The premises of St. Michael’s and All Angel’s Anglican Church, Ahiaba Okpuala Ngwa-Ukwu in Isiala Ngwa Local Government Area of Abia State was on Saturday December 7, besieged by friends and well-wishers of the Onuohas and Nwaubanis. They included those who came to see things for themselves as Lauretta Onuoha, who survived a fatal accident which claimed the lives of 28 persons, walked down the aisles with her heartthrob, Mr. Victor Nwaubani, a lawyer and an Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP).
The wedding, which was officiated by Rt. Rev. Temple Onyinyechi Nwogu, Venerable Godwin Nkuche, among other ministers mainly from the Anglican Communion, attracted the presence of colleagues of Lauretta and others who put off other pressing engagements for the day to rejoice with the family.
The rendition of beautiful songs from the choristers and the colorful parade by the Police Band kept guests lively while the event lasted.
For Lauretta, it was a day of mixed feelings. She was sad because she couldn’t dance the way she had wanted to on her wedding day. She was, however, happy that she was alive to witness the day come through and with the man that she had courted for five years.
She equally had every reason to be happy and celebrate more than ever because she survived a fatal auto accident where over 28 persons lost their lives.
For her parents, it was a day they happily and joyfully handed over the hand of their only daughter to her husband, which they had always dreamt to do.
In his homily, the officiating priest, Rt. Rev. Temple Nwogu, represented by Venerable Nkuche, asked the couple to love each other and ensure that they not only live together, but to train their kids in the fear of God.
Lauretta, who spoke to our reporter, recalled how God saved her from the fatal accident that killed 25 others and thanked God that she was alive to witness such an important day, which every single lady prays for.
“On that fateful day, October, 21,2018, I was coming back from my immediate elder brother’s child dedication in Aba. I was with my parents, but when we got to Isiala Ngwa junction, they alighted from the bus, while I continued the trip to Umuahia in the same bus that we all boarded in Aba because I had to go to work the next day.
“On getting close to Ntigha junction, our bus had a head-on collision with another vehicle as I was told because I can’t even remember what happened and how it happened.
“I was told by my people that I passed out only to wake up in the hospital, Federal Medical Center(FMC), Umuahia,after about four days.
“I sustained injuries on my body, including the fracturing of my right leg’s femur. Apart from the femur, the accident affected one of my eyes. The first time it was operated upon, I couldn’t see with it; it was the second time that I was able to see with the eye.
“For now, I am okay, except for the femur that they inserted a rod in my leg to help it heal. The rod, I was told, will be removed in years ahead when the femur must have healed properly.
“I didn’t know that I will survive. People who visited me at the hospital were thanking God that I was among the few that survived, but the pain was excruciating. It wasn’t easy, but I thank God that I am alive today.”
‘My secret fears on the hospital bed’
“One of the things which bothered me when I regained consciousness was the fear of my hubby leaving me for another woman. The first thought that came to me was Victor. I was so scared that he might leave me at that point in time, because I know that we had a very sweet relationship.
“Victor had promised that he was going to marry me. So, we had been waiting for him to finish from the Police College before the devil now came in. So, I was so scared he might leave me.
“However, Victor stood by me all through. He never showed any sign of leaving me, but as a human being, I was thinking that he was just trying to care for me at that point in time. But whenever I remembered that so many people died in the accident, I will use that to console myself. Whenever I remembered all these things, I will just tell myself that even if Victor decides to leave me, it will not be the end of my life.
“I know that as far as there is life, there is still hope for me. I know that if Victor left me, that it would have really hurt me because our relationship was open and everybody knew that Victor was the only man in my life.
“At that point, people were not even helping matters. They were putting fears in me. They were saying that the accident might be enough reason for Victor to run away and that didn’t help my situation then. A a human being, I started thinking otherwise. I was just watching him to know his next moves”.
Did she ever suspect Victor might be unfaithful to her infidelity while she was confined to her sickbed?
Her response: “It happened. I kept disturbing him, especially when he was posted to Abuja. If I called him when he was supposed to be in the office and he didn’t pick his calls, that would be a very big problem. If he didn’t call me in the morning, that was also a problem. If I called him even in the midnight and he didn’t pick his calls, that was a problem too!
