A mother was killed by a policeman in Onipanu, but Nigerians think Pepsi’s mockery of police brutality is okay

by Tolu Omoyeni

Pepsi is the number one trending topic on Twitter today.

The world, Nigerians inclusive, are reacting to a newly-released ad by the beverage company and while all our conversations seem to be wrapped around something we’ll soon all agree to be trivial, about 70 Syrians have died in a chemical attack.

Back home in Nigeria, a woman has been killed, Kudirat Adebayo has been killed by another trigger-happy policeman. You probably just read that line and thought to yourself “but that’s not new. Na so Naija police dey do”. Well, that’s right. It’s not new and now, we have so internalized police brutality and killing that we have grown insensitive to cries for justice for lives that have been lost as a result.

A Nigerian cried out on Twitter NG all Tuesday night posting photos of a woman who had just been shot by a policeman known as Tboy in the Onipanu area of Lagos. Minutes later, he reported that Mrs Adebayo had taken her last breath and there was bound to be a mob action protesting her death.

Wednesday morning, there isn’t a physical mob action in Onipanu, Lagos neither is there a virtual mob action on Twitter where the incident was first reported. In fact, most of the comments on the thread read something like “This is what the police do everyday, it’s just sad”. It’s now clear that Nigerians have resigned to fate, we have accepted that our policemen are bullies and guess what, they have won.

Rather than get angry and fight, we have become satisfied with expressