…”it is strange; we must consult the gods,” traditional ruler
By: Chiadikobi Ozor
At least three persons were killed, others hospitalized and buildingestroyed when a terrifying windstorm hit Uhunowerre community in Igbo Eze south local government area of Enugu state.
The victims of the storm include two secondary school students of Community Secondary School Uhunowerre simply identified as Edith Ugwu, SS-2, and one Onyeka, an ex student of the school who was said to have visited to watch the build up to the school’s forthcoming inter house sports games.
The other was a bricklayer identified as Anthony Mammah who was working at the Mario Institute of Hospitality and Entrepreneurship on the fateful day.
Traditional ruler of the community, His Royal Highness, Igwe Sunday Ogbonna said he was shocked by the incident pointing out that his people had not witnessed such disaster since the history of the community
Igwe Ogbonna said that the storm was a strange one giving the fact that it only targeted public buildings, and no individual houses were affected.
He promised to summon his cabinet members to proffer solution on how to consult the gods of the land to know why such an unusual wind wrecked havoc in the community.
Everyday News gathered that the hurricane took the community unawares as the wild whispering wind uprooted trees, tanks filled with water and removed every other structure on its way.
Most hit by the ill wind was Mario Institute of Hospitality and Entrepreneurship, a catholic tertiary institution where the bricklayer lost his life while working for the school.
Two of his sons who were with him also sustained various degrees of injury including a broken leg and currently receiving treatment at Faith foundation hospital, Nsukka.
At the community secondary school Uhunowerre the two students were struck dead by the storm while in one of the classrooms of the college. The class in which they were in was submerged alongside other; trees were uprooted and roofs blown off.
Beyond the havoc at Mario Institute and the community secondary school the storm also pulled down buildings at the community primary school in the area and further destroyed part of the buildings in the Anglican church of the community.
Speaking to newsmen after the tragic and devastating incident in the community Rev. Fr. Cornelius Obe, Director Mario Institute said the storm collapsed the multi purpose hall of the institution where the bricklayer was killed.
Fr Obe narrated how the deceased bricklayer was trapped at the multi purpose hall with his two children when the building collapsed.
He said that it was the voice of one of the children who was shouting on top of his voice that attracted attention to them but expressed regrets that the door of the building fell on the deceased who died the next day at Faith foundation hospital, Nsukka.
“The incident in my school was least expected it. We are only agonizing because of the lives lost in the ugly incident, the entire community would have been wiped out by the storm disaster.
“I was still in my office around 5pm that fateful day, I started hearing wild sound; it was like rockets and explosives descending with force, shaking roofs and buildings…after about five minutes, someone rushed to my office and informed me that Mamah and his children has been trapped in the collapsed school hall. I rushed outside and the whole buildings in the vicinity were all damaged, trees uprooted, building roofs and walls blown off, and electric poles pulled down.
“Sympathizers rushed to assist in the rescue of the victims trapped by iron door of the hall. I rushed him and his two children to Faith Foundation Hospital, Nsukka where we donated two pints of blood to them. The man was stable and talking, he prayed to God to save his two sons while he preferred to die for them to be alive. Mamah died the next day in the hospital” he noted.
In his comment Mr Felix Amoke, chairman Parents Teacher Association (PTA) of Mario Institute described the disaster as unfortunate because of loss of lives and damaged school buildings.
Amoke urged Federal, state and local governments as well as spirited individuals to come to the aid of Mario institute to enable the school rebuild the damaged building by the storm.
“The PTA recommended that Mamah should be immortalised by naming one building in the school after him, ” he said.