Lady Ndidi Mezue, the Anambra State Commissioner for Social Welfare, Children, and Women Affairs, recently paid a visit to 98-year-old widow Mrs. Veronica Mgbokwa Nwafor, whose home in Imeohia, Ururo, and Umunze in the state’s Orumba South Local Government Area was demolished by her stepsons and their accomplices.
According to reports, her other stepsons destroyed the cottage that her stepson (the son of her late husband’s third wife) was building for the elderly widow (sons of another wife)
The visit to Nwafor’s family on Friday came as a result of a directive from the state administration to step in right away, determine the causes of such horrible behavior, and seek an urgent resolution.
Social media was filled with images of a collapsed house just over a week ago that had reached the roofing stage.
Other videos showed the elderly woman sobbing inconsolably as worried family members and friends attempted to comfort her.
The reported stories that accompanied the videos infuriated onlookers and social media users, who then appealed to the appropriate authorities to make sure that justice was done in accordance with the law.
The late Nwafor Okoro, according to family lore, initially married a second wife soon after the death of his first wife to take care of his young children, and then he married a third wife a few years later.
Mr. Linus Nwafor, the third wife’s son, wanted to build a new home for his stepmother, who cared for him and the other stepchildren after their moms passed away. His late mother had lived with the second wife in a thatched house that had been given to them by their late husband.
After losing her sole son, the nonagenarian second wife, Mrs. Veronica Mgbokwa Nwafor, is now living alone with her married daughter, with whom she has been living for almost thirteen years.
The three angry sons of the first wife, however, and other assailants tore down a significant amount of the four-room bungalow a few weeks after it reached roughly 60% completion on the grounds that the widow had no right to live in the area because she had no son, according to kinsmen.
The defendants, Helen Nwafor, Emmanuel Nwafor, Izuchukwu Nwafor, and Chidiebere Nwafor, together with their mother, are still at large, however one of them is now taking a break at Zone 13 of the Nigerian Police Headquarters in Ukpo, Dunukofia Local Government Area.
Mr. Linus Nwafor, the son of the third wife who built the house for the nonagenarian stepmother, described the incident and said that his stepbrothers had threatened him with violence and said they would destroy the house if he ever tried to build it. However, he urged them to use customary legal procedures instead, and said that if it turned out that the woman had no legal right to live in her husband’s home, he would leave the house to them.
He made an appeal to the government to take a position on the matter, noting that his goal is to provide the stepmom with a suitable home and bring her back so she can live out her remaining years in peace in her own house.
In his testimony, the chairman of the kindred, Mr. Chinedu Onyejeka, stated that the family’s problem had been discussed in their meetings. He also mentioned that the widow had repeatedly called him to say that since his stepson had been the only one caring for her since she fell ill more than thirteen years ago, she would be leaving everything to him in the event of her passing.
The Commissioner, Lady Mezue, called the occurrence barbarous in an interview but promised that the state government had already taken over the case and will fully resolve it.
She noted that the ministry is seriously enlisting grassroots women monitors dispersed across all of the communities in Anambra State to monitor related issues and report back to the ministry for further intervention. She claimed that Governor Willie Obiano had already given directive for the project to be continued with immediate effect.
Later, the team went to the Zone 13 Police Headquarters in Ukpo, where one of the offenders is being detained.