‘We want justice over Damilola’s death’
According to her parents, who spoke with journalists in their Oke-Aro home in Akure, Ondo State yesterday, she was hit in a deadly crossfire between the warring gangs when going home to pick some items for her husband who was receiving treatment in a private hospital.
They described the incident as terrible injustice to humanity as the Federal Government initially awarded the pipeline contract to the OPC for
selfish interests, which gave them the impunity to engage in an orgy of cannibalism and barbaric display of power in their operations.
The crises lingered from Monday till that fateful Wednesday, after the vandals embarked on a reprisal attack on the OPC, a militia group assigned by President Goodluck Jonathan to guard the pipelines. The OPC claimed the vandals killed one of their gang members on Sunday and consequently unleashed terror on the area.
The Guardian gathered that late Damilola, 25, who got married last year February, was making a U-turn into her Beachland Estate residence on Duru Street, when the stray bullet hit her on the neck.
The parents of the deceased lawyer, who hail from Ire in Ekiti State, described her sudden death as a great loss to the family and humanity at large. Their brilliant daughter graduated with Second Class Upper Divisions from the University of Ado Ekiti and the law school respectively.
It was also gathered that the bright Barrister full of prospects, who started well at St Louis Catholic Nursery and Primary School and Federal Government Girls College, both in Akure, is being missed by her peers and siblings who described her as a rare Gem and a big loss to humanity.
Her father said: “I will miss her coolness, the advice, and the way she would talk to you and appreciate you. If you give her a penny, the way she would say ‘thank you daddy.’ That thank you daddy has been moving me to tears. In hard times in the family, whenever she came around and talked, everybody listened to her. She has been the moderator and pillar of this family.”
Both parents, in their bereaved state, made a clarion call that the contract awarded to the militia group by the Federal government be revoked, so as to forestall such unfortunate and avoidable loss in the nation.
“My lovely Damilola is a gentle, humble, meek and kind daughter; she cannot hurt a fly. Anybody that came around her would tell you better. I want the government, as they have shed the blood of my friend, daughter, mother; I want this government to stop the killing of innocent people in this country and come to the rescue of we, mothers,” Ronke, the mother of the deceased appealed amid tears.
Babafemi, the father of the deceased, strongly flayed the government for committing such a sensitive task into the hands of civilians, who have the age-long record of rascality and questionable character.
“To me, President Jonathan is culpable and has a hand in the death of my child because he shouldn’t have taken the constitutional duties of the security agencies and given it to an ordinary organisation made of touts and miscreants, who are not trained in the handling of arms and ammunition,” he lamented.
Furthermore, he argued that the OPC should have been keeping watch over the pipelines in the creeks where the terms of their services covered, not to be fomenting trouble in the cities and intimidating innocent Nigerians, which eventually led to the death of his daughter and three other casualties.
“We want justice. We want those who killed our daughter to be arraigned and prosecuted. We want them to face the wrath of the law; those who killed her at her prime and prevented her from achieving her dreams,” both parents pleaded.
The Ojos believed that their daughter is gone and cannot be brought back to life, but advocated that her innocent blood must be used as agent of change to protect lives of innocent people and curtail the excesses of unguided and unguarded groups like OPC which benefit from the lapses of the government at all levels to the detriment of the people.
Babafemi and Ronke Ojo with Oluwabukayo Fajana, the husband of the deceased, who wished he had died for his wife and unborn son to live, are waiting for the government and human rights groups to help bring the culprits to justice.