Tragedy on Friday 20, 2020 quashed the ecstasy of Igwe festival celebration in Umunede, Ika North East LGA of Delta State on Friday, July 10, 2020, as a 28 year old boy, Mr. Ezeji Sopuruchi was shot dead, triggering sorrow and fear among the residents of the community.
When our reporter visited the bereaved family at Obi Quarters of the community, everyone was seen in tears, as sympathizers thronged the compound to condole them.
Speaking to our reporter, the father of the deceased, Nicholas Ezeji, a traditional doctor, disclosed that he last saw his son, who on arrival from work on that fateful day, put on his garb (agbada) for the celebration, and left the house full of life, only to be hit hours later with the heartbreaking news of his death.
In his words, “My son came back from work on that fateful day, put on his agbada, usually worn during Igwe Festival and left the house. I was still at home when some children ran into my house to inform my household that my son, Sopuruchi had been shot.
“My wife and Sopuruchi’s friend were the ones who rushed him to the hospital after he had stayed on the ground for about 45 minutes struggling for life in his pool of blood. He was taken to Kifa Hospital; but the doctor was busy attending to other demanding situations.
“He was then taken to Dominion Specialist Hospital along General Hospital Road, Umunede where he gave up the ghost after several attempts by the doctor to save his life.”
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Speaking further, Dr. Ezeji said, “I was told that my son was dancing during the festival when someone suddenly called him from behind and shot him. One Mr. Ogor from Idumu-Ile Quarters is alleged to have shot my son. The Police and Anti-Cult Group have been working hard since the incident, and it was during the search that they recovered the gun with which my son was shot, and it was also revealed that one of the Vigilante members gave the gun to him.”
Dr. Ezeji has however, appealed to government to look into the case, arrest and prosecute anyone involved in the death of his son, saying that his son was not a cultist.