Three children of the same mother, have reportedly died after taking cassava meal suspected to be poisoned. The tragedy, which occurred at the Amokwe Enu-Obukpa on the outskirts of Nsukka Urban in Enugu State, has thrown the entire village and the vicinity into mourning and confusion.
The trio died one after the other same day when they ate fermented cassava meal last Sunday.
Two of them died at the University of Nigeria Medical Centre while the youngest also passed on almost immediately. The siblings, according to neighbours, who do not want to be named, said that before their demise, they were stooling profusely as they battled against death.
The mother was said to be away from home when the tragedy occurred. The late Mr. Lawrence Ugwuanyi, who married three wives and a former staff of the University of Nigeria, Nsukka (UNN), died less than two years ago, with his eldest son dying few months later.
It was gathered that there was no love lost among the three widows of the late Ugwuanyi, prompting speculations that the three children might have died of food poisoning. The elder brothers of the deceased siblings were also suspected to have died through a similar circumstance.
When Daily Sun visited the home of the bereaved parents, the younger brother to the deceased, Mr. Hyginus Ugwuanyi, a postgraduate student of UNN, was still in shock.
“I cannot tell you anything now until the children are buried. I am the younger brother of Mr. Lawrence Ugwuanyi, father of the three dead children. Three of them died under my care. My brother, Lawrence, also died two months after and now three of his children have died in one day. The shock is too much for me to bear, so I cannot tell you details.
I promise if you come back on Sunday, I will give you the details,” Ugwuanyi pleaded. Mrs. Ugwuanyi, mother of the three children, Chinechere Ugwuanyi, Ikenna Ugwuanyi (students) and Nnenna Ugwuanyi, was unable to utter a word when Daily Sun called at her residence, she sat on a bed surrounded by some sympathisers. She was overwhelmed by anguish. Since the death of the three siblings, tongues have been wagging.
A villager, who doesn’t want to be named, told our reporter that the demise of the children who are from one mother has thrown the villagers into confusion. She said that they have started to suspect that all is not well with the late Ugwuanyi family.
We will get at the root of this strange occurrence in this village and anybody found to have a hand in what had been happening in the Ugwuanyi family since his death will be seriously dealt with. Even the death of Lawrence is also suspicious,” he said.