Security was last Friday beefed up in Oguta urban as the remains of the Managing Director of Naija Plaza hotel, Engineer Emeka Aseme was committed to mother earth.
Engr. Aseme was abducted from his hotel premises in Oguta on February 24, 2013 by gunmen who also shot and killed two policemen who were on duty in the hotel. His corpse was later found on March 12, 2013 along Owerri- Onitsha road, between Umunoha and Ogbaku, where his abductors killed and dumped it after receiving a ransome of N2.5m from the family.
Since the death of Engr Aseme, tension had been high in Oguta following the revelation that some indigenes of the community were involved in the dastardly act. What would have been a bloody reprisal attack by angry youths was averted by prompt intervention of the police and the military. Police have so far arrested more than ten suspects in connection with the matter, including the principal actors.
Meanwhile, heavy security presence was witnessed in the community last Friday as more than four hundred conventional and mobile policemen and soldiers were deployed to forestall any breach of peace and order following the burial of the deceased.
Heavily armed and stern looking security men and four Armoured personnel carriers (APC) were strategically stationed at all nooks and crannies of Oguta community to avert any ugly incident, especially from the youths who were visibly in pain over the death of a man many described as simple and good. A youth who spoke under anonymity described the kidnap and brutal murder of Engr. Aseme as callous and barbaric, adding, the late Aseme provided employment opportunity to 42 youths of Oguta and gave scholarship to about 15 students in the university. Why would any sane person want to kill such a man, he queried.
Hon Emma Mazi described the death of Aseme as a monumental loss to the Oguta community especially the youths who constituted the immediate beneficiaries of his employment scheme. According to him, a gulf has been created in the tourism world as his style of service can never be equaled by any other. His humility, urbane and peaceful disposition can be attested to by the carnival- like burial he was accorded by all Oguta people, clad in all black apparels amidst intractable wailings and outpour of emotions, he said.
At the funeral mass at Sacred Heart Catholic Church, Oguta Rev. father Jude Ike Eziokwubundu described the late Aseme as a God-fearing gentleman who used his resources to help the needy. He condemned the brutal murder and admonished his family members and the entire Oguta people to repose faith in God, as“He who goes by the sword shall surely die by the sword. He further advised the people to use the deceased’s death to bring unity and peace to the community.
The Divisional Police Officer in charge of Oguta, DSP Ikembuchukwu Abugu sued for peace and calm, promising that his command would ensure the arrest of those involved in the dastardly act. He called on the youths not to take the laws into their hands as justice must be done in the matter.