Mr. Sunday Okebata a native of Izombe in Oguta Local government Area of Imo State recalls how he lost his wife on Friday 8th October, 2021 when the Nigerian Military invaded and burn houses and properties in the area. Mazi Sunday Okebata who spoke with BBC New Igbo said ; ‘’my wife died trying to save my sick mother and my children who couldn’t get out of the house when the Nigerian Soldiers set our house on fire when I went to work. We didn’t do anything. I have gone to work, my wife called me that the Army and the youth had some altercation which resulted in the death of a youth and Army officers. She told me that the Nigerian Military is burning people’s houses and properties in our community.
According to my wife, a Military man came inside our house during the time they were burning houses in the area and saw her, my two children and my sick mother. The Soldier told them that someone ran into our house, asking them to bring the person so that they will executive the person. My wife told him that no one ran into the house, but the Army officer pointed gun at my wife and my mother and told them that if they failed to produce the person, that they will shoot both of them. My wife and my mother continued to plead to them, at the end, they went out and came back to put the house on fire. My wife, my children and my sick mother who had stroke since 2014 were inside the house when they put the fire. My mother cannot walk, except with the help of a walking stick due to her condition. The Army did not show any empathy about her condition and her age. As the fire was engulfing through the direction of my mother and my children, my wife was trying to get my sick mother and the children out of the house which she succeeded, but her clothing caught fire in the process.
After the Army left, a number called me and ask me to go to a nearby hospital that my wife was injured as a result of the fire the Nigerian Army put in the building. When I heard it, I was heartbroken. I got a car and made my way to the hospital immediately and got her transferred to Federal Medical Center FMC Owerri. At FMC Owerri that Friday night, getting intravenous (IV) access was difficult because of the amount of burn she had, but they tried and got a vein that night.
In the morning after several test were carried out on her , the Doctor informed me that she had 41% burn in her body , indicating that her condition was very critical because of the amount and areas affected(face, two hands, heart, back, some part of the liver etc) .
I was with her when she died; she died lying in my leg and told me certain thing before she died. I have never had any criminal record or anything illegal all my life. I want real justice for my wife’’ he said.
Watch the video here