A19-year-old girl and resident of 2 Calabar Street, Abakaliki, Miss Ogechi Nicholas who was said to have swallowed poison on Saturday night 16th November 2019 after being disciplined by her father is currently receiving treatment at Federal Teaching Hospital, Abakaliki.
Narrating the incident, the victim’s relative and an indigene of Ezza Effium in Ohaukwu LGA who pleaded anonymity told our reporter that the problem began as a result of her father’s insistence to know where she spent the day after attending a traditional marriage of one of their family friends.
He said that prior to the incident, the girl was among the group of persons who travelled for the ceremony but on their way coming back home, she stopped by at an unknown place suspected to be her boyfriend’s residence.
When she returned the following day, her father, Mr. Nicholas confronted her and rebuked her for such attitude that threw the entire family into a state of worry by spending the night somewhere without anyone’s knowledge.
According to our source, Miss Ogechi, instead of either stating her reason or apologizing for her wrongdoing, rather left home angrily for the same unknown place where she stayed two more days.
He further said that the girl returned, but following Mr Nicholas’ insistence in knowing why she could be that unruly to her parents, to the extent of having a second home without their knowledge, she moved out again only to resurface a week later with a young man believed to be a police personnel who mediated into the matter and pleaded on her behalf.
He added that the unremorseful nature of Miss Ogechi stimulated her father’s anger who vowed to regulate her behaviour by forcefully shaving her hair, not knowing that his daughter was brooding evil in her mind.
Our source told us that it was a fierce battle between the two until Mr. Nicholas overpowered her, but to the surprise of other residents of the area, the girl whom he said felt humiliated over the action rushed to a bottle containing a substance suspected to be local insecticide commonly called ‘otapiapia’ and emptied it into her mouth.
He said that before the victim’s siblings who witnessed the act could raise alarm, she had started to vomit blood and through the help of some sympathizers who provided her with the local antidote, the situation was brought under control before she was taken to Federal Teaching Hospital, Abakaliki for treatment.
He said, “The girl alongside other persons attended the ceremony but she failed to come back home after the event and when she was confronted by her father, she lied and left home instantly for the same unknown place until a week later.”
“Mr Nicholas being a person who doesn’t relinquish his decision, swore to enforce compliance on his daughter by cutting her hair as a punitive measure without knowing that Miss Ogechi values her hair more than her life and immediately he cut her hair, the girl chose to kill herself by drinking poison”, he explained
A resident of the area, Mrs Grace Onele alleged that since the girl came of age, that she had been problematic in their home as she does join hand with her mother to fight her father each time the parents have misunderstanding in their family.
She further accused the girl of being carried away by her mother’s sentimental love at the expense of Mr Nicholas, her father’s headship of the family.
She said that if not for the local remedies which include coconut water and red oil that was given to the victim, she would have died.
“In the course of the treatment, what if it is discovered that her vital organ as liver or kidney has been affected, what will be her fate?” Mrs Onele queried.
Citizens’ Advocate gathered that the man had bluntly refused to care for his daughter after the incident until he was compelled by some persons around the area.
It was also learnt that the girl, however, was responding to treatment as at the time of filing this report.