The wives of the five engineers reported missing in the Effium community of Ebonyi said they celebrated Christmas and the New Year with grief and sorrow at the fate of their husbands, who disappeared about two months ago.
On November 3, 2021, an Enugu-based engineering company, Nelan Consultants, deployed the five engineers on a project supervision of the ongoing Abakaliki Ring Road at Effium in the Ohaukwu Local Government Area of the state.
The project is financed by the African Development Bank.
That was the last their families, friends, colleagues and relatives heard from them in the community, which has been embroiled in a protracted community crisis with its neighboring Ezza Community.
The missing engineers include Messrs. Nelson Onyemeh, Director and Partner of Nelan Consultants, Stanley Nwazulum, Ernest Edeani, Ikechukwu Ejiofor and Samuel Aneke.
Mr. Onyemeh’s wife, Patricia, 58, told NAN in Enugu on Friday that she and the wives of the other four engineers, along with their children, spent Christmas praying and hoping that their husbands and breadwinners The family will return alive.
According to her, this is the worst Christmas I have ever spent without my dear husband.
“We were inside grieving and praying that my husband would come back alive.
“No one is telling us anything. We have petitioned the Inspector General of Police and Governor of Ebonyi State, Dave Umahi, and have not heard anything tangible from them.
“We don’t know if they are alive or dead. All we want to know is the true position of things,” he said.
It was a similar story at Ernest Ezeani’s home as his wife of 40 years, Loveth, wept in prayer for her husband’s safe return.
The mother of four said life had been unbearable for them, adding that her children had kept asking about their father’s whereabouts since he left the house in November 2021.
The families of Nwazulum, Ejiofor and Aneke said that they were still traumatized by the incident and that all their efforts to find the missing engineers had yielded no positive results.
They appealed to the Ebonyi government, the Nigerian police and other concerned individuals and groups to help them find their husbands.
Meanwhile, the Ebonyi government, in its reaction on December 20, 2021, exonerated itself of any involvement in the incident.
Information Commissioner Uchenna Orji told a news conference in Abakiliki that the government had nothing to do with the disappearance of the engineers.
Orji said, “It has become imperative to clear up the records about the accusations and misrepresentation of the facts broadcast to the public from certain quarters about the unfortunate incident that happened to Eng. Nelson Onyemeh and four other engineers.
“Based on the police investigation report into the incident, we find the unfortunate circumstances that led to the sad news disheartening.
“Therefore, we express our deepest condolences to all the families and the Nelan Company for this cowardly act by criminal elements, as we look forward to a comprehensive crackdown on the perpetrators.”
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