Mudiaga Affe, Calabar
Passport Control Officer of the Cross River State Command of the Nigeria Immigration Service, Mr. Ime Nta, on Monday disclosed that his father, Mr. Unaowo Nta, was killed in the 1966 coup by rebellious military personnel for failing to hand over prisons key.
The slain Superintendent of Prisons, who was attached to the Agodi Prisons in Ibadan, was killed on July 29, 1966 in the presence of his son, Ime.
Speaking during the unveiling of a newly furnished Immigration Chapel hall in the Calabar head office of the command, Nta, who also marked the demise of his mother, Mrs. Mary Nta, who died in 2017 and other two siblings, Mr. Emmanuel Nta, and Mr. Joseph Nta, who both died in 2007, said the memory of his father’s death was still fresh in his mind.
The Nta family provided split air conditioners, musical instruments, ceiling fans, standing fans, chairs and generator, among others, to the colourfully decorated chapel.
He said, “My father was employed into the Nigeria Prisons Service with service number P. 37595 and rose to the rank of Chief Superintendent of Prisons. On July 29, 1966 during the coup, he was shot dead in his office at Agodi Prisons for refusing to release the keys of the prisons to some rebellious soldiers who were also rounded up by their colleague to face similar music.”
Nta said the death of his father was worth remembering because in just 15 years of marriage, he was blessed with six children, all of whom later joined various federal agencies in service to the nation.
He said that the idea of furnishing the chapel was planted in his mind by God, adding that outside his family members, officers in his office had supported the idea.
According to Nta, a few of the items donated to the chapel were given by passport applicants who were appreciative of the speed at which their passports were processed and given to them in about three hours.
The state Comptroller of NIS, Mr. Felix Uche, who was represented by his deputy, Mr. Nyong Bassey, said it was imperative to remember the ideals loved ones lived for.
He said that the patriarch of the Nta family rose to become a superintendent in the Nigeria Prisons before he was killed in the 1966 coup.
He also said that the chapel had undergone tremendous development as a result of the strides of the PCO.