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Teenager drowns in Imo River, body yet to be recovered



The late Chioma

THE young promising, intelligent, enterprising and accommodating 18- year- old, Miss Chioma Vincent Amaechi, had exuded beauty to the admiration of her people.

On April 18, she had attended to her morning domestic duties in her ancestral home, Umuezeala, Umueme autonomous community in Awo- Omanma, Oru East Local Council of Imo State, before she decided to do the needful by going to a nearby popular River in the vicinity, “Ajaba River”, to wash a local fruit, Ukwa, popularly consumed by the people of the area.

The fruit is cooked and turned into a delicacy. She had done that in obedience to her parent’s directive before she could do other academic activities. Chioma never knew that it was going to be her last assignment on earth.

If she knew, probably she would not have gone nearer to that river for any activity, but she did. According to family sources, the late Chioma had gone to River Njaba to wash the fruit for family delicacy.

The source said she had completed the assignment of washing the fruit when she took a second-thought decision to swim in the river with her friends around.

Suddenly, she went down the river with a loud shout, according to the source, when she began to sink down and down inside the river. Attempts were made to draw her out of the river as she was drowning, but the efforts to drag her out by her family and relations were in futility.

The entire body went down without anyone seeing her till date. All efforts by the contracted local divers to find the late Chioma have remained a mirage, as she could not be traced after several days of drowning in the river.

The deceased, the source further stated, had just written her Senior Secondary School Certificate Examination (SSCE), and the University Matriculation Tertiary Examination (UMTE), preparatory to enter the university later this year, when the unfortunate incident occurred.

The mother of late Chioma, Mrs. Emelda Amaechi, who cried helplessly when questioned by The Guardian, could not hold herself, neither could she answer smoothly any question thrown to her. She only said: “My daughter? Has she gone or what? This cannot happen.

It is not true. We loved her so well. She cannot be missed that way. She only went to the river to wash Ukwa for food, only for us to hear that she has not come back.”

Cries could not allow any flow of thoughts from the bereaved mother. Another family source also rendered his own account to The Guardian: “Chioma had gone to River Njaba, just a stone’s throw from here to wash Ukwa, our good food.

She just went for the evening meal when stories started coming from various areas that she had drowned in the river. We were told initially that she began to drown in the river gradually and was dragged and pulled by her friends and relations, but they couldn’t pull her out.

Later local divers were in all parts of the river to search for her body, she is yet to be found till date. Chioma had written her Seniour School Certificate Examination and later UMTE, hoping to enter university this year.

All of that have gone. The only annoying thing is that her remains are yet to be found. We will continue to search for the body.”

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