the same day.
Those buried included 41-year-old mother of seven, Peace Ogbonna; 36-year-old mother of two, Favour Sunday; Amarachi Justice-Okike; 38-year-old mother of four, Ogbonneya Agbafor, and Ogechi Okorie.
The women, who hailed from the same community in Ebonyi, but lived in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, had lost their lives recently in a ghastly motor accident along Okigwe/Umuahia expressway on August 30, 2023 before their remains were brought to their respective homes for interment amid tears by their loved ones and other sympathisers.
One of the survivors and member of a group, Favoured Women Organization Port Harcourt, Mrs Lilian Denis-Uzor, disclosed that her group returned for burial of a member’s mother in accordance with their constitution but unfortunately, while they were returning on August 30, 2023, they were involved in a road mishap that caused the death of five of them and that of the bus driver.
“It is in our union’s constitution that we will identify with any member who is bereaved of a close relative. It was on such arrangement that we accompanied one of us, Mrs Joy Ezeh, to bury her beloved mother, during which we played our roles.
“After the event, we decided to leave home for Port Harcourt on Sunday in order to boycott the IPOB sit-at-home order usually observed in the South East every Monday. On our way, we prayed vehemently about the journey but after Okigwe town, one of the tyres of our bus burst and the vehicle fell into a ditch. Before help could come, seven persons, including the driver, five of our members, and one other person had died while 13 members were rescued alive by sympathisers who rushed to the scene,” she revealed.
In his homily during the lying-in-state of the deceased mothers at Egunkwo in Onicha community, the General Overseer of Real Jesus Power Ministry Port Harcourt, Sunday Eze, who officiated, admonished the bereaved families to always view truth as their source of encouragement to enable them overcome the grief.
“Truth is the only thing that does not disappoint; whoever that stands on it can succeed anywhere and based on that, whatever that is the cause of the disaster, even when still unknown, the truth will surely be unveiled,”he said.
The cleric prayed to God to avert reoccurrence of such an ugly incident.
The husband of one of the deceaseds, Chukwu Nweze, in a tribute, said his wife was a symbol of generosity and kindness.
“My late wife was a symbol of kindness and many persons, mostly her fellow women including Onicha people at Elele in Port Harcourt, can attest to that. We had earlier made proper plans concerning our children and other things before this calamity,” he disclosed amid profuse sobbing.