By Daniel Dafe
Miss Elozino Ogege, a 300-level student of the Delta State University (DELSU), Abraka, who was murdered by suspected ritualists known as ‘Yahoo boys’, was today buried amidst tears in Okpaivie Quarters, Along Oleh-Ozoro Road, Oleh.
Elozino was murdered on November 15, 2018, four days after she was declared missing. The killers removed some of her vital organs.
Speaking during the funeral service for Late Elozino, Venerable Robinson Oziwele, representing Rt. Rev. John Arhuakpor, Bishop of Diocese of Oleh (Anglican Communion), said that Elozino’s death was an untimely demise, adding that the prayer everyone should have is to be saved from dying by the hands of men.
According to him, the testimonies that followed her demise attest to the fact that she was a vibrant Christian.
The cleric, while condemning the get-rich-quick syndrome among youths, declared death upon the perpetrators and killers of late Elozino.
He urged youths to desist from evil and repent, noting that death is the ultimate end of any evil gotten wealth.
Touching moments at the ceremony was a tribute song composed and sang by Lucky Oyem, a student of DELSU, Abraka for Elozino, as friends, family and student officials eulogized her and left the audience letting loose of their emotions and weeping uncontrollably.
Professor Patrick Muoboghare, Commissioner for Higher Education, Delta State, represented by Mr. Solomon Ichido, Director Inspectorate, Ministry of Higher Education said: “It is a painful tragedy because when parents send children to school their expectation is that they graduate and come back.
“It is unfortunate that the cold hands of death snatched her away and we do not pray for such a thing again to happen in any of our campuses. The government has been on a campaign calling on students to shun social vices in our institutions and has been moving from one institution to the other in order to tame this tide.” He called on the Ogege family to take solace that what has happened has happened.
The apex socio-cultural umbrella of the Isoko Nation, Isoko Development Union (IDU) and its youth wing, Isoko National Youth Assembly were equally present at the funeral.
On his part, National Publicity Secretary, Isoko Development Union (IDU), Comrade Dan Odhomo noted: “It is a sad one because when you send your children to school you hope they come back but now they are bringing her back as a dead person. The only consolation now is that the perpetrators of this heinous crime have been arrested and they are in court and I hope the law will take its course.
“Before today, we held different meetings with the family and even yesterday we held a meeting with the mother, brother, sisters, and relatives of her father and we preached peace.”
Responding to questions if he was satisfied with the role played by DELSU before and during the burial, he said: “At the beginning, we were angry but of late, they showed real concern. Even yesterday, at the IDU Secretariat, the highest body of the institution led a delegation to Isoko Nation and we had a peaceful reconciliation at the IDU Secretariat.”
The President, Isoko Youth National Assembly, Ovie Umuakpo, said: “It is very sad and unfortunate that a young girl with a very promising future from Isoko Nation was killed in that manner by ritualists who masqueraded as ‘Yahoo Boys’. Her killers are on trial and we hope justice will be done and the law will take its course.
“On our part as youths, we are trying to partner with stakeholders to see how we can tackle this menace because they have invaded Isoko Nation too.”
According to him, greed was at the root of the killings by ritualists, not poverty or unemployment.
“It is sad to see that our youths are now involved in Merrybet and ritual killings. He called on the university management to do more and take care of the family of the bereaved, as he urged DELSU and the Delta State Government to employ her siblings who are graduates.
Also, an Urhobo youth leader, Comrade Efemena Umukoro opined that “even in death Elozino is a hero.
“It is a sad one that the Nigerian youth has lost a material. She is not the first to be murdered by ritualists but because of who she is, her death became news. “As a frontline activist that is committed to demanding for justice for Elozino, I am shocked to see that when I am getting tired, there is a push to pursue justice for her.”
Continuing, he added: “Her death is a wakeup call to Delta State Government, the youths, the school authority and the host community.”
On the visit by DELSU management to the family of the deceased a day to the burial, he said: “It is just like we are in a society when no one wants to do the right thing at the right time. Yesterday’s visit was hypocritical. DELSU management threatened to withdraw my certificate because I criticized how they were nonchalant when Elozino was killed.
Present at the ceremony were also, Professor Stephen Emosairue, Provost, DELSU, Oleh Campus, Comrade Jerry Ehiwario, SSA to the Delta State Governor on Student Matters, Okoh Ezekiel, P.A. to Governor Ifeanyi Okowa on Student Affairs, Ossai Ovie Success, P.A. to the Governor on Media, Patrick Etarighoben, Senior Assistant Registrar, Students’ Affairs Division, DELSU, Abraka, Student Union Government officials of DELSU, Abraka, students of the Department of Mass Communication, DELSU, Abraka, family members and well wishers.
She is survived by her mother, brother and sisters.