I've Not Heard From My Husband Two Years After Kidnap ..Wife of Anambra LP Gov Candidate

Eucharia Agbasimalo, wife of the Labour Party governorship candidate in the 2021 Anambra State governorship election, Obiora Agbasimalo, who went missing since September 2021, tells PUNCH  about the family’s ordeals over her husband’s whereabouts

It’s been close to two years that your husband went missing, how have you been coping?

It has affected us in ways that words are not enough to express; we are beyond traumatised. I mean myself, our children, his family members and even his friends. For almost two years, my husband’s whereabouts has remained unknown and nobody is talking to us. There has been absolute silence. I cannot even express the trauma we have gone through as a family. But my hope is in God.

What happened on the day he went missing?

It was during the Labour Party campaign rally in the build-up to the governorship election in Anambra State in September 2021. It was around Azia in Ihiala LGA that he was reportedly kidnapped.

Have there been updates on the matter?

I have been making efforts. For instance, I have met with the truth and justice commission set up by the Anambra State Governor, Prof Chukwuma Soludo. The commission invited my family and we all went and gave an account of what happened. They assured us they would take the matter up and get to the root of the matter. I have met with the governor and he told me he was in constant communication with the Department of State Services and the police over the matter. He also expressed a high level of support for the security agents to do all they could to unravel the mystery.

Are you aware of any arrest?

Two suspects are currently in custody and we are in court. The third suspect is still at large. No cogent reason has been given as to why my husband has not been found and it appears both his party, the Labour Party, and everybody have moved on, leaving us to our fate.

Who are the two people arrested?

One of them was the driver who drove my husband and I have a strong reason to believe that he knows what happened to my husband, but he claimed not to know anything. There are accounts of people who told him not to ply the road he took because the road was not in a good condition, but he insisted on taking the route, saying that it was a shorter route to avoid traffic. The other suspect is the one who claims to know the kidnappers and the camp they were holding my husband hostage and was deceiving my family by extorting money from us.

Is your husband the only one missing?

One of the security men with my husband is also missing till now. Another security officer who managed to escape told us how the driver was on endless phone calls with some people, but that because he was speaking Igbo, he did not understand what he was telling the people he was speaking to. The security man said he managed to escape. I believe the driver knows about the kidnapping of my husband.

What is the status of the court case?

It has been heard once. It will come up again sometime next month.

Did the abductors ever contact the family?

We have never had any conversation with them till date.

What role has his party, the Labour Party, played so far?

Before now, I made efforts to reach the Labour Party National Chairman, Julius Abure, to also lend his support, but for some unknown reasons, he did not take my calls and did not respond to my messages. So, as it were, it seems the Labour Party has withdrawn and they have moved on as if nothing has happened. It is just me and my mother-in-law who have been driven from pillar to post. Nobody has been able to give an account of his whereabouts. They have abandoned me to look for my husband alone, while they went on campaigning like they didn’t care. I thought the party was different, more compassionate and would fight for the common man, but one of their own, their governorship candidate, is missing close to two years and none of them cares. They have forgotten Obiora. They told me they didn’t have money but that if I wanted them to hold press conferences and speak to the media they would do it but that they didn’t have money. Till date, the chairman has only spoken to me once, the organising secretary, who was always going about with my husband, has moved on. He did not call and he never reached out to us till today. They would tell me the Inspector-General of Police was aware, the DSS was aware, not knowing they were not doing anything.

What of the vehicle your husband drove in before he was kidnapped; was it recovered?

We did not recover the vehicle and to the best of my knowledge, the vehicle has not been found till date. That was my anger with LP’s Organising Secretary, Clement Ojukwu. He refused to submit the vehicle papers to the security agencies for them to track it, and I don’t know his reason for doing so. The vehicle didn’t have a number plate, so I wouldn’t know if it was registered. I don’t have access to the papers, but the party officials have access to it. I only have the chassis number and I have gone to the Federal Road Safety Corps to help me check the status of the vehicle to see if it is being used by anybody, but they could not find anything.

At what point did your husband tell you he was joining politics and what was your reaction?

I was taken aback because it was never part of our discussion. We never contemplated it. I don’t know where the idea came from. I was not in support of it, not because politics in itself is not a good thing, but because my husband is a decent person and we know how politics is played in this part of the world. I was wondering how he was going to delve into the murky waters of politics. He was a prudent banker and doing well in his career. I wasn’t sure if he was ready for all those drama that comes with politics, so, I was worried for his safety. I wanted his safety and I was vocal about it, but he assured me that all was well and that it was not a do-or-die affair. He said the worst that could happen was if he didn’t win and that it wouldn’t be a problem. So, I kept praying for his safety, believing God that he would come back to me alive and well. I never imagined that I would be in this situation where I am today; looking for him.

Did you go with him for any of his campaign rallies?

No, I never campaigned or followed him to any of the campaign rallies. Like I said, I wasn’t convinced; rather, I was worried. Each time I saw him on the television, there was this fear that gripped me. I have young kids and both of us could not leave the kids to go out there campaigning. So, I was worried for him and was looking after the kids. My concern was his safety, because as the election drew nearer, Anambra was looking like a war zone. Surprisingly, out of the 17 persons that contested, it was only my husband who got kidnapped? He didn’t threaten anybody, and even at that time, the Labour Party was not as popular as it is right now.



Chris Kehinde Nwandu is the Editor In Chief of CKNNEWS || He is a Law graduate and an Alumnus of Lagos State University, Lead City University Ibadan and Nigerian Institute Of Journalism || With over 2 decades practice in Journalism, PR and Advertising, he is a member of several Professional bodies within and outside Nigeria || Member: Institute Of Chartered Arbitrators ( UK ) || Member : Institute of Chartered Mediators And Conciliation || Member : Nigerian Institute Of Public Relations || Member : Advertising Practitioners Council of Nigeria || Fellow : Institute of Personality Development And Customer Relationship Management || Member and Chairman Board Of Trustees: Guild Of Professional Bloggers of Nigeria

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