The story of Umuida Community in Igbo Eze North Local Government area of Enugu state is never complete without the mention of a certain mentally challenged man named Johnson Otagba.
Mr Otagba who hails from Iñere village has continued to occupy a special spot in the history of the community having turned out to be the first person to kickstart the project of building a storey building in the community.
The dreadlock-wearing man who started the construction of his house which turned out to be the first storey building in the community in the 80s, according to findings.
The visibly and mentally challenged man also known Kpekwure by locals, sources revealed, singlehandedly sourced for the building materials of his house and prosecuted the job himself without involving the services of engineers and mason workers despite his mental state.
When a team of Oceanicnews reporters visited him at his residence, he was seen cohabiting with a fellow mentally challenged woman. Though he wasn’t hostile, the landlord and owner of a storey building acknowledged greetings reporters from the first floor of his dangerously bent building showed no interest in responding to posers from his uninvited visitors.
Sources in the village revealed that it has been a tradition for Mr Johnson to pick fellow mentally challenged women at the market and bring them home for cohabitation.
When Oceanicnews correspondent visited, his house which has remained uncompleted for ages was seen standing with funny architectural designs.
The ground floor has broken mirrors and glasses fitted on the wall.
Residents expressed regret that a man who has the attributes of a genius got afflicted with mental health at the earliest stage of his life this depriving the village of tapping from the obvious potentials of Mr Otagba. Stressing further, they said that it has remained a mystery to people, how a man in a mentally challenged state could come up with the thought of building not just a house, but a storey building and still went ahead to ensure his dreams came to pass. They however expressed shock that the derkins of the two storey building has continued to withstand the test of time while some projects done by certified engineers are reportedly collapsing.