Mrs Alu Uche Ibiam, 71, is the mother of 35-year-old employee of Akanu Ibiam Federal Polytechnic, Unwana-Afikpo, Ebonyi State, Enyinnaya Ibiam, who was allegedly shot dead during a Peoples Democratic Party councillorship primaries in the state in February 2020. Following the killing, Governor David Umahi ordered the immediate removal from office and arrest of the Coordinator, Ubeyi Development Centre, Mr Uche Ibiam, for his alleged involvement in the killing. Mrs Ibiam tells EDWARD NNACHI about the gloom her son’s death has brought on the family
What do you do for a living?
I am a subsistence farmer. I do that to take care of my family. Most people in my age, around this area, are farmers. So, we are an agrarian community.
Tragedy recently befell you when you lost a son in broad daylight. How did it happen?
I can’t really say how it happened because I was at home when it happened. It was on a Friday, the day the Peoples Democratic Party had its councillorship primaries across the state. I’m not a politician, so I didn’t go to the venue of the primary election. So, I was at home when my little son returned from work. I call him little son because he is the 11th in a family of 15 children. He came in from work that day and after eating, he decided to go the venue of the election, maybe to exercise his right.
He was not a politician; he was not contesting any position. He was an employee of the polytechnic here. But no sooner had he left the house for the venue than people started rushing to the house to say Enyinnaya Ibiam had been shot by one Uchenna Ibiam, who was until two days after the incident, the Coordinator, Ubeyi Development Centre. Lo and behold, it was true. I couldn’t believe it.
People came to my compound to say that my son had been shot dead. I was not there. People, who were at the councillorship primary election, came to tell me the sad news. That was how I got to hear about it.
It was reported that he worked at Akanu Ibiam Federal Polytechnic in the state…
Yes, he was until his death attached to the marketing department of the polytechnic. After his National Youth Service Corps experience, he got a job at the polytechnic. He wasn’t idle.
I had15 children and lost two of them. Many of my children have their children now, so I have many grandchildren.
Was your son married?
No, Enyinnaya Ibiam was not married. But I can say he was making moves towards getting married. Although he was not married, he was a responsible young man, who was always assisting in any little way he could in the welfare of the family. He was a nice young man.
How close were both of you?
He was my son. We were very close. We were so close that there was nothing he wanted to do that he wouldn’t let me know about. He confided in me and I confided in him. He was such a nice person.
What did you when you heard about Ibiam’s death?
At first, I could not believe it. At another point, it was like a dream. The truth is that this sort of incident is unheard of, unusual and purely against the way of life of our people. Our people are not known for this sort of behaviour. But, I leave all in the hands of God. He who knows my weaknesses and understands that I’m powerless, will fight for me. Ibiam was a respectful and obedient young man. He didn’t fight or quarrel with anyone. So, for someone to do this to him is the height of wickedness and barbarism and my prayer is that let justice prevail.