“I was just wishing that there was a Closed-Circuit Television (CCTV) on him so that, I can be seeing him and monitoring his movements”.
What it was like when her hubby proposed?
“The truth is that when we met in 2014, Victor told me that he was going to marry me. I doubted him at the initial stage. He went ahead to invite me to Lagos to meet his parents in their Lagos residence and other members of his family.
“I asked him if that is how to marry in his place? I was wondering how he can just ask someone that he just met to come to Lagos to be introduced to other members of the family.My thinking was that he just wanted to use that to get at me in order to take whatever he wanted. But Victor meant what he said. He sent me money for transport to Lagos and seeing how serious he was; I accepted and visited his people in Lagos.
“So, there wasn’t any special proposal or any ceremony attached to it except my visit to his parents’ house in Lagos after he had told me that he wanted to marry me a week after we met.When we met, Victor told me that he liked and admired everything about me, that he wanted to marry me. That was just that”.
What she saw in Victor that made her settle with him finally?
“A lot of men came but when I saw Victor and the attention that he gave me all through the years that we have been together, I knew he was serious. Despite the fact that he was in school, Victor never failed for one day to visit our house whenever they were on break.
“I can tell you that Victor sacrificed a lot for the relationship. And on my own part, I never gave any other man the chance in my life except Victor.”
Impact of long-distance relationship on their love life
“To maintain the long distance relationship wasn’t easy at all. The thing is that God has destined us to be together. But the truth is that, there was a time that we were suspecting each other.
“However, what Victor did was that anytime they were on break, he will come to see me and if there were issues, we will trash them out and the relationship would continue.
“Distance relationship worked for me and it can as well work for another person. It all depends on the people involved and how mature they are in handling issues that come up in their relationship.
“Our relationship wasn’t all that rosy. We had issues, but we will always have a way of handling them.
How emotional she was on the wedding day?
“I didn’t just know how to say that. I had my dream wedding. I was so emotional that I wept while walking into the church. Seeing myself walking inside the church on my wedding day with clutches broke my heart. I cried to the extent that other people inside the church joined me and started crying too. But at a time, I started consoling myself. I told myself that it was only God that kept me alive and still granted me my heart desire.
“I remembered what both of us passed through all this years. The way people talked about us and how God made my dream come true.Though I didn’t dance the way I had wanted to dance on my wedding day because of the clutches that I was using, I was still happy and I appreciate God for His wonderful works in our lives”.
How ready is she to start making babies despite that she is on crutches and carrying iron in one of her legs?
“If babies start coming, I will gladly accept them no matter the stress because I know that God that kept me alive will still see me through till the days I will put to bed.
“I want to use this opportunity to advise people who are into relationships to be patient. People who were mocking us even when the accident happened were the first people to congratulate us when we finally got wedded. So, when both parties share the same view, you have to work towards it.
“There must be a sacrifice from both sides; whether there is money or not, stay put with your partner. This thing that happened to me can happen to anybody”
Meeting with Lauretta’s Dad
“I am Mr. Levi Irondirionyeaku Onuoha; I am a retired headmaster/teacher. Lauretta is the only daughter out of the seven children that I had. Their relationship was cordial.
“When I heardd about their meeting, I was so happy to welcome Victor. In 2014, Victor and his elder brother came to my house with wine to inform me that he wass interested in my daughter.
“I called my daughter and asked her if she was in the same shoe with him, she said yes. I received the wine since 2014.”
Learning about the accident of his only daughter
“I didn’t know what to do when I heard the story about the accident that night. When we got to the scene of the accident that night between Amaorji and Ntigha along the Enugu-Port-Harcourt Expressway, we couldn’t see my daughter and all the dead and wounded because everybody had been carried to the Federal Medical Center (FMC), Umuahia.
“My wife and I told God on the scene of the accident before going to check her at FMC that He will not allow our daughter to die. By the time we got there, about 28 persons from the two vehicles had been confirmed dead, but my daughter was among those who survived, but she heavily wounded.”
How he felt seeing his walking down the aisle with her husband
“On the day of the wedding, I was so overwhelmed that I shed tears of joy when I saw how everything was going on her wedding day. I was happy that God granted both of them their heart desires despite all odds. l also thank Victor for braving the whole thing until the last stage”.