On 10th of August, 2013, the leadership of International Society for Civil Liberties & the Rule of Law raised an alarm over fears that the Chairman of Ohanaeze Ndigbo in Kano State, Northwest Nigeria, Mr. Tobias Idika, might be killed by a death squad believed to have been hired by the host State Government. Mr. Idika cried out in a letter to the Inspector General of Police. The death threat was as a result of refusal of his leadership to mangle the figures of those killed in the July 29, 2013 deadly bomb attacks targeted at the Nigerian citizens of the Southeast extraction resident in Sabon Gari area of Kano State. Fifty Nigerian citizens mostly of Southeast Igbo extraction died in the deadly blasts. In the earlier blasts that shook the entire Sabon Gari area of Kano State on March 18, 2013, targeted at the New Road Luxury Bus Park, 2013, close to 185 Nigerian citizens mostly of Igbo Southeast Nigerians were massacred. The Kano State Government and its security agencies mangled and brought down the respective figures to 12 and 22.
Among those that were killed in the July 29, 2013 deadly attacks at New Road and Enugu/Igbo Road, Sabon Gari, were four members of Ezebula family in Umeze village, Uga Community in Aguata Local Government Area of Anambra State, Southeast Nigeria. They are Chinemerem Kingsley Ezebula(male), 14 year, Chiamaka Constance Ezebula(female), 12 years, Nmesoma Peace Ezebula(female),10 years, and their father, Mr. John Nnamdi Ezebula, 48 years who died from injuries and shocks arising from the deadly bomb attacks. He died on September 23, 2013 in a hospital.
The news of their interment fixed for 26th of September, 2013 in Uga Community of Anambra State is received by us at Intersociety and millions of other concerned Nigerians with grief and shock. Till date, the whereabouts of other 47 dead citizens from the deadly blasts have not been publicly disclosed by the Federal Government or the Government of Kano State likewise about 185 citizens that were killed in the March 18, 2013 deadly bombings in the same Sabon Gari area of Kano State, Northwest Nigeria. It is possible that the Uga Community in Kano State must have passed through hell before securing the release of the remains of the EZEBULA FOUR from the Government of Kano State and agencies under its control. Bribing before securing their release under disguised names is also not ruled out especially as it concerns police involvement. This has become a common place in Nigeria with respect to fatal accidents, private crimes and socio-religious crimes’ victims.
Before their tragic death, the EZEBULA FOUR lived in Kano State. The late head of the family, Mr. John Ezebula(48) was a businessman, his wife and mother of the three murdered children; Mrs. Loveth Ezebula is unemployed but holds National Certificate in Education(NCE). Their two surviving children are Chukwuebuka Ezebula(male), 18 years and Anurika Ezebula(female), 16 years. While Chukwuebuka is a university admission seeker, Anurika is an SS2 student at a private secondary school located in their home town, Uga Community. Their three murdered siblings were in junior secondary schools before their tragic death.
The interest shown so far by the Government of Anambra State in the tragic incident is commendable. The mandatory attendance of their funeral on the fixed date by the Government of Anambra State will not only console the aggrieved family and the entire Uga Community, but it will further counter-balance the possible opinion holds by the affected family that government exists not to protect the lives and ensure the welfare of the citizens, but to kill and bury in mass graves of its citizens using socio-religious insurgency methodologies. To ameliorate the material effects of the tragic incident, the Peter Obi led Government of Anambra State should come to the aid of the family by offering an automatic employment to the mother of the murdered and surviving children of the Ezebula nuclear family, Mrs. Loveth Ezebula. Their surviving children, Chukwuebuka and Anurika should be offered a scholarship to university level. Cash envelopes should also be offered to the family to cushion the immediate effects of funeral rites and daily bread. A public school in the Community should be named after the family’s name and such school made to benefit from the State Government programs for public schools in the State. The Uga Community should erect a joint statue in honor of the EZEBULA FOUR to be located at a conspicuous Community’s joint so as to keep the tragic memory fresh and unforgettable.
Finally, we wish to restate our earlier position that the present Government of Kano State under one Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso should be held responsible for the massacre of mostly Igbo-Nigerians in the State under the guise of socio-religious and political violent groups labeled “Boko Haram”. When over 30,000 Igbo-Nigerians were butchered in the State in 1966 by similar killer squads, his forefathers in power then never did anything to quench the pogrom. This led to the civil war of 1967 to 1970. This time around, he has repeated several times what his forefathers did and even went steps further to encourage the mangling and suppression of casualty figures as well as facilitating their burials in most disrespectful and un-African ways such as mass grave burials as if they are victims of earthquakes. Like we said before, the Kano killings are within the jurisdictional competence of the International Criminal Court, therefore, it must act now!
The Federal Government of Nigeria must acknowledge these killings and become apologetic and actionable at all times. Borrowing from USA, Canada, Australia, Belgium, South Africa, etc, there must be established for Nigeria National Sorry Day & Compensations of Victims of Political & Ethno-religious Crimes Schemes. This is to appease the souls and rehabilitate the families of such victims and dissuade their souls from haunting Nigeria and her socio-economic development. Firm political will is also paramount. Sorry-apologies have been offered to peoples and races, whose innocent members were massacred in droves in the years back with firm promises of never to repeat such carnages, pogroms, ethnic cleansings and genocides visited on such innocent peoples by their opressors.
Chairman of the Board
Comrade Justus Ijeoma,
Head, Publicity Desk