NIGERIA’S diaspora community in the UK has suffered more unfortunate losses to the dreaded global coronavirus pandemic as it lost two individuals named as Mary Mmanete Otio and Obong Edmund Akaninyene Okon.
Incidentally, both of them were from Akwa Ibom State, leaving the local UK association in a terrible state of shock. Mrs Orio, 64, who resided in London, died on Monday, March 6, while Obong Okon, one of the founding members of Mboho Akwa Ibom State UK and Ireland (Maisa), gave up the ghost of April 4 after testing positive.
Obong Okon, who was a former Maisa president is expected to be buried in the UK soon. Current Maisa president Terry Umoh, said that because of the current health restrictions, only family members will be allowed to attend the funeral but at a later date, when Covid-19 has gine away, Maisa will set a date for a memorial.
Edoamaowo Udeme, a close relative of Mrs Otio, said her late aunt lived and worked in the UK for over 40 years and retired from the service of the Metropolitan Police. She later posted a message on her Facebook page announcing the death of her aunt.
Ms Udeme wrote: “Goodbye Aunty Maette Mercy, may you be our first and last coronavirus sacrifice in our family. I pray your husband and children come out of this sad situation. I feel for Janet, Wendy, Albert, and your beloved Cherish. I feel for your husband Greg.”
Mrs Otio, who hailed from Ikot Nya in Nsit Ibom Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom State, had been in hospital receiving treatment when she passed away. Unfortunately, her situation deteriorated suddenly and her perplexed family did not expect that she was not going to be back home from the hospital.
Nigeria’s diaspora community in the UK has been hard hit by the coronavirus pandemic, losing several prominent members of late. Among those who been lost include Carol Jamabo, Chidinma Olajide, medical doctor Dr Alfa Sa’adu, food store owner Adeola Onasanya, mental health practitioner Olabode Ajanlekoko, Ugochukwu Erondu and bus driver Emeka Ihenacho.
One of the hardest hit countries worldwide, the UK has 55,242 coronavirus cases of which 6,159 have unfortunately died. Prime minister Boris Johnson himself is in intensive care receiving treatment after his situation deteriorated too.