Martyred for Biafra: Students canonise colleague killed on way from school

Protests by IPOB members in Port Harcourt
Protests by IPOB members in Port Harcourt

Miss Ikeanyionwu Nkiruka Anthonia, 20, a 200 level student of Educational Management and Policy Department, Federal College of Education (Technical), Umunze, Anambra State never knew that her dying day was near. In fact, she had set her heart on celebrating the Christmas with friends and family, but a vicious bullet left her stone dead during the recent clash between security agents and members of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) in Onitsha, Anambra State.

Ikeanyionwu, an Igbo name which stood for ‘no power can defy death’, became the tragic heroine of an unholy war. She was reportedly returning from her school where she had gone to pay her school fees when she paid with her life in a crossfire. Stray bullet from unnamed security personnel hit her in the chest and left her dead on the chaotic street. The tragic incident happened on Wednesday, December 2, during the second day of protest by members of the Indigenous People ‎of Biafra (IPOB).

Students of FCE Umunze, friends and sympathisers paid their last respect in tears during Ikeanyionwu’s burial in Adazi Nnukwu in Aniocha Local Government Area of Anambra State on Tuesday December 8.

Campus Sun gathered that the deceased was among the five victims that lost their lives during the mayhem. Many other casualties are still nursing their wounds sustained during the clash. The blood of other unsung victims had remained fresh on Anambra soil, but sympathisers insist that their blood would water the seed of liberation for the young Biafran state.

One of the mourners, Ifeanyi, said the cry of the dead would witness to the truth that people’s freedom can never be snuffed out by the might of gun. Some of the students, who also spoke to Campus Sun described their late colleague as a quiet person, who shunned violence but ended as a tragic heroine. One of her friends, Amaka, said the deceased was not violent or confrontational as painted in the media, but another victim on the bloody list of extra-judicial killings in the country.

For Arinze Okeke, a student of Federal College of Education, Umunze, Ikeanyionwu’s sudden death was a sad end, an incalculable loss not only to her family but also to the entire nation.

“Many are saying that it was untimely but it does not matter how long we live on earth; the impact we made in life is the most important thing. We mourn her exit because we did not expect she would die so soon. She was one of our best, hardworking and respectful,” he said.

Also, the SUG President of the College, Comrade Ezeonyedika Raphael, described her death as shocking, adding that he wept when the news got to him.

“I wept and felt so bad when I heard Nkiru is no more. It was shocking. She was too good to die but we can’t question God. We just have to give glory to God for everything. This is a student I knew so well; she was friendly and always lively. Everybody loved her because she was nice.”

Another student, who gave her name as Chidimma, said Nkiruka’s death was an avoidable calamity, as she blamed the security agents for firing live bullets at unarmed protesters. “We are not happy with the death of this friendly colleague. Students are touched because she was a good student. Although we mourn her tragic death, we are consoled that she lived a good and respectful life,” she said. (Daily Sun)



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