By YolamchiUkaga, Umuahia
Mrs. EgonduOpara, a widow, who resides in Aba, has appealed to Abiastate government to save her from being forcefully pushed out of her husband’s property by her step children that she suffered to nurture.
Opara, in an interview with journalists in Aba, alleged that her step children wanted to turn her to a destitute and urged well-meaning individuals and groups to come to her aid. She explained that her husband married her to help him train his six children when their mother (his first wife) died leaving them at a tender age.
However, after raising them to adulthood, the children turned around to take everything her husband left for her and the children, leaving her a beggar with nothing to take care of herself.
“I came because of the troubles my step children have brought upon my life. Before I got married to my husband, he told me that his first wife died leaving six little children,two boys and four girls.
“They were very small then and my husband pleaded with me to help in their nurturing and upbringing, saying that I wasthen their mother since their biological mother was no more. I did that with all my heart and derived joy training them until they all became men and women.
“I gave birth to my own children later and they were two boys but those my boys died mysteriously with the first of the two dying at age six while my second son later died at the age 12, while preparing to enter secondary school”, she narrated.
The widow said she suffered to raise the children and care for their father which prompted the man on his sick bed to ask his children to adopt a female child in his name to take care of his wife in her old age.
According to her, the person sent was Ejikeme who, after many months of playing pranks and failing to show he is actually processing the child’s adoption, openly said he would not do the adoption.
She said her husband gave her some apartment with which to take care of herself before he died, but that the apartments had been taken from her by her step sons, denying her access to those properties.
When they said they wanted peace, they invited a lawyer, asked that we open a joint bank account for collecting my husband’s property rents so we could monitor withdrawals by each other from the account.
The lawyer left and never did as agreed, so I visited his office one day and demanded explanations.He said that there was provision for joint account hence he kept collecting the rents and remitting proceeds to them alone.
They also said they wanted to renovate that bungalow with 14 rooms for me, but before I could know it, they had chased out all my tenants, removed all the roofs, sold the sheets and left the house uninhabitable since January.
The house is at number 10 Nwala Street, Over-Rail Aba. They have also collected the shop my husband gave to me under the two-storey building to be using to fend for myself and my children before he died.
The four girls, among my step children, are also supporting their brothers saying that I have no right since I have no child anymore”, she said.
She appealed to government to come to her aid since she had no money to go to court with them.
Orient Daily checks revealed that the house on No 10 Nwala, off Over-Rail, Aba had its roofing sheets removed, leaving it open for the elements to ravage its remaining facilities.
Mr. EjikemeOpara, one of Mrs Opara’s step sons debunked her step mother’s claims, describing her allegations as false.
According to him, when you are in a family where you are not comfortable with the person you call your brother or sister, the best thing for you to do is to vacate the place. “You do not continue staying with your enemy; it is obvious. We are all human beings. Somebody cannot be threatening your life and you remain comfortable with that person under same roof.It is not done.
“She has threatened me on so many occasions.Even as I am talking to you now, she does not respond to my greetings and that is why I stopped greeting her”, Ejike stated.
When the lawyer to Ejike, Mr Augustine Mbagwu, was contacted, he argued that the matter was in court and so he would not comment. He said he had filed for an out-of-court settlement on the matter many months earlier but was yet to have the matter finally sorted out.