by Chinedum Orji
Following last Saturday’s 15thFebruary 2014 tragic death of my beloved cousin, Mr. John Ndubuka, a section of the online media has been appropriated by mischief makers to prosecute a mindless hatchet job of casting aspersions on my humble self; with innuendos, jaundiced analysis and outright blackmail.
One would not have bothered to join issues with these faceless cowards at this period of emotional devastation, but it is pertinent at this juncture to put facts in proper perspective so that the unsuspecting public would not be hoodwinked.
On Friday 14thFebruary 2014, I came back from a trip outside the State and while we are chatting at home, John informed me how the 9 clans in Ikwuano/Umuahia headed by Chief Onyema Ugochukwu, Chief Vin Ogbulafor, Chief Ukasanya, Senator Adighije, Col. Akobundu, Hon. Udo Ibeji Dr Mrs Uruakpa and host of others had prepared adequately to host Governor T.A Orji at a Grand Civic Reception in Umuahia the following day being Saturday 15thFebruary 2015.
On the D-day, John was visible at the event tying up loose ends. The event was relayed live on AIT and monitored by different news agencies. At the end of the Governor’s speech at the reception, Late John helped me to locate my vehicle from the surging crowd while the driver waited to allow the Governor’s convoy to move before us. John later reached me to ascertain the next direction for proper coordination. He left me to join one of the Hilux trucks.
A few minutes later, I heard gunshots to which the shells fell on my car. I shouted into the two-way radio to ascertain who was firing those shots. My driver noticed that John was probably pushed down and alerted me. We discovered that John was clinging to his chest, his white shirt heavily blood-soaked.
I screamed when I saw the blood and instantly asked them to head to Federal Medical Centre, Umuahia. On my way, I called the Chief Medical Director, Dr. Aballi Chukwu and the Chief Medical Director of Abia State Specialist & Diagnostic Centre- Prof. A. U. Mbanaso who also is the Governor’s personal physician. In fairness to the doctors, they did their best in trying to stabilize him. They cut open his thorax to drain blood from his lungs.
Specialist surgeons were placed on alert in the theatre for instant surgery. Shockingly, it was discovered that his pulse fell from 70 downwards. At this point, I was joined by the Speaker of Abia State House of Assembly and the Deputy Majority Leader, Rt. Hon. Ude Oko Chukwu and Hon. P. C. Onyegbu respectively. Everything was done to save his life, including sourcing blood to resuscitate him. These efforts proved abortive, after one hour of tension-soaked efforts at the hospital. The Chief Medical Director, Dr. Aballi Chukwu later informed me of his death, and I was shaken to my bones to the extent that I needed support to my car as to get back to my house.
After the fruitless efforts to save John’s life, I then enquired of what happened. An eyewitness told me that the trigger was accidentally pulled as one of the policemen on duty at the venue held his gun with one hand and was clearing the surging crowd with the other hand. All these happened in broad daylight and witnessed by thousands of people, predominantly youths who attended the occasion.
I am taking this time and pains to make this explanation because I am a politically exposed person. In previous situations, I had been embarrassed, being a character in many fabricated stories in the media. In one of such situations, I was accused of challenging an Army captain in a supermarket in Umuahia, who rushed to the Army Barracks at Ohafia to mobilize soldiers who eventually mauled me to the point of death. A journey to Ohafia and back would take not less than two hours. Curiously, I waited for them to come back to brutalize me. Can you imagine that? I ignored these fallacies because they were insignificant ploys to set me back.
It is possible that due to my political exposure especially that of being the Governor’s son, that I have by omission or commission, made enemies of my own or may have inherited those of my father. But this situation seems to be orchestrated assiduously from one direction. For instance, scarcely had the shooting incident happened, when an Igbere Facebook T.V page that operates online screened a headline that I directed the execution of my cousin. There are also strong speculations that I was the target but Mr. John Ndubuka was killed. Another one was that those who wanted him out of the way killed him.
Amid these flying stories, a false picture of the incident was posted on the Internet. The picture supposedly John Ndubuka’s, was wearing a pair of jeans and canvass but everybody saw John at the occasion, dressed in the attire of Ikwuano/Umuahia people that day which was white shirt on top, black pair of trousers with a George Wrapper tied to his waist. The blood-soaked dresses are still in the custody of the FMC Umuahia.
It is therefore curious that such a picture was instantly simulated and placed on the Internet, a few minutes after the incident.
From the foregoing, a few questions readily come to mind:
1) How did the Igbere T.V, a Facebook page come to the conclusion that I ordered the killing of John Ndubuka, and how come that nobody in the crowd heard it?
2) If somebody actually wanted John dead, why would he engage a police officer on duty in a public function to commit such a crime?
3) If I was the target as alleged, why didn’t the assailant shoot me directly?
It is very unfortunate that this happened. So tragic that John is dead!
Let me advise the mockers and those faceless, merciless and heartless criminals that death is no respecter of persons and no living creature can escape death. What happened to John could be anybody’s lot but because of the person involved, people have thrown caution to the wind, capitalizing on a tragic incident to score cheap political points. The Holy Bible posits that whatever you sow, you will reap.
Whatever they do, whatever they write on the social media, they cannot dampen my spirit. They couldn’t do it before.
John took it upon himself to assist the Governor of Abia State, Governor T.A. Orji to achieve his vision for the youths and women of Abia State. As people from the same hamlet, I have worked closely with him for over 8 years, moving from the informal to the formal. We are related. In truth, this unfortunate death of my cousin will spur me more in that direction. I am not violent. I will never be! My position as the Governor’s son has never gotten into my head. Neither has it interfered in my personal relationship with people.
For any story to be the truth, it must have one version. In this case, there are more than 20 versions to it. In the process of trying to level all manner of things against me, they have inadvertently made mockery of themselves. They should leave me to mourn my brother in peace. Nothing, absolutely nothing, said on the social media, will dampen my spirit.
Let people be guided by their conscience, if they have any!
The opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the author.