The wife of a trader allegedly murdered last Friday in Calabar by enforcement operatives of the Department of Public Transportation (DOPT) of Cross River government, Mrs Mary Michael Eyo Essien, has cried out for help.
It could be recalled that the DOPT operatives had allegedly manhandled a trader identified as Michael and in the process, their vehicle reportedly ran over Michael, killing him at the spot.
This is even as the Cross River state House of Assembly has set up a 7-man committee to unravel the remote and immediate causes of Michael’s death.
In an interview, Mrs Essien said no government officials had visited the family since the unfortunate death of Michael, explaining, “Ever since my husband was killed on Friday, no government official has visited me; they have neglected and abandoned me and my four little children.
“My husband was a little over thirty years. We got married in Lagos State in 2007, we have four children, all boys, and I am with 4 months pregnancy now.
“I was at home when my husband’s sister came to our house and told me that my husband had been crushed to death by DOPT vehicle. The sister said they beat my husband mercilessly and his goods were packed into their vehicle.
“My husband’s sister said she begged them, my husband also begged them and those in the market pleaded with them too but they ignored them.
“My husband told them that he uses the proceeds from the goods to look after his children and that he pays his house rent with the same proceed, takes care of his four children and even his pregnant wife. Despite the plea, they impounded his goods and he continued to beg. The driver of the DOPT now drove the vehicle close to him, crushed him to death and zoomed off.
“No government official visited us, nobody from DOPT, the corpse was dumped at the General Hospital, Calabar by the Police on Friday, June 21st when the incident occurred and on Saturday, his brother went to the hospital and paid money before the corpse was dressed and taken inside the mortuary.
“We have four children, Wisdom, 12-years-old, Promise, 10 years, Joseph 7 years and Joshua Michael who is only 2 years. Wisdom was about to start secondary school while I am four months old pregnant. Now, how do I cope with life with this little children.”
Meanwhile, the House has resolved to pay a condolence visit to the family of the deceased, and appealed to traders in the State, especially in Watt market where the incident happened, to remain calm and allow the law to take its course.
Speaker of the House, Rt. Hon. Eteng Jonah Williams while condemning the incident which led to the trader’s death, gave the committee one week to report back to the House.
Earlier, during a matter of Urgent Public Interest, member representing Boki II State Constituency, Rt. Hon. Hilary Bisong, informed the House that the late Michael Eyo has a pregnant wife and four children to carter for.
Bisong, in an emotion-laden voice said the responsibility of government is to protect the lives and property of citizens and uphold the sanctity of human lives, adding that, for a government agency to operate in such an uncultured and uncivilized manner was highly condemnable.
Members of the fact finding committee are Rt. Hon. Ekpo Ekpo Bassey as Chairman, Rt. Hon. Nelson Ofem, Rt. Hon Itam Abang, Hon. Davies Etta, Hon. Chris Mbu-Ogar, Hon. Sunday Achunekang and Hon. Edward Ajang, Bekwara.