Andrew and Ronke Ojo, the parents of a young woman killed in Arepo, Ogun State, during a clash between members of the Odua Peoples Congress (OPC) and some ostensible oil pipeline vandals, are demanding justice.
Last Wednesday, the couple’s 26-year-old daughter, Oluwadamilola, died after she was hit by a bullet in an exchange of gunfire between OPC members and some men allegedly tampering with oil pipelines. The deceased, who was a lawyer by profession, was driving home from work at the time of the tragedy, her family told SaharaReporters. Recently married, the deceased was also pregnant at the time of her death.
Speaking with SaharaReporters a few days ago in Akure, the capital of Ekiti State, the victim’s father insisted that his daughter’s killers should be prosecuted. He described the death of his daughter as the most painful event in his life.
According to the bereaved father, those who took the life of Ms. Oluwadamilola at the prime of her life should not get away with their horrific act.
“I am demanding for justice over the death of my daughter. The perpetrators must be arraigned in order to put a stop to the senseless killings of innocent Nigerians,” Mr. Ojo told our correspondent.
He accused outgoing President Goodluck Jonathan of being indirectly implicated in his daughter’s death. In a desperate bid to win reelection, Mr. Jonathan had taken a controversial decision to award a contract to members of the OPC, an untrained militia group led by Ganiyu Adams, to secure oil pipelines from vandals. In return for the contract, Mr. Adams mobilized his thugs to intimidate voters in Lagos State in order to help Mr. Jonathan’s electoral prospects.
“President Goodluck Jonathan sent me and my family into deep sorrow since last week because he empowered some miscreants who call themselves Odua Peoples Congress (OPC) to watch over the oil pipeline in Arepo area.
“I said Jonathan is culpable in the death of my lovely daughter because he should not have given contract to OPC to protect pipelines. I don’t understand the training members of the OPC had in handling arms. And what is their experience in the business of oil pipeline protection? It was a reckless decision to give them [OPC] the contract to watch over oil pipelines,” he said.
A graduate of the Ekiti State University, the late Ms. Oluwadamilola Ojo got married in February 2014, shortly after earning her law degree.
Mr. Ojo described his late daughter as vibrant, easygoing and successful.
Mrs. Ronke Ojo, who wept profusely while talking about her late daughter, told SaharaReporters that Oluwadamilola’s death had caused the family great heartbreak.
She said the blood of her daughter and unborn grandson would be avenged, echoing her husband’s contention that President Jonathan and his cohorts were ultimately responsible for the tragedy.
“The wanton killings of innocent Nigerians on daily basis must end in this country. This must be stopped. My daughter would never die in vain,” she said. Mrs. Ojo remembered her daughter as “very humble, respectful and loving.”
Other relatives said they would miss the late Oluwadamilola, describing her as philanthropic to the needy.