…Parents of corp member killed by soldiers still in tears
By GERALD NWOKOCHA
The death of Stephen Enyinnaya Nwosu on August 25, 2011 has become a festering wound in the heart of members of his family and friends.
He was shot dead by soldiers who mistook him for a member of Boko Haram in Adamawa State, where he was serving the mandatory one-year National Youths Service Corp programme.
At the memorial service held in his honour recently, tears flowed from the eyes of his aged parents, relatives, friends and colleagues of the late corp member.
The family not only lost Stephen as a person, son, brother and friend, but it seems his death brought the joy of his family to a sudden end. His eldest brother, Jide Offor told Campus Sun that promises made by the government to unravel the mystery behind his tragic end were never fulfilled.
“We also lost his enterprising acumen on which hinged the economic survival of the family,” he said.
Our reporter, who was at the memorial service, observed the outpour of tributes for the late Stephen. Tears flowed like a river. Several people took time to give accounts of what Stephen did and who he was to them, describing him as a young man who lived for the good of others.
The late Stephen touched so many lives, especially in his place of primary assignment, Girls Secondary School, Gombi in Adamawa State.
Until his death, he was the president of his NYSC CDS, Nigerian Drug Law Enforcement Agency, Gombi, Adamawa State. He was also the President of Catholic Corpers Association in the state.
A member of the family told Campus Sun that the officials of NYSC promised that the three -man delegate sent to Adamawa to investigate his death would bring back the report to the family. Sadly, that promise was not fulfilled.
Also, promises by the Adamawa State government to assist the bereaved family was never fulfilled. The government of Adamawa, federal government and even the NYSC have all deserted us, Jide Offor said.
He said efforts made through the Amnesty International to draw the attention of the Federal Government to assist the family fell on deaf ears. The psychological effect of his death on the family and students of Michael Okpara University of Agriculture Umudike cannot be quantified.
A neighbour to the Nwosu family told our reporter that Stephen’s parents were yet to recover from his tragic death.
“Day by day, they cry in agony. Each day, the father would bring out Stephen’Ws picture. The more he sits to watch his pictures, the more tears from his eyes wet the floor,” he said.
Until his death, Stephen was a young man with a big heart. He empowered many students of his alma mater, whom he gave money to start minor agricultural business. Today, they all cursed the day Stephen died because the cold hand of death has deprived them of a mentor and friend.
The family is appealing to the NYSC, Nigerian Army, Federal Government, and the National Assembly to tell the whole world why soldiers sent to Adamawa to protect lives turned their guns on an innocent young man. They are crying for justice that would appease the blood of their slain son.