Houston Nigerians Host Vigil For Day Care Children

By Carl Willis

Published On: Feb 17 2012 02:39:17 PM CST   Updated On: Mar 12 2011 07:47:00 AM CST
Jessica Tata
HOUSTON -

In wake of tragedy Houston's Nigerian community is reaching out to the families of those who lost their precious children in a day care fire, Local 2 reported Saturday.

Dozens of people, including relatives of some of the victims, held a vigil Saturday evening in Southwest Houston.

"It's showing us that something positive can come out of a tragedy," said Emmanuel Kajoh, father of Elizabeth Kajoh who died in the Feb. 24th fire.

Former daycare operator Jessica Tata, who has been charged with manslaughter, is of Nigerian decent and is believed to have fled to Nigeria after the fatal fire.

Members of her community said they are concerned that she's cast them in a negative light.

This especially hits home with Kajoh and Betty Ukera, Elizabeth's mother. They, too, are of Nigerian descent.

"I don't think what Jessica did is typical of Nigerians," Ukera said.

Ukera said she and her husband applaud the recent announcement that the U.S. Marshals Service is "aggressively pursuing" Tata. They said she's been placed on the agency's 15 most wanted list and a reward for $25,000 is being offered for her capture.

However, Ukera said an arrest won't bring back her baby or little Kendyll Stradford, Elias Castillo, or Shomari Dickerson.

"These kids were so precious and innocent," Ukera said. "There is no justice."