This magnificent monument stands before Chinedu Chukwuneke Hostel housing female students of the College of Medical Sciences of the Nnamdi Azikiwe University Teaching Hospital at Nnewi. Who is Chinedu Chukwuneke?
On May 9th 2001, the poorly constructed hostel housing the female medical students caught fire from the gas cooker of one of the students and due to poor exit facilities, it was a big challenge for the students who were caught in the roaring inferno to escape. Rescue was scarce and late in coming in the campus that was tucked into a deep forest clearing, appropriately named Oke-Ofia (the big forest).
A male student who could not stand by and watch his mates incinerated jumped into the burning building and was able to rescue quite a number of the girls before he was choked and burnt to death himself. Six other girls were slso burnt to death with him. They were: Adaobi Amilo, Amara Ezeliorah, Chinenye Nebolisa, Obiageli Muokwugwo, Uchenna OsitaNwosu, and Doris Ben-Ekpo.
Six years later, on 23rd February 2007, the university’s vice chancellor, Prof Ilochi Okafor, commissioned a fully reconstructed and remodified hostel which was named after the heroic Chinedu Chukwuneke. The imposing statue standing before the hostel with the sculpture of the seven victims stands elegantly but morosely as a lasting tribute to this rare show of heroism.