What is the worth of life in the hands of trigger happy security men in Nigeria?
I am in tears
Corporal Celestine Anthony did not deserve to die with so much pain, without explanation, from a hot shattering bullet released by a fellow officer
My path with Corporal Celestine crossed in Port Harcourt at Elelenwo police station where a friend of mine Ben had an issue with a police officer that bought a phone from him some 2 years ago, which Cele intervened and settled
It didn’t take long before a great friendship was enacted. I later found out he was even an Evangelist in his church.
In many countless occasions when I visited them in the station (I am friend to the station) , he is always settling disputes and tries to intervene on issues with Complainants and suspects.
He also intervenes and helps with his station patrol team whenever there is a need for police intervention in my office or around us
Corp Cele never drinks, smokes or womanizes.
I was with him in Eleme when he married his wife and he accompanied me to state headquarters when I had issues with an Ikwerre landlord that wanted to swindle us last year under rent advance arrangement.
In March when I had very serious challenge, he was the one that sacrificed his duty for us to go fellowship with his Pastor and home church in Egbeme near Omok, just to see that I come out strong.
And yes, I came out stronger. I visited his site where he is building his personal house in Egbema community.
The fish expedition in there Orashi River which he took me on remains evergreen as I saw fishes and ate fishes courtesy of his benevolence
Again, being that he came from the same community with a former IG of police who helped him and many others to gain entry into the Nigerian police force, it was so easy for him to always introduce me to any new DPO in his station.
As a matter of fact he acts as the 2ic to most of them. He is also in charge of security protocol in there station.
Through this officer I have met and became friends with so many high ranking police officers in and around Rivers state.
Cele has got one weakness: he never eats outside his house no matter what; not even mineral.
I have not gone out with him and he took soft drink; he can only drink water under much persuasion.
He will always say Oga you know me now, I only eat at home.
He speaks Igbo also as his community Egbema is an Igbo speaking part of Rivers state sharing common boundary with their kit and kin Ohaji Egbema of Imo state
Last week, I visited him in his station as I normal do.
He went for an arrest and as usual I pleaded for the suspects since it’s a civil case and the matter was easily and amicably resolved.
Little did I know that it was a farewell meeting.
Little did I know I wouldn’t see Cele again ,for I left for Anambra social media event in Awka the very next day
FIRST CLOSE SHAVE WITH DEATH
Early January this year, I received a call from Cele that I should come to their station that God saved him from death.
I’m used to living in an Estate very close to the station so daily I pass through there.
On getting there I saw him with deep cuts from head to toe and upon inquiry he brought out a man from the cell and commandeered the man to recount what happened.
The man went on his knees narrating how he is a bus driver Plying Aba road to Obigbo and that Cele with other passengers entered his vehicle.
Out of greed he decides to hike the fare again by 100 naira when he noticed that there was hold up around toll gate.
Then when Cele and other passengers revolted, he didn’t know what pushed him to remove his wheel spinner and used same to hit Cele on the head breaking his head, arm and rib.
It was when a patrol team passing by noticed the fracas and intervened that the driver and co-passengers discovered that Cele was an officer.
He was rescued and the driver arrested.
Typical of Cele after much pleading from the wife and some of us his friends, as I even went and begged the DPO, that Cele decided to withdrew the case and let the man go without demanding his hospital bills and damages.
A practical Christian to the core!