Image: Mrs Kate Mazi a.k.a. Nwadiobinma Ndukwu
The Nigerian Civil War ended in January 1970 with the surrender of Biafra and its people to the Nigerian soldiers. Thus, the women on the Biafran side became vulnerable to both seductive and compulsory acquisitions by the victorious soldiers.
It was in this way that a Nigerian soldier named John Karimu of the 113 Battalion then garrisoned at Oguta Girls’ Secondary School(in the then East Central State) secured a filial relationship with then Miss Nwadiobinma Ndukwu (Agnes’ maiden name), then of Umudei village Oguta in present Imo State.
Her father appeared helpless at soldier-man John ‘capturing’ and later “marrying” his daughter Nwadiobinma in 1971. This relationship gave birth in 1972 to a male child named Segun Karimu.
But eleven months after his birth (around October 1973), Segun Karimu was said to have been secretly and forcefully taken away from his mother “Agnes” (the name she came to be known by in John’s house and within the Barracks) by his father and taken to John Karimu’s mother in faraway Lagos –allegedly to prevent Agnes from escaping with the baby boy.
The relationship between Agnes and her army husband John Karimu did not get better, as she was prevented from seeing or having any contact with her 11-month baby Segun, up till sometime in 1974 when she(Agnes) was helped to escape from soldier-man John’s “captivity”, and returned to Oguta (according to Agnes’, now Mrs Kate Mazi’s account).
Agnes later learnt that “a fair, young military man” (suspected to be her son, now grown-up Segun Karimu) had visited Agnes’ Oguta village in search of his mother but could not establish any lead or link to AGNES (who later remarried to be known as Mrs Kate Mazi); Agnes actually had no knowledge of such a visitor then.
Since 1973, Mrs Kate Mazi (Agnes) has been having heartbreaks over the whereabouts of her 11-month old baby that is now a 42-year old man – and probably in the Nigerian Army. Her utmost earthly desire now is to know about and be reunited to her son Segun Karimu! And no doubt, Segun Karimu is equally looking for his biological mother.
Mrs KATE MAZI (AGNES) solicits the Public Relations unit, the Administration Department, Personnel, Pension or other relevant units of the Nigerian Army/Defence HQ, Women organizations/CSOs, the media and general public.
Tis will help in tracing any Segun Karimu with similar history, or any surviving record of a “John Karimu” (her former soldier “husband”) that may still be alive after a military career in the Nigerian Army through the then 113 Battalion garrisoned at Oguta Girls’ Secondary School, for link to Segun.
Ex-soldier John Karimu (Segun Karimu’s father) was said to hail from Offa/Ilorin axis of Yoruba tribe.
At present Mrs Kate Mazi (formerly Agnes) lives in Port Harcourt, has other daughters and could be reached through the Port Harcourt contact of Citizens for Justice, Employment and Transparency, C-JET; GSM 08036676651; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org / email@example.com
Victor T C Anyanwu