Sixteen years after Ikeja cantonment bomb explosion tragedy was witnessed, during which lives were lost, a family of five, Ndionyemma, who were involved in the tragedy, have had reason to smile again following unexpected succor that came their way from former Vice President, Atiku Abukabar, who reached out to them, on learning of their distressed situation.
From hints, Atiku has concluded plans to remove the family from present poverty and support them with needful sustenance that could put smiles on their faces again.
As gathered, before the succor came to the family, information on the pathetic situation of the victims had reached the former vice president who was learnt to had contacted them in January after one of the family’s member, Ifeoma Ndionyemma, posted on social media picture of how Atiku had carried her in his arm, as a four years old little girl then, a day after the explosion in 2002, on one of Nigerian daily.
Since after the incident 16 years ago, families and other victims were reported to have become destitute and homeless as result of tragedy and that government too did not help situation as they were denied access to benefits that were suppose to come their ways.
Meanwhile, the Ifeoma had on January 27, took to social media to tell her story which caught the attention of Nigerians including that of Atiku, who assured to visit the family and make a difference in their lives.
The former vice president, who reached out to the family through his supportive group, Turaki Vanguard, National President, Ola Fabiyi, yesterday, said that after his attention was drawn to the spiraling post on Instagram, and learning of the entire family’s situation, he had concluded plans to ensure the victims have a good life again.
Even though Atiku did not disclosed how he plans to removed the Ndionyemma’s family from present pathetic living condition, he hinted that his conclusion was celebrate to Ifoema who clocked 20 years of age yesterday, 16 years after the explosion.
He stated that the little girl then had lived to witnessed the horrible moment including her family, to extent that they were able to survived the tragic trauma that had ruined other victims.
“Today, we are here to celebrate Ifeoma as she clocks 20 years and we celebrate her as an hero that must must live in record.
“We must remove the little girl and her family from their present living condition as soon as possible because her future is important to well-being of Nigeria.
“The token i presented was for Ifeoma birthday celebration and we are working on good package for the entire family”, Atiku disclosed
However, Ifeoma and her parents had recently in a documentary told tales of their experience after the bomb blast that brought them desolation.
When the girl was asked how she was able to reach Atiku, she explained that she only took her story to Instagram such that got attention of Nigerians and that of the vice former president who contact the family a day after her post.
She said: “I looked through my dad’s bag and found the newspaper which had a picture of me in the arms of Vice President Atiku Abubarkar. Since most people now say their story online, I decided to say mine too. I did a short video of me with the newspaper so that I’ll have evidence to show so that it does not look like a fake story. I posted it on Instagram and after that day, I received a call, I don’t know how, from Atiku Abubarkar. I spoke to him and he spoke with my dad.”
Ifeoma commended the former VP for reaching out to her and family particularly for sending his representatives down to celebrate her on her birthday.
For her father, Emmanuel, regrettably, 16 years after, the government has not kept its promise to compensate all the victims of that dreaded bomb blast, just as described a very pathetic livelihood the family has had to endure all the years, after they were dislodged from a home, which he moved his family into a couple of days before the bombs went off.