Parents of late David Ogbonna, who allegedly committed suicide in one of the hostels at Nnamdi Azikiwe University Awka have denied school fees hike as the cause of their son’s death.
The body of the deceased, a 200 level male student of Industrial Physics was on Friday reportedly found inside one of the hostel blocks dangling with rope around his neck.
The parents, Pastor and Mrs Esther Ogbonna who expressed worry over media reports linking the death to fees hike by the University, said all his needs, including fees were provided for.
Describing the reports as misleading and diversionary, mother of the deceased, Esther Ogbonna who spoke on behalf of the family, said his late son had complained of his poor grade in one of his courses in first year.
She said, “My son couldn’t have died of financial incapabilities because apart from our support to him and that of his siblings, he was hardworking and did so many minor jobs like tailoring and laundry to support himself.
“During my last discussion with him a day before his demise, I encouraged him to work hard on the course to remedy the deficiency in next exams. Besides, his tone wasn’t lamentations to warrant taking his life the next moment.
While lauding the institution’s management for steps taken so far to unraveling the mystery behind the son’s death, Ogbonna called on security agencies to assist in unmasking the perpetrators.
A brother to the deceased, Samuel Ogbonna who accompanied his parents to the university, said he was at loss on why his brother should take his life over alleged financial crisis when all his needs were provided.
Meanwhile, the Nnamdi Azikiwe University Awka described the incident as tragic, pledging to unravel the mystery behind the alleged suicide.
In a press statement by the Ag. Head, Information and Public Relations, Chika Ene, the institution asked for calm from staff and students.
The statement read, “The University community is saddened by the death of our student David Ogbonna allegedly via suicide. He was found inside a wardrobe dangling with a rope round his neck. He was a 200 level student of the Department of Industrial Physics.
“The incident occurred on 20th August, 2021 at the male Hostel inside the University premises. Media reports attributed his death allegedly to hike in school fees. But, rather than subscribing to unverified media report, we embarked on a thorough investigation into the remote and immediate cause of the unfortunate demise of a future star by inviting everyone that needed to speak over the incident.
“The University Management upon hearing the sad news, carried out due protocol by inviting the University’s Medical centre and the Nigerian Police Force who evacuated the body to the mortuary. The University Management and the NPF have consequently launched investigation into the alleged suicide act by the late student and its ongoing.
“The parents also met with the University Management to uncover their side of the story to be able to unravel the mystery behind his death.
“The parents of the late student, Pastor and Mrs. Ogbonna during the meeting with University Management, Council and the SUG affirmed that hike in school fees wouldn’t have been the reason for their son’s death as they provided everything he needs.
“The parents affirmed they supply him with food items regularly up until last Thursday before his unfortunate demise. They also said that other siblings of their late son contributed money at intervals to assist their late brother. This was affirmed by one of the brothers of the deceased, Samuel Ogbonna who accompanied them.
“The mother, Mrs. Esther Ogbonna revealed that their late son was hardworking as he ventured into some vocational jobs like tailoring and laundry services to augment the provisions from home. She said that her son also complained about his poor performance, as she recalled in one of her conversations with the late son where he expressed displeasure over one of his results and she advised him to buckle up in subsequent examinations to remedy the deficiency.
“While the University Management is relentless and keen in her investigation of this ugly incident, it is however disheartening that some media houses have already embarked on a mission to tarnish the University’s image disregarding the place of thorough investigation in journalism.
“As we work assiduously in unraveling the cause of the unfortunate demise of late David who is the last child of his parents, it is important to note that his three (3) older siblings graduated from the departments of Medical Rehabilitation, Radiography and Anatomy, College of Health Sciences, Nnamdi Azikiwe University.
“The University Management is deeply pained by this unfortunate incident in this citadel of learning and further calls on members of staff and students to remain calm as investigation is ongoing. Members of staff and students are encouraged to visit the Centre for Counselling and Career Development which was created on the heels of the assumption of the Vice-Chancellor and mandated to entertain issues, especially one that disturbs mental health.”