…70-year-old mother of slain Sapele lawmaker laments
Where will I start from? What will I do? Who do I call and tell my problems to? This world is wicked o! Why my son? They have taken my joy away. Heartless people took my joy away. Those who killed you will not see joy. Tears will continue to be their portion”.
With these words, 70-year-old Mama Kagbude, mother of slain Majority Leader of Sapele Local Government Legislative, Chief Venture Kagbude, lamented the death of her son.
Spotting a black wrapper over a blue top and looking dejected, it was obvious the old woman was in pain.
Surrounded by sympathisers, mostly women, she agonised over the loss of a son who had taken care of her over the years; she stared intermittently at sympathisers who had thronged her Shell Road residence in Sapele.
And she was not the only one in pains. Kagbude’s first wife, Vero, continually shook her legs, tears cascading down her cheeks.
“It is well”, a woman sitting to her right whispered, trying to condole her.
Vero’s eyes were red.
A sympathiser told Sunday Vanguard that the wife had not slept since the news of her husband’s murder broke about 24 hours earlier.
One of the sympathisers said loudly “a big tree has fallen”
Kagbude was certainly a big tree in the life of his family but amidst his sudden death, the Chairman of Sapele Local Government Area, Hon Eugene Inoaghan, on Wednesday, denied that the deceased lawmaker and him were solely the ones responsible for fighting cultism as widely reported.
“It was the effort of security men in collaboration with men of the vigilante but we gave the little cooperation that we could”, Inoaghan said.
The council boss also said there was no truth in the claim that Kagbude death was a result of a feud in the community, adding that the deceased was a leader par excellence, and was already making arrangement to bring in a new transformer to provide light for the people of Okirighwre which he represented.
“It will be very difficult to substitute him for anyone in decades to come”, he added.
Relatives, others mourn
Inside the palatial family home of the Kagbudes, you could hear wailing from the deceased’s sister too.
“They killed my brother. How do we get over this? My brother!”, she wailed.
Sympathisers milled around her as they tried to condole with her.
Meanwhile, loved ones and political allies eulogised the fallen LGA lawmaker, recalling his life and times.
His wife, Vero, said her husband lived a life of service to humanity.
“My husband lived a good life. He was a good man who would do anything to satisfy his family”, the wife said.
She recalled an incident when Kagbude had to return home early from an engagement just because she was ill.
“He left the venue for home, even when I assured him I will be fine. He was a good father too, now he is dead”.
The murder of the lawmaker around 5.25pm on Tuesday, October 1, when the nation was celebrating Independence Day anniversary along the busy Warri – Sapele Road, will continue to put fear in the minds of his family members, friends and political associates who have since been mourning his tragic death.
While the police in Delta State have launched a manhunt for the killers, and the Sapele Council boss has vowed to find those behind the dastardly act, friends and associates have continued to wait with bated breath for the truth on why his life was brutally cut down.
With no suspect arrested so far, some persons have not stopped pointing accusing fingers at his political foes in his community.
A source, who refused to disclose his name, told Sunday Vanguard how he made have made enemies because he was strict and called a spade a spade.
The police in the state are yet to make any official statement on the murder of the Majority Leader.
Security personnel who visited the scene of the incident along Sapele – Warri Road on Wednesday had said that they would carefully investigate the death of the young man who doubled as the Chairman of Okirighre community.
Delta State Police Command Public Relations Officer, Onome Onowakpoyeya, told Sunday Vanguard that investigation was in top gear with a view to apprehending the killers.
“Concerted efforts are ongoing to uncover and arrest the killers in compliance with the directive of the state Commissioner of Police”, the spokesperson said.
And to the Kagbude family and political associates, the arrest of the killers was necessary but could not reverse what they described as “a grave loss.”
Chief Felix Anirah, the member representing Sapele in Delta State House of Assembly, described Kagbude as a complete gentleman, adding that he was a custodian of culture and a promoter of the Okpe culture.
“He was a hard working man, a man who believed in the unity of our country, one man that cannot be forgotten. And so I want to enjoin the political class to ensure that his family is not forgotten soon”, Anirah said.
Hon. Joyce Overah, member representing Sapele, Ethiope West and Okpe local government area on the board of Delta State Oil Producing Areas Development Commission, DESOPADEC, who expressed shock over the lawmaker’s demise, also described him as a jolly good fellow and a friend of all, attributing the death to insecurity and bad roads.
“If security operatives patrolling the area were on the lookout and the roads were okay, it would have been very difficult for hoodlums to ambush passing vehicles”, Overah said.
He called on the Federal Government to fix bad roads in the area to avert further occurrence.
Also, a chieftain of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, in Delta State, Chief Paulinus Akpeki, said the late Kagbude was a humble and a dependable ally, praying his soul to rest in peace.
Hon Austine Ayemidejor, Special Project Director, Asaba International Airport, who also spoke to Sunday Vanguard, described Kagbude as a man of peace and wondered why he was killed.
He added that Kagbude will surely be missed by all and sundry
Chief Godday Okpako, Chairman, Amukpe community, and a member of the PDP, described the late lawmaker as someone who believed in improving the society for the good of everyone, and was always concerned with the welfare of his people.
To Patrick Akamovba Falsity of Sapele Okpe community, the late community leader will be greatly missed by the Okpe people.
Among sympathisers who visited the family residence of the deceased were politicians, market women, youth groups and representatives of Sapele Okpe Local Government Area.
Meanwhile, more facts have emerged on how the late Majority Leader met his death.
John Tebu, Councillor for Ward 14 Rural, who was among those with Kagbude on the day of the incident, told Sunday Vanguard, “The men who attacked us wore Army uniform and one was wearing a mask and they were speaking Hausa.
“When we saw them, we tried to reverse to escape when the SUV Kagbude was driving fell into a ditch. The assailants came to us where we were, robbed us and escaped into the bush.
“That was when we realised Kagbude had been shot. We tried to get help but no vehicle stopped for us, until one came along and, before we could get him to hospital, he had given up the ghost”.
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