A cross section of Calabar residents have reacted angrily over the demise of Philip Agbebia Agba, younger brother to incarcerated Journalists, Agba Jalingo, saying those responsible for Jalingo’s detention should be held responsible for the death.
Recall that family sources had disclosed that the younger Agba, who until his death was a photo Journalist, died on Saturday, February 1, 2020, at the age of 34, leaving behind a wife and two little children. Our sources said he has since been buried in his hometown, Bedia in Obudu local government area in accordance with tradition.
Respondents who spoke to our reporter described as inhuman the refusal of authorities to set Agba Jalingo free for him to take care of issues in his immediate and extended family, including witnessing the funeral obsequies of his younger brother.
In a chat, Mr Clement Anthony, a computer analyst with Calabar-based Kingsvision Press Nigeria, described the continuous detention of Jalingo as unfortunate and called on the authorities in charge of Jalingo’s incarceration to show pity.
“I feel for Agba Jalingo especially with the painful lost of his younger. Who knows whether the young man would have died if Agba Jalingo was there to take care of situations financially or otherwise. He was not even allowed to witness his brother’s funeral. It is very painful. For the sake of humanity which Gov Ben Ayade and other peace loving Nigerian advocate, let Agba Jalingo breath the air of freedom,” Anthony advised.
Also speaking, a petty trader in the popular Watt market, who gave her name as Mrs Pat Ekpenyong, accused Gov Ben Ayade and indeed everyone who has hands in Jalingo’s incarceration as indirectly having a hand in Jalingo brother’s death as well.
Her words: “I am very angry that such bad news should reach that young man, Agba Jalingo, while he is still being incarcerated in Afokong Prisons. Jalingo is a father figure to his siblings and now they want to wipe them all out. I detest this government for being so heartless and inhuman. If he was free, he would have played his part to help save his brother’s life. I am told that young man was sick, and who knows whether his brother’s presence and effort would have saved his life.”
In his reactions, Jeremiah Archibong, one of the Editors of Cross River Watch, an online news medium published by Agba Jalingo, said, “Jalingo’s incarceration has become a big blow to both his immediate and extended family. Even though man cannot play god, Agba Jalingo would have stepped up his efforts at saving the life of his brother if he was not dumped in prisons for no justifiable reason.”
Receiving the news of his brother’s demise with grief, Agba said despite his ordeals, his spirit was not broken, adding “God knows why it happened while I am in prison. Maybe, it will be a constant reminder to me of this trying period. I prayed that God should not allow me see the corpse of my younger one. It is the will of God and God bless Ayade for allowing me not to see the corpse of my younger brother.”
Recall that Agba Jalingo was arrested in August 22, 2019 and charged with terrorism and cyber crime in Cross River State. He is currently remanded at the facilities of the Calabar Correctional Service, which was formerly known as Afokang Prisons.