L-R. Governor Uduaghan, Major Gen. Frank Osokogu (Father of Late Cynthia Osokogu) and Mrs Roli Uduaghan... during a condolence visit.
By Victor Efeizomor
There was a mixture of confusion and bewilderment yesterday at the Osokogu family compound in Boji Boji Owa (Ika North East Local Government Area of Delta State) when the burial of Cynthia Osokogu was who was murdered in Lagos last month by her facebook friends was abruptly put off.
This followed alleged refusal of the Lagos State Police Command to approve the release of the corpse from the mortuary to the family for burial.
Sympathisers had yesterday thronged the family compound of the Osokogus very early in the morning. They later joined relatives, friends, community leaders and other villagers to St. Dominics Catholic Church in Boji Boji for a requiem mass in readiness for the final internment of Cynthia.
The mourners were surprised when news filtered in that the Lagos Police Command and the State Security Service have refused to approve the release of the corpse to the family as expected.
Frank Osokogu, a retired major general and Cynthia’s father, while speaking on the development said: "The information just came in now; it is on the advice of experts that we have decided to postpone the internment. There are some professional areas that experts have to handle and it will be in the interest of everyone. When the body is released to us, we will know how to organize the funeral ceremony again. The family is not disturbed by this development."
Governor Emmnauel Uduaghan who was among the earlier callers to the Osokogus compound said the death of Cynthia was very tragic. "She did not die of a natural cause. She died in the hands of criminals." Uduaghan prayed to God to give the family the fortitude to bear the loss. He descried Cynthia as a young promising girl that fell into the hands criminals.
Said the governor to the Osokogus: "I want to sympathisers with you. Anybody could be a victim of such criminals. It was a very serious abuse of trust and deception, using the social media. It is a new means of communication being used for advancement in the whole world. But it is unfortunate that some people are using it for advancing their criminal activities."
Uduaghan who came with his wife, called for immediate dispensation of justice. "The security agencies have moved in quickly. The criminals have been arrested and we do hope and sincerely pray that justice will be done. Justice should be done not only on the criminals but also on all other people who are using the social media for one criminal activity or the other. Social media should be used to develop our society not to be used to take the lives of innocent children like what happened to Cynthia. The governments of Delta State is in strong sympathy with you and we want to let you know that you are not alone in this big loss."
Dr. Ifeanyin Okowa, Senator representing Delta North Senatorial District while sympathising with the Osokogu family said, "social media is good but the evil aspect of it is coming out. It is rather unfortunate, I hope along the line, we would have a control system on social media."
He advised youths that use the social media to exercise a lot of caution and to be sure of the kind of friends they make, "because a lot of criminals are using the system."
The monarch of Owa Kingdom, Obi, Dr. Emmanuel Efeizomor 11, who led his chiefs to condole with the Osokogu family said, "those who murdered Cynthia have murdered sleep; the government must expedite action in the prosecution of all those involved to serve as a deterrent to others."
In a solemn tribute, Cynthia’s father said: "No one knew your sojourn in this world would be so rapid, short and spontaneous while the end would be so tragic and tumultuous. You were full of life, hardworking and achieving so much in a short a time. You were blossoming but the wicked did not allow you to reach your peak. Cynthia, we cannot stop asking. Where are you? Where have you gone? When are you coming back to us? Farewell thee."
Mrs. Joy –Rita Nkem Osokogu (Cynthia’s mother) in her tribute wrote: "Oh my angel, queen, princess and beauty. 25 years ago when I was pregnant with you, I faced so many challenges. But your birth restored peace to the family. That was why I named you Udoka, ‘ peace is supreme’. Since then, you have been a source of joy and happiness to me. My angel, I don’t have anything to say. My consolation is that the little time you spent with me was wonderful. I will miss you dearly but I know you are resting with the lord. Sleep on my baby."
Flight Lieutenant Kenneth Osokogu, Cynthia’s elder brother, described her as very beautiful, elegant, eloquent, cheerful and proactive lady.