Tell us a bit about yourself.
My name is Sunday Okebata. I am from Izombe in the Oguta Local Government Area of Imo State. My house was one of the houses burnt by the military on October 8 after soldiers clashed with youths in our community. Unfortunately, my wife, Mrs. Faith Okebata, was burnt and she died five days after.
What really transpired?
I was away at work when my beloved wife called me and told me that she had been burnt by soldiers. She told me that soldiers who were on a reprisal in our community came to our house and told her that one of the youths they were looking for ran into our house. She said that one of the soldiers pointed a gun at her, asking her to provide the suspect or he would shoot her. This was happening in the presence of our two children and my mother, Mrs. Catherine Okebata, who had had a stroke since 2014. My wife knelt down, begging the soldier not to shoot her, my mother, and my children. She explained to them that nobody ran into our house. My sick mother also begged the solider not to kill them as there was no youth who ran into our house. My mother also told the angry officer that none of her two sons had any criminal record, begging him to spare their lives.
How did your wife get burnt?
The soldier walked out of the room where he met my mother, wife, and children and went outside. He then set the house on fire and left. My wife tried to rescue my children and mother who could not walk without aid. My wife succeeded in rescuing my mother but was unfortunate as her clothes got caught in the fire and burnt terribly. Her face, body, chest, back, and everywhere was burnt.