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Xenophobia: A petition to South African high commissioner


Sir: My good people of Anambra State of Nigeria have been thrown into deep mourning over the dastardly death of Mrs Elizabeth Obianuju Ndubuisi-Chukwu, Deputy Director-General of the Chartered Insurance Institute of Nigeria (CIIN), in her room at Emperor’s Palace Hotel and Conference Centre, Johannesburg, on Thursday, June 13, while attending a meeting of the African Insurance Organisation.

The fact that Mrs Ndubuisi-Chukwu was a representative of the Nigerian nation in an international conference gives so much gravitas to the case. It needs to be tackled urgently at the highest level which I sincerely believe you can duly facilitate.  What is more, I cannot keep quite when the life of a distinguished Anambra State person is wasted brutally. We must get to the roots, no matter the cost.

Unravelling the circumstances of the heinous murder is a clear and present need which the South African government needs to undertake with requisite thoroughness and transparency. The issue has attracted so much publicity in the world media and I feel compelled to call on you to use your good offices to do the right thing by getting the South African police authorities to wade into the killing.


Though Nigeria has yet to appoint a substantive foreign minister, bilateral relations between our two countries ought to ensure that the case is not treated with levity as it now appears to be. The loss of a highly talented professional such as Ndubuisi-Chukwu challenges us all to call on the reserves of our cherished African brotherhood to make sure that justice is done.

It is so depressing that at 53 years of age, the departed distinguished indigene of my state was poised on much higher achievement before her tragic death. The least that can be done for her now is to prove that she did not die in vain by probing effectively her killing and getting the killers to face justice.

The CCTV footage in Emperor’s Palace Hotel where she was strangled will go a long way to lead to a closure on this matter.  Any further delay in solving it all cannot be countenanced. 

We are so disheartened that it has taken about a month after the killing of the lady and not much progress has been recorded in tracing the killer(s). The obviously orchestrated cover-up by not releasing the CCTV footage in time clearly points to a deadly collaboration on the portals of evil. It is my bounden duty to stress the necessity of delving into the crime with the seriousness it deserves to win justice.

As the venerable first President of South Africa, Nelson Mandela espoused, “Our daily deeds as ordinary South Africans must produce an actual South African reality that will reinforce humanity’s belief in justice, strengthen its confidence in the nobility of the human soul, and sustain all our hopes for a glorious life for all.” 


It needs reiteration that Ndubuisi-Chukwu was not an ordinary person. As a top corporate executive billed to become the chief executive of her organisation early next year, she represents one death too many. Her untimely death churns the mind.

There is a solid pedestal to start from now that the South African Department of Home Affairs has in an autopsy report stated quite pointedly that Ndubuisi-Chukwu was strangulated. Autopsy report by the Department of Health released on June 27, 2019 confirms that she was strangulated. Who did it? The question must be answered since the first duty of the state everywhere is the security of life.

I sincerely believe that a painstaking investigation will expose the criminals.
I implore you to use your good offices to get justice for the memory of Mrs Elizabeth Obianuju Ndubuisi-Chukwu. 
Willie Obiano, governor, Anambra State, Nigeria.


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