•They composed a song, There’s no love in the heart of the city
…And got murdered in the city by mob that denied them love
FROM CHRIS ANUCHA &CANICE UZOUKWU, Port Harcourt
Lloyd Mike Doku, the erstwhile 200 level engineering student at the University of Port Harcourt, who was murdered in Omuokiri community, Aluu, Rivers State, with three others, was a staunch member of the popular Salvation Ministries Church.
Salvation Ministries has its headquarters in Port Harcourt , Rivers State, with the glamorous preacher, Pastor David Ibiyomie, as the General Overseer. Lloyd loved Salvation Ministry and its founder, whom he called ‘daddy’ so much that he kept preaching and disturbing his parents, Mr and Mrs Mike Doku, to change from worshipping in their Church, Shammah Chapel and come to Salvation Ministry. His parents were quite impressed the way he was serious with his Christian life, and as a way of encouraging him, they sometimes obeyed and followed him to worship at Salvation Ministry, especially, when the church organized special programmes.
Lloyd, from Okrika, Rivers State, failed to ‘convert’ his parents to be members of Salvation Ministry, but, the feat he could not achieve while alive has been accomplished after his death. As a way of immortalizing their son, the couple have vowed to grant his wish. They have automatically become members of Salvation Ministry till the end of their journey on earth. “There is no other way of immortalizing him, than to become members of Salvation Ministry, he died as a member of the church, he will be happy where he is now. He kept inviting us to that church and even a Sunday before he was killed, he invited us to his church and we went,” the grieving father said .
Lloyd’s mother revealed how the same week, they attended the service with their son in his church, was the last time they saw him alive. Mrs Doku said “After the church service that day, he stayed behind and we left. As he was about going back to the school, he gave me a book, written by Pastor David Ibiyomie titled How faith works. He told me the book would help me to know more about faith. And, that was the last time I saw him.” She said her late son was very close to God and never believed he was going to die the way he did. He a compassionate person, I met him when he was still breathing, in agony, struggling with life. Even in that agony, he knew when the mob put a tyre on the neck of his friend, poured fuel and set him ablaze.
My son still struggled and tried to assist his friend to put off the fire. She said it was possible her son knew he was going to die, and decided to buy the book for her. Since the murder of her son, the book has become her companion and that was the only period she devoted time to read and understand it better. “Maybe, he prepared me for his death.” Giving further insight into the person of Lloyd, the heart-broken mother recalled how she gave him the sum of N50,000 to pay for his accommodation and three days later, he came back, called her into the room and started begging her not to be angry with him. According to her, when she inquired what his offence was, he disclosed to her that he used the N50,000 she gave him to ‘sow a seed’ in the church, and appealed for another one. “I told him I would not be angry since he gave the money to God, I was really happy about the consciousness of God in him.”
On her relationship with her late son, Mrs Doku said as a special child, they were emotionally attached to each other. According her, after giving birth to him, it took her eleven solid years to conceive again. “We were so close, he touches me, kisses and hugs me, he became better, best, I fell in love with my son. When I got to the scene and saw the lifeless body of my son, I praised God, I exalted His name, I promised God that I would serve Him in any situation. I started singing and the whole place that was rowdy before was calm. My husband carried the battered, lifeless body of his own son, it was an ugly sight to behold,” she moaned. Lloyd and Ugonna as budding artistes It’s possible that Ugonna Kelechi Obuzor, a 200 level geology student and Lloyd and could have become two of the greatest musicians this country has produced.
The two budding artistes were working on an album they wanted to release soon. The demo has already been produced. The young men were billed to thrill thousands of their fans during the Students’ Union Week ,which was to start Monday, October 8, 2012. Lloyd, who saw himself making a career and fortunes from music, told his mother how he was going to make money from music soon and use the proceeds to assist her. “He kept telling me, ‘mummy, don’t worry, I will soon have money,” she said. Their prophetic song It does appear the duo foresaw their death, that they were going to be killed in one of the cities of Nigeria, a country which does not love and cherish her citizens. The title of their unfinished album is In the heart of the city, while the title of another of their songs is There is no love in the heart of the city.
Truly, there is no love in the heart of the city, and the four students were butchered like animals, by ‘the animal called, man’(Apologies to chief Olusegun Obasanjo). Ugonna’s stage name was Tipsy while that of Lloyd was Big L. Ugonna as a genius His mother died on October 26, 2005. That could be the reason some rumour mongers peddled false information that on hearing the news of his death, the mother collapsed and died. His father, Messiah Obuzor, from Ogbogu in Ogba/ Egbema/Ndoni Local Government of Rivers, said his late son lost his mother seven years ago. Ugonna was 18 years on May 30, 2012 .
Obuzor, who described himself simply ,as a civil servant, said like most left-handed people, his son was very brilliant, sharp, gentle, respectful and kind to a fault. I have lost a gifted boy, we looked alike. Since his mother’s death , I have been a father and mother to them. We had very strong ties, we knew each other very well. I can vouch for his character, my son is innocent. They accused them of stealing laptop, but I exposed my son to computer right from his primary school days. It’s painful that my son was killed in this manner,” he lamented. Chiadika Chiadika Lordson Biringa is from Obowo Local Government Area of Imo State.
The erstwhile Theatre Arts student was described by his father, Biringa Stephen, as humble, obedient, and someone who never removed a pin from his parents’ house unless it was given to him. When he celebrated his 20th birthday in September, his father, who works for NNPC said he wanted to take him and other siblings out to catch some fun, but he refused and chose to stay at home and watch football . “My son was a very soft person, he didn’t have strong heart. I’m sure he must have died, even before they started torturing him.” Biringa described his son as someone, who liked making friends and cracking jokes. According to him, “it was not surprising , Chiadika chose to study Theatre Arts, against my wish.” adding Chiadika liked to make people happy and he also liked dancing.”
When he was a child, Biringa said his late son became popular, because of the way he danced to the rhythm of pounding of fufu in a mortar. “Making people happy was in him and that was while I later conceded to his studying Theatre Arts.” The problem the bereaved father is facing now is how to make his wife cope with the reality on ground, because of her closeness to their late son. “Sometimes, you find it difficult to differentiate whether they were mother and child or husband and wife. They were too close such that, if she wore any clothes for outing, she usually called him to come and confirm they were fitting. “ He narrated how he was driving to his office that fateful Friday before his second son called on phone to inform him that Chiadika was dead.
“I didn’t know when I reversed the car and my wife managed to get to the scene and saw the badly battered body of her loving, first son she was fond of. I took the body home and buried it the following day. The killing was barbaric. The only thing that could assuage what has happened to these children is justice. When someone suffers injustice, it is only justice that can heal the wound inflicted by injustice. I know my son cannot come back to be alive.” Another thing that’s bothering Mr Biringa is the robbery allegation, leveled against his son.
He fumed: “Let the allegation of robbery be proved or disproved, I have been grooming this child to become somebody in life, to be able to give back to the society, let them investigate and find out, if they were armed robbers as the community branded them. If the police cannot do it, I will leave it for God. If the children were armed robbers, they wouldn’t have been killed, they would have fought back. Did they recover arms and ammunition from the children they branded armed robbers?
My son was too close to his mother, his death is like a wound in the palm, which is seen each day the palm is opened . I hope, God will assist us to be able to come out of this bitter experience,” he said.