Stephen Ukandu, Umuahia
The family of Ebonyi couple, Mr and Mrs Darlington Uzonwa, brutally murdered in Umuahia, Abia State on January 25, 2020, by devil-may-care robbers, has poured encomiums on Gov. David Umahi of Ebonyi State, for fulfilling his promise to cater for the university education of the three orphaned children of the victims.
The couple who were based in Umuahia were driving together with their children when they were attacked by the robbers who dispossessed them of their money but the children escaped by the whiskers as their mother was said to have blocked the gun fired at them with her own body.
Meanwhile, the attention of Governor Umahi was later drawn to the bizarre incident through a letter by the Correspondent Chapel of the Nigeria Union of Journalists, NUJ, Abia State chapter for possible intervention to mitigate the plights of the traumatised children of the victims.
Gov. Umahi later invited the children and their family members to his office for a meeting, and promptly released some funds to assist their secondary education with a promise that Ebonyi State Government would sponsor their university education later in life.
Ikengaonline reports that as at the time of the Governor’s intervention, all three children of the victims were still then in the Secondary School, but two have now graduated remaining the last child who is currently in Senior Secondary One (SS1).
Meanwhile, the Correspondents Chapel in a follow-up letter dated May 11, 2023, informed the Governor that the first daughter of the couple had been offered admission to study Economics at the Federal University Ndufu Alike (FUNAI).
The family of the victims, had in a separate letter jointly signed by Mr Gregory Uzonwa, and Mrs Joy Ifeanyi-Sunday, also reminded the Governor of his earlier promise.
In less than one week after the Governor was notified of the development, he monetised the cost of university education for the children of the victims and caused the fund to be transferred into a dedicated bank account volunteered by the family.
Meanwhile, the family has expressed their profound gratitude to Gov. Umahi for the gesture which according to them is a huge relief and succour.
Mrs Ifeanyi-Sunday who spoke on behalf of the family, said that the Governor’s kind gestures had rekindled the shattered hope of the family.
She particularly commended the Gov. Umahi for living up to his promise despite having less than two weeks to serve out his tenure.
The elated woman rained blessings on the out-going governor and senator-elect, saying that the family would be eternally grateful to Umahi and Ebonyi State Government for the gesture.
She also applauded journalists, Mr Steve Oko and Augustine Anioke, for their roles in championing the cause of the family and facilitating the intervention.
Meanwhile, the Chairman of Correspondents Chapel, Comrade Obinna Ibe, has commended Gov. Umahi for keeping his words, and for giving the children a future.
He urged other Governors and public office holders to always empathise with the hurting in society.