Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of Enugu State has assured that the state government will take full responsibility of a nine-month-old child, Chidiuto Chukwu, whose parents, Mr and Mrs Lawrence Chukwu, their maid and daughter, Nazareth died of food poisoning in Amorji- Nike, Enugu .
He promised that Chibudo, the only survivor of the family,
will not suffer in any form.
Ugwuanyi announced this when he led a state delegation on a condolence visit to the extended family of the deceased, who are in custody of the child.
Represented by the Commissioner for Gender Affairs and Social Development, Princess Peace Nnaji, Ugwuanyi condoled the family, describing the incident as a sad development.
The Commissioner said: “Governor Ugwuanyi is really saddened by this ugly development. That is why he has sent us to come and condole with the family”.
She assured the extended family, headed by Basil Chukwu, that they are not alone in the moment of grief as the government of Enugu State “is going to do everything to make sure it unravels the cause of these deaths so that no other person will be a victim of maybe food poison or whatever”.
She said that the surviving baby is the child of the government and “the governor has given his word that even though these people are no more, the state government is not going to abandon the child”.
The Commissioner, who prayed for the repose of the deceased persons, on receiving information that the surviving child was breastfed by his late mother before she died and also licked the soup which the victims consumed, after speaking with the Chief Medical Director (CMD) of the ESUT Teaching Hospital, Parklane Enugu, Prof. Hyacinth Onah, directed that the baby be taken to the hospital immediately for proper and extensive medical examination and necessary treatment.
Princess Nnaji, thereafter, accompanied the child and the family to the hospital saying: “We have decided to take the baby to Parklane Hospital; we have just reached the CMD of Parklane on phone here; they are waiting for us; we are moving straight with the baby to Parklane and the state government is going to take charge of the child to make sure nothing happens to him.
“All the medical tests, everything that has to be done must be done at the expense of the state government”.
She disclosed that the delegation will brief Governor Ugwuanyi as soon as possible on the information they got from the visit and expressed confidence that the governor in his magnanimity will not allow the child to suffer.
Responding on behalf of the family, the elder brother to late Lawrence, Sylvester Ik. Chukwu, thanked Ugwuanyi for the fatherly love he has shown to their family in their trying moment. He promised that by the grace of God they will join hands with the state government to take care of the child.
Chukwu, who narrated the efforts the family made to save lives of the victims while in the hospital, appreciated the Commissioner for Gender Affairs for the visit, kind words and encouragement.