From Paul Osuyi, Asaba

Nineteen-year-old Glory Onyewadume was a promising school leaver with bright prospects of gaining admission into a tertiary institution. But as a stop-gap, Glory took up a job as a point of sale (PoS) operator in Asaba, Delta State.

Referred to as the ‘Utility Child’ of the Onyewadume family of Onicha-Olona in Aniocha North Local Government Area of the state, the teenager was a talented singer with dreams.

But the dreams were cut short on Wednesday, December 21, 2022, when he was allegedly murdered by yet to be identified persons at an uncompleted building along Ibusa Road, Asaba. 

At the time of the alleged murder, Glory was awaiting his Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME) result. He was the winner of the Delta State Kids and Teens Talent Hunt Competition, 2020, Season 1.

Those who knew him said he was an asset to talent development managers, having featured in the In-Gathering and Youth Foundation, Delta State Talent Development Office and Winners’ Chapel Praise Concert, among others.

But death came knocking in a gruesome manner to steal away the potential bundle of talents in Glory.

It was learnt that the 19-year-old was stabbed in the chest about 12 noon on the fateful day, while attending to a supposed customer in an uncompleted building.

Sources claimed that the supposed customer had earlier come to the POS stand apparently to make withdrawals but never did, adding that he later beckoned on the deceased to come into the building to attend to him.

According to the sources, the supposed customer was later sighted running out of the uncompleted building barefooted, noting that upon going into the building, Glory was found struggling in a pool of blood.

He was rushed to the state General Hospital in Okwe, Asaba, but gave up the ghost after about one hour of waiting to be attended to by health workers at the hospital.

Following his death, security agents arrested some suspects who were later released for want of evidence against them.

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However, dissatisfied with the outcome of police investigation, the family and friends of the deceased recently staged a peaceful protest to the state secretariat of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), where they appealed to the media to amplify their cry for justice.

Speaking, a talent developer and CEO of Kiddies Carnival Nigeria, Mrs. Valerie Opia, said the late Glory “was like a son to me,” adding that she would go to any length to ensure that the murderers were brought to book.

Opia disclosed that the state Commissioner of Police, Ari Mohammed Ali, was not even aware of the case until they met on February 3, adding that it was at that point that the homicide section came to brief the police boss, claiming that the matter was under investigation.

Opia, who recounted the statement of one of the released suspects, said the deceased was stabbed in an attempt to snatch his bag of money and phones, adding that he crawled to the road where he received help to Okwe General Hospital. 

According to her, the doctors and nurses felt unconcerned about the emergency status of Glory until he passed on after about an hour lying helplessly for attention.

Father of the deceased, Israel Onyewadume, lamented the nonchalant attitude of health workers at government hospitals and lack of diligent investigation on the part of security agencies in the matter.

Onyewadume also lamented the uncaring posture of government towards the security of youths making efforts to help themselves in the society, especially POS operators. He insisted that, if his son had received medical attention, he would not have died. 

He said no amount of tears or protesta could bring back his son, adding, however, that the protest was to draw the attention of government to the needless death of promising youths in the society.

Addressing the protesters, chairman of NUJ, Michael Ikeogwu, sympathised with the bereaved, assuring them that the union would join them in fighting for justice over the mindless killing of Glory.

Appealing to them to remain calm and lawfully organised while seeking justice, Ikeogwu called on the police to thoroughly investigate the murder with a view to unravelling the cause of death and bringing the culprit(s) to book.