The Ibusa community of Nigeria in Canada mourns the recent loss of two young men

Members of the Ibusa diaspora from southeastern Nigeria are mourning after two tragic incidents in the span of three days claimed the lives of a four-year-old girl and a 22-year-old man linked to the close-knit community.

Chibueze (Eze) Momah, a 22-year-old man from Mississauga, was working as a security guard at Vaughan’s ATL Lounge when he was fatally shot on July 23. Momah’s friend and co-worker, Tosin Amos, 25, Arowoshegbe, of Toronto, also died after being shot in the saloon that night.

Just three days later, on July 26, four-year-old Mitchell (Mimi) Chukwudumebi Nwabuoku, of Hamilton, was fatally struck by a GO train in Mississauga near Dundas Street and Cawthra Road.

This tragedy occurred when the girl and her family were staying with relatives in Mississauga. The families had gathered to mourn the recent passing of Mitchell’s grandmother and discuss arrangements for her funeral in Nigeria.

The Ibusa Community Development Union (ICDU), based in Mississauga, Canada, a global organization that supports the advancement and development of Nigeria’s Ibusa community, has been helping both families in the aftermath of the incidents.

In a show of respect, ICDU decided to cancel its popular Cultural Day on July 30. The event, which was to include performances, exhibits, dancing and food, has been rescheduled until September.

“There was no way we could continue. The children planned to make small presentations,” Chiazor Agokei, president of the organization, told CP24.com.

“After this tragedy, it was impossible to go ahead with this event.”

Agokei, who attended Mitchell’s funeral on Tuesday afternoon, said there are no words to describe the level of sadness felt by the people of Ibusa and the broader Nigerian community, especially those in GTHA.

“Sometimes you don’t know what to say. It’s a waste of words,” she said.

“In a span of four days, we lost two of our young people. … It is difficult for us, for this community. We haven’t had anything like this (before).”

Agokei said that in Nigerian culture, people support each other after the loss of a loved one by going to the family home, bringing food and spending time with them “to make sure they are not alone.” In recent days, various members of the community have taken turns visiting relatives of Eze and Mitchell.

“Our goal is just to show love, to be present, to be there to support them,” he said.

Sadly, the day before Mitchell’s death, Agokei was visiting the Nwabuoku family, who had just lost their mother a few days earlier.

“We all gathered at their house to sympathize with them for the loss of their mother,” he shared.

“Then the most terrible thing happened the next day. … A family suffered a double tragedy: the loss of their mother and then their beautiful little girl.”

Agokei said Eze’s death is just as devastating, as his parents sent him to Canada to attend school in hopes of a better future.

“He came here for a better environment and to get his education, only to be shot dead,” Agokei said, adding that the plan is to bury Momah here in Canada once her parents arrive from Nigeria.

“That will be another sad experience later this month.”

Agokei said the families of Eze and Mitchell have close ties to the ICDU.

The young man’s aunt, Maureen Mrabure, serves as the organization’s treasurer, while Mitchell’s uncle was involved in helping organize and support several of its events and initiatives over the years.


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