To ensure dad died painfully, hoodlums broke his skull, set him ablaze –Son of ASP killed in Akwa Ibom attackAugust 7, 2021
An Assistant Superintendent of Police, Ogueri Vitalis, 52, lost his life alongside other policemen during an operation to repel an attack by some hoodlums on Essien Udin, Akwa Ibom State. The 23-year-old son of the slain cop, Akachukwu, speaks to GODFREY GEORGE about the family’s grief
What is your name?
I’m Akachukwu Vitalis. I am from Imo State. I am 23 years old. I’m the first of the six children of my parents. My siblings and I were all born and raised in Akwa Ibom State. I’m a 400 Level student of History and International Relations at the Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka.
Your dad who was a police officer died in active service. What led to this?
My dad fell along with some of his military and paramilitary counterparts, during a brave, selfless act of service to the nation. It was so unfortunate that my dad’s life ended while he and his team of brave men went to restore normalcy in the troubled land of Essien Udim, Akwa Ibom State, where some crisis erupted between some communities and police officers. My dad faced a bitter and painful death.
Given the nature of his job, did you always fear for his life?
I had for long had the feeling that something wasn’t going alright. First, it was on January 23, 2021, on the last night I spoke with him face-to-face. I felt something unusual, that I began to cry for no reason. It irritated my dad and made him do what he hadn’t done for eight years. He picked up a cane and whipped me. On February 1, 2021, I was in school and thoughts of him occupied my mind. I thought of how much I had hurt him in the past and how much he truly loved me, even though he didn’t express it. I thought of his care, selflessness and his sacrifices which outweighed, by far, my thinking that he didn’t love me because of his stern, disciplinarian nature. I made a long post on Facebook the next day; an open letter to him, expressing my love for him and how proud I was to have him as a father, and how I would love to make him proud and happy one day, regardless of the fact that he was unhappy with me at the moment. I wrote the post with all passion, with tears flowing down my cheeks. Then a thought of me losing him came, but I waved it off. It was towards the end of March 27, 2021 precisely, I became restless and was even unable to concentrate in school. I began to call home to ask after my dad, because his phone had been switched off.