Lydia Nwange, who sells okpa (Bambara groundnut), at the park.She watched her 15 year old daughter burn to death .Here is her heart wrenching story in an interview with Amina Mohammed of Premuim Times
You sold okpa at the bus park before the bomb blast. One of your daughters was killed in that attack. Tell us about her and how it all happened.
Her name was Chinazor Nwange, she was 15 years old in SSS 2, and was in Government Secondary school Karu.She was my first born, the closest to me, very hard working and a dedicated Christian. In fact she helped me always at home. She was always bothered about the upkeep of the house, helped me with the house chores and was friendly with everybody around the compound.
She only helped to sell when the school was on break. Like when the school was on Easter break, she went with me to Nyanya to sell.A day before she died, she told me that that day (the day of the bomb blast) would be her last to go with me because she would be travelling for a church retreat, the day after. So I agreed.
On the day of the bomb blast in the morning after I had cooked the okpa, we both went to the park and I divided the okpa into two. I told her to go and sit just in front of the buses with an umbrella so she could sell to customers at that spot while I went to sell mine at the other end.
Just as I settled down to sell mine, I heard a loud sound then I looked forward I saw fire and flames then I ran towards that side shouting, my child, my child. As I got to the spot, I saw the okpa on a tray and the umbrella just where I told my daughter to sit, then I saw my daughter just right beside the okpa, burning; she was still alive and struggling in the fire. It was just her toes left. I screamed and rushed to rescue my daughter but I realised people were holding me back, warning that I might be consumed in the fire too.
They dragged me away from the spot. Later, some people came and took my child [at this point she was dead] into a van and left.I cried. I wailed. I could not think. I immediately entered a bus and went home to tell my husband what happened. Everybody broke down into tears. They tried to console me.Since then I have not been myself. I do not sell okpa again. Nobody helps me around the house. I have just been indoors in pains and tears.
PT: Have you located your daughter’s body?
I have not seen my daughter’s body yet. I and my husband have visited many hospitals, nothing yet. The last one we went to is Asokoro general hospital. I asked those working in the mortuary about my daughter because I explained to them what my daughter was wearing, they told me they saw the type of the shoes on the body, but that the body had been taken to another place.
I and my husband went to the other place, we did not see the body, and so we returned back to the hospital. Then a lady told us that if we see the body, we will not be allowed to carry the body because I could only identify the body with the leg. We then returned home.All I do is to pray and hope my husband sees her body. I can’t make the okpa anymore, my mind is still not settled, at every move I make in the house I remember her and how I saw her burn to death and could do nothing to save her.