Catholic Man Dies In Defense Of Block Rosary Children In Enugu
Agbo Isaiah Oluchukwu was a strong member of Altar boys who is from Immaculate Heart Parish Aji, Enugu Ezike in Igbo Eze North Local Government Area of Enugu State, Nigeria. He was also a devoted member of Block Rosary Crusade and as a matter of fact, he was one of the organizers of block Rosary in Aji Deanery. He was also a member of Block Rosary Crusade Brigade of Guards (BRCBG), which is a voluntary paramilitary of Block Rosary Crusade.
He was the deanery 2IC which means 2nd in command and as the deanery commandant was not around he was acting as one. BRCBG(s) are those who ensure enabling environment for the members of Block Rosary Crusade whenever they are having programs.
Some of them, including Isaiah made them were available for the retreat of Aji Deanery Block Rosary Crusade (BRC) which was scheduled to take place from October 14th to 16th, 2022, at St Joseph’s Parish Umuogbo-Agu
On the day of arrival which was 14th October, 2022, Isaiah never knew he will not be returning back to his poor mother alife.
The members of BRC assembled to start their prayer program, and around 8pm when they were having their opening Rosary procession, two boys from the hosting community came but the men maning the gate could not permit them inside because they were with no tag which is the evidence that identify one as a member of the block rosary crusade. They rather told the boys that if they wish to join the program they have to get their tag, but the two boys bluntly refused to do so saying that they are the owners of the territory with some cultic slangs like we are JBC which only them knows the meaning. So the men at the gate which are BRCBG members refused to let them in.
The self acclaimed cultic boys went away and returned around 11:30pm to 12am with more boys (about 10 or 12 of them) and started banging on the gate asking the brigadiers to open the gate but they refused, then those boys broke down the gate and invaded them with some weapons like dagger, plank, 2b2 wood and so on, trying to enter inside the church where the BRC children were praying. It was at this critical moment that the young Isaiah and other BRCBG members had to risk their own lives without arms in defense of the children praying inside the church.
Some of the brigadiers who risked their lives to protect the children, were severely injured; some stabbed but Isaiah who was there as the commander took all he had to protect his people and as he was fatally injured, he persisted the battle in pains untill he ensured that those intruders had dismissed from the premises at the sight of the parish priest.
As wounded Isaiah could no longer bear the internal injuries sustained, he was rushed to Bishop shanahan hospital Enugu Ezike but they were referred to Nsukka from Nsukka they were referred to ENUGU (UNTH) and on their way to Enugu, Isaiah, who would have loved to be alife to tell this story, left us an example to follow.
May he be granted the eternal freedom of God’s sons Amen
Bro Egelebe Vitus Chidera (Nsukka Diocesan president of Block Rosary Crusade)
REFLECTION ON THE DEATH OF ISAIAH OLUCHUKWU AGBO.
On Saturday, November 12, 2022, I walked to Mr David Agbo’s compound. Mr David is our neighbour and it was by no means a long walk from our compound. This particular walk became the longest and the most difficult I ever made to his house. A walk of two minutes became like a century walk as I wrestled to come to terms with what had happened.
I went to offer my condolences to Agbo’s family on the death of their son, Isaiah Oluchukwu Agbo, who died after being beaten up by rough boys who stormed into the church during a Block Rosary Crusade at Umuogboagu.
Oluchukwu was a very modest young man whose commitment to God was a model. He was a member of pious societies in the church. Until his martyrdom, he was the President of the Block Rosary in the parish.
Oluchukwu was intelligent and reflective and took his education seriously.
His Dad, Mr David, is popularly called ‘Agu-gboo’ (old lion) and in spite of his age, he relates well with people because of his friendly nature, jovialty and simple lifestyle. He is deeply involved in the community. Over the years, he worked hard to keep himself going and to support his family. He didn’t marry early but when he finnally married God blessed him with two sons, Ifeanyichukwu and OLUCHUKWU. These were children of promise: their names explain everything.
Mr David’s wife too is a simple and humble woman who never knew that her family would make headline some day but we live at a different time!
When I arrived at Agbo’s house, I sat like Job’s friend without uttering a word. Agbo looked at a distance. The wife was visibly shaken. None of us needed to say anything. We felt that Oluchukwu was the wrong person to die in the hands of rough boys since naturally, one would not associate Oluchi with evil. Was he at the wrong place? Certainly no! He was at the house of the Lord when evil visited him. We live at a different time.
We were enveloped by silence. Shedding tears, we prayed. We committed everything to God’s hand.
Oluchukwu died serving God. When his killers came to the church at God’s appointed hour, Oluchi tried to keep the young ones safe. Like a good shepherd, he gave his life for his fellow little flock. Having protected others, he attempted escaping when his killers descended on him.
OLUCHI died the next day, having been made weak by the injury inflicted on him. He died protecting others. God knows the best! His blood joined the cloud of witnesses. His belonged to the martyrs.
On Sunday October 16, 2022, when he finally gave up, the entire Catholic world prayed Psalm 121 during Mass. I offer the Psalm to him.
I lift up my eyes to the mountains; from where shall come my help? My help shall come from the Lord, who made heaven and earth.
He will keep your feet from stumbling. Your guard will never slumber. No, He sleeps not nor slumbers, Israel’s guard.
The Lord your guard, the Lord your shade at your right hand. By day the sun shall not smite you, nor the moon in the night.
The Lord will guard you from evil; He will guard your soul. The Lord will guard your going and coming, both now and forever.
Oluchukwu, may God grant you eternal rest. May your gentle soul rest in peace. May your blood mingle with that of Christ to defend the Church under the assault of the enemies.
Good night Servant of God. Good night Okoro Nwaonyi.
Good night Nwa Aji Onee Aboke.
We shall meet again at the feet of the Lord.
Fondly remembered by Rev Fr Jude Onyebuchi Alih, MSP