By Ogemdi Ozoemenam, Awka
Tears flowed like a river as members of the 7th Anambra State House of Assembly mourned their departed colleague, Dr Okechukwu Okoye, who was killed by unknown gunmen on May 21, 2022.
The deceased represented Aguata 2 Constituency in the assembly before he was abducted on May 15, while the police in the state confirmed his death on May 21.
He was a first term lawmaker and the Chairman, House Committee on Information, bringing to three the number of serving lawmakers who died between 2015 till date. First, was Late Hon Francis Mmegbuanaeze (Idemili North); second, was Late Hon Patrick Aniuno (Onitsha South 1) and now Okoye.
In a valedictory session held in his honour on Tuesday in Awka, the Speaker of the house, Rt Hon Uche Okafor described the late Okoye as an outspoken, peaceful, humane, selfless politician and an articulate legislator, who would be greatly missed by all.
“We commiserate with the Okoye family of Isuofia in Aguata Local Government Area of Anambra over the painful death of their son and one of us, Dr Okechukwu Okoye.
“He was abducted and gruesomely murdered by gunmen in the most horrible and barbaric manner. His death is still shocking to us and the entire state.
“Late Dr Okoye can be described as one of the finest, outspoken and articulate lawmaker. His sense of humour and humane disposition as well as his mastery of the rules of the house distinguished him among his colleagues.
“He was indeed the man of the people and a selfless politician. This legislative institution, his constituency and the entire state have lost a personality of many positive attributes,” he said.
Also speaking, Governor Charles Soludo while condoling with the family of Late Okoye, said his administration was taking necessary measures to rid the state of criminals and bring Okoye’s murderers to book.
Represented by his Deputy, Dr Onyekachi Ibezim, Soludo urged the Assembly and residents to cooperate with the state government and security agencies to address security concerns in the state.
He urged the family of Late Okoye to take heart and assured them of the the state government’s support.
Also speaking, the member representing Onitsha North 2 constituency, Hon Edward Ibuzo said Okoye’s demise was an opportunity for everyone to reflect on their mortality.
Other lawmakers dressed in black attires, took turns to eulogise the Late Okoye as the lawmakers thereafter observed one-minute silence and filed past the late legislator’s picture.
Responding on behalf of the late Okoye’s family, Mr David Okoye, brother to the deceased, thanked the Assembly and demanded justice for the death of Dr Okechukwu Okoye.
“It is sad that since his death, we have not heard from the Assembly. All we want is justice for the death of our brother.
“Without justice all your eulogies is vanity and if his killers are not brought to book, we do not know who might be next, ” he said.
Another member of the Okoye’s family, Mr Dominic Okafor, urged the legislature to immortalise Late Okoye by coming up with bills to end insecurity in the state.