Mrs Doris Objuvwuverhie, a heartbroken Delta State-based trader and mother of two, speaks to GODFREY GEORGE how agonizing it has been for her searching for her 21-year-old daughter, Stephanie, who went to work on July 19, 2021 and has never returned
When was the last time you saw your daughter?
She left home as usual on July 19, 2021 to work at Okumagba Estate in Warri, Delta State, where she works. She normally comes back at around 4pm or 5pm if the workload at the office is not too much, but we didn’t see her till 6pm. We became so worried.
What time did she leave home?
She left home around 8.20am that day.
Do you know if she got to the office that day after she left home?
Yes, she was at the office, to the best of my knowledge. That was what her colleagues told me.
What did you do when you didn’t see her return home that day?
We began to call her line. We called her line till it became switched off. Her father also called and was greeted with silence from that end of the line. When we found out the calls were not making any impact, we decided to go look for her at the estate where she works. They said she had left and she was not in the office.
At what time did they say she left the office that day?
I don’t know exactly. I cannot tell, but they said she left when she was supposed to leave. We walked around the area and asked people if they saw her, but it seemed like she had disappeared into thin air. Nobody seemed to know her whereabouts. We described what she wore and showed her pictures to people around. Some said they usually saw her around the area but hadn’t seen her that day. It is really frustrating even talking about it. I cannot seem to wrap my head around it. How can a 21-year-old just get missing without a trace? My husband and I cannot seem to understand.
How long has she been working at the estate?
She has been working there for a while. I cannot really tell for how long, but it has not been too long. I cannot remember. Right now, thinking is a problem for me. The thoughts of losing my child wants to make me go crazy.
Where do you stay?
We stay in the same area in Warri, Delta’s State, not too far from her office. It is around Airport Road, Warri.
Was there any previous time when she didn’t come home immediately after work?
No, she doesn’t sleep outside the house. She has never slept outside the house before. I have just two girls and she is the first. So, this is why this is surprising to me. If she wants to go out and may return late, she calls me or her father. I am surprised by this occurrence; it is strange to me. That was why immediately we didn’t see her till that time, we quickly called, because we knew something was wrong somewhere.
Did you report this to the police?
I did report it to the ‘B’ Division, Warri after 24 hours, according to the law and they said I should bring her picture and phone number, that they’d like to track her phone number.
Any positive results since then?
The Students Union Government President at the College of Education, Warri, when he learnt about it, went to Asaba to make an official complaint. The Urhobo Boys Union also made a complaint. My husband, Solomon Objuvwuverhie, also contacted some of his friends who he felt could be of help. One of them called a Senior Special Assistant to the Governor of Delta State, Governor Ifeanyi Okowa, and they sent a direct command to Asaba. It was Asaba that sent a signal to ‘B’ Division on the development. The police headquarters in Asaba was shocked not to have received any signal from the ‘B’ division even after they claimed to have sent a signal to Asaba. It was after they saw the people involved in the case that they swung into action.
They told my husband that they saw a female corpse, which fits my daughter’s description around the Federal University of Petroleum, Ugbomoro Road, Effurun, Warri. I was so scared. I told my husband that there was no need to check, because I knew the corpse could not be that of our daughter. I was so terrified. But he went and checked the corpse, and came back with the news that it was not our daughter. I was glad on the one hand, but afraid that something even worse may be awaiting us.
I have even written a petition to the Commissioner of Police of Delta State, CP Mohammed Ari Ali, and he assured me that the police are on the matter.
How are you coping?
She has been missing since July 19, 2021. It has been over a week. I cannot even take it anymore. I don’t know how I’d cope if I don’t see her for another week. All her friends are worried. They have sent WhatsApp broadcast messages; a local news blog even carried the news and we are positive that some good news will come. As a mother, I have been going from church to church, from one pastor to another, searching for a solution. What can I do? She is alive, I know. We just need to find her. I have been praying and I want the entire country to pray along with me. She is my first child of two girls. I don’t know how I would cope if I lose her. Anyone with useful information of the whereabouts of my daughter should report to ‘B’ Division Warri, Public Police Relations Officer’s office Asaba, or the nearest police station, please. I need my daughter to be back home safe and sound.
Source: The PUNCH