Nigeria, if not first, has to rank way high among the list of nations where sanctity of human lives is nonexistent or treated with palpable disdain. This cringe worthy disposition is perfectly exhibited by security agencies and public officials. It is easier for the camel to pass through the eye of the needle than for the citizenry to go a week without getting to hear about police brutality on citizens they are paid to protect in any part of the country.
Ours is a country of inexactitude. An enclave of ‘anyhowness’. The situation becomes even more unsettling and worrisome when it appears those—the government—who are expected to curb the excesses of power drunk security operatives are also, albeit implicitly, egging this unconscionable characters on through there deafening silence and there refusal to bring them to book.
On 10th of September, a peaceful protest embarked on by the students of federal university of Oye In Ekiti turned bloody when a police officer, who happened to be one of the security details of the state Governor’s Wife, Bisi Fayemi, gunned down two of the Protesters. The First lady who was on a mission to carry out one of her poverty alleviation programmes for rural woman in the state was approached by the students to address them on the pathetic power situation in the school and its hostels, but in response to the students request the security details of the first lady unleash mayhem on the hapless students and all hell broke loose.
What started as a simple altercation between restless students and overzealous police officers degenerated into full blown melee that saw the officers shot live bullets at students that pose no threat to their lives and in the process killing two students. Consequently, frustration boiled over and the students, enraged by the killing of two of their own, became rampageous.
“Abominable, Abhorrent and unconscionable” is the way human right activist and #EndSar convener, Segun Awosanya described the killing, he vowed that he would stop at nothing to make sure justice is served on the issue.
The first lady had said she did not order the killing of the students but every available sign point to the fact that the police acted at her behest.
In bizzare twist of event that seems to push away blame from the killer of the students, the commissioner for police in Ekiti said “Two persons have been arrested and one of them had confessed to the commission of the crime.“When a crime is committed, we don’t fold our arms and watch. Even a civilian can effect arrest if crime is committed in front of him and hand the suspect over to the police,”
The feelers we are getting now, which is a commendable one is that the management of the university, led by its Vice Chancellor, Prof. Kayode Soremekun, has set up a 12-man investigative panel to look into the root cause of the violent protest.A memo signed by the Director of Administration in the office of the Vice Chancellor, Mr. Olatunbosun Odusanya, said the panel would be headed by Deputy Vice Chancellor, Prof. Abayomi Fasina.
The management, according to the memo, gave the panel two weeks to submit its report. However, the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) in the South-West geo-political zone has condemned the use of live ammunition on the student demonstrators, resulting in the killing of at least two students by the police.
Throughout the history of mankind and across the world, the place of youths, especially students, in nation’s building and advancement of a country in every sphere of development is extremely crucial and not something to be treated with scant regard or utter levity.
But in Nigeria the opposite seems to be the case, aside from refusal of the old orders who have somewhat ruled the country since independence to relinquish power to the more dynamic and intelligent youths, they have also embarked on the systemic inculcation of fear in them that’s aimed at making it difficult for the youths to stand up to them, and where this strategy does not work they go for the jugular which is to annilate them.