From Paul Osuyi, Asaba
For Chiedu Gwam, the shock and trauma following the murder of his mother, Mrs Lawretta Gwam, and eldest brother, Pastor Alfred Nnamdi Gwam, is not over until justice is done.
Mrs Gwam, a retired school principal and her eldest son, Pastor Nnamdi, were shot dead right inside their living room during a prayer session by yet-to-be identified gunmen.
The shooting incident which occurred at the wee hours of December 15, also left another member of the family, Kelvin, in critical condition at the hospital.
It happened at the family residence located within the new General Hospital in the Core Area of Asaba, the Delta State capital.
The gunmen did not break the door to gain entry, but rather tore the window net and aimed at the family members, to spread pain and sorrow in the festive season.
Narrating the ordeal on his sick bed, Kelvin who sustained gunshot injuries, said he heard the voice of his eldest brother, praying at about 1:30a.m which startled him.
“He was praying with a loud voice then he told me that some armed men were around the vicinity.
“So, I noticed some movements around the window to our mom’s room. So, we left the room and came towards the passage, after sometime we didn’t hear anything again, so we believed they had gone.
“Only for us to come to the sitting room to pray like we normally do, then all of a sudden we noticed a movement, somebody trying to gain access through the window without demanding for money or for us to open the door, without demanding for anything, the vehicle was outside only for the person to gain access through the window and opened fire on us.
“It was a very terrible sight to behold. The guys shot at us, we ran back to the centre passage of the house where they can’t see us, at that moment my elder brother fell on his knees, my mom too was struggling to breathe. After sometime both of them went silent.
“I was trying to assist them not knowing that I have also been shot on my chest region,” he explained.
Kelvin’s younger brother, Chiedu fought back tears while calling for justice to be done on the matter, saying, however, that the late family members were irreplaceable.
Chiedu said the family house where the shooting took place has be deserted for fear of the unknown, and called on the state government and other well meaning individuals to wade into the matter, urging the security agencies to carry out full scale investigation to bring the murderers to book.
“I was called on the phone and was informed that some armed men entered my family compound in Asaba. In the home that night, my mother was there, my eldest brother was there.
“My two elder brothers were there with their children and wives and my sister. They were in the house and they were praying.
“While they were praying armed men came and opened fire on the innocent people. In the process my mother was shot dead and my eldest brother was also shot dead. My immediate elder brother was also shot.
“The children in the house, all infants witnessed all the shooting. The wives were there, there was nobody there to help. After the incident, my immediate elder brother struggled to rush them to the hospital, only for them to arrive at the hospital, they were told that my mom and my eldest brother could not make it,” Chiedu lamented.
He said that the trauma which the bereaved family members are going through “is unbearable. I can only imagine what they are going through at this time and that is why I call on the government and all well-meaning Nigerians to call for full scale investigation of this matter to bring these men who have done this evil to me and my family to book.
“I sincerely want to call on His Excellency, the Executive Governor and the Chief Security Officer of Delta State to step into this matter, that these men who have done this be brought to justice.
“My mother as of today lies in the mortuary with my eldest brother while my immediate elder brother is still battling for his life. We don’t know what has led to this, but our only demand is that justice be done.”
He equally called on the government to make provisions for security for the rest of the members of the family as they live in fear of the assailants whom he said their mission was still unknown.
On whether there was any threat or issue by members of the family with others before the incident, Chiedu said: “the stories are shocking to me. My mother served this state as a teacher for 35 years and she retired after her service this year sometime in February as a principal. Her last appointment was to be on a Board to review the educational system which she served with all her strength.”
He described the deceased as people who lived a life of service to the people, noting that the neighborhood could attest to the humble and Christian lives they lived.
He described their deaths as “heartbreaking, shocking, it’s still to me as if I am dreaming. I never saw it coming in any way, but I know that justice will be done. My mom was the best in the world, she had always sacrificed her life to see that her children were trained. I am proud of her to say today that of all her children, she did her best to give us the best of education.
“My mom had five sons, all graduates and a daughter who is also an undergraduate at the moment. She stood alone to see that her children gained good education, she was the best.
“As it is today, the family is still in shock, the trauma is real, the home has been deserted, nowhere to stay, everybody is just scattered and only God can say what will become of the family if justice is not done.
“The only home the family knows is the scene of the crime and we now call on the government to step into the situation to even provide shelter for these little children of this home, that is our appeal to our dear governor.”
He acknowledged that the police were doing their best to unmasked the killers, but insisted that investigation should not be abandoned until justice is seen to have be manifestly done.
Public Relations Officer of the state police command, DSP Onome Onovwakpoyeya, confirmed the killings, disclosing that investigation into the matter has be intensified.