It was tears for the family of the slain National Youth Service Corps member Samuel Okonta, who was brutally killed in Rivers State during the rerun election as the Director-General of the National Youth Service (NYSC) Scheme, Brig-General Johnson Olawumi, paid a condolence visit to the family of late Mr. Samuel Dumebi Okonta, in Illah, Delta State.
Okonta, a youth corps-member, was brutally shot dead during the re-run election in Rivers State last week.
A report by ThisDay says the NYSC Director-General delegation, which included the Delta State Coordinator of the scheme, Mrs. Olive Essien-Etukudo and other senior officials of the corps revealed that the late corps-member had actually finished his assignment at the polling unit and was going home when he was shot dead along with two other persons by unidentified hoodlums who were still at large.
He assured the family that the NYSC would not abandon them in this time of grief, he promised, saying it would participate actively in the burial of the late corps-member after a postmortem by the Rivers State Government. He also assured the family and entire Ilah Community that no effort would be spared to apprehend and bring the killers of the political science graduate of Ambrose Alli University Ekpoma, Edo State, to justice.
Nonetheless, Olawumi expressed his sense of loss when he wrote in the condolence register at the Illah home of Samuel Okonta: “It is so sad that you were cut down in the process of serving your nation.
“Myself, the entire management and staff as well as all members of the corps nationwide are deeply grieved by your death.
“I promise that I will not relent until we ensure that those who keep you permanently silent forever are brought to book. Adieu Samuel and RIP!”
Responding on behalf of the family, Chief Chikwenye Maduku, noted that they (relatives of the deceased who was an orphan) had put in so much to train the slain corps-member, saying, “We can only pray for the repose of his soul.”
The eldest sister of the late corps-member, Mrs. Victoria Akpa, told newsmen tearfully that Samuel suffered too much till graduation, saying his death was shocking to the family.
“The news of his death was shocking” Mrs Akpa, lamented. “They stabbed my heart; they killed me”, she wept.
“His father died in 1993, mother in 2015. I have been taking care of him. No relation helped us; everybody ran away but we managed until he graduated.”
The delegation also visited the traditional ruler of Illah, a quiet community about 15 minutes drive from Asaba, HRM, Obi Akazue Gbemudu II, the Ogbelani of Ilah, where the NYSC Director-General hailed the prevailing peace in the town, saying the reception was friendly despite the circumstance of the visit.
Olawumi later told corps-members serving in the community not to be discouraged by the circumstances of Samuel Okonta’s death in discharging their national assignment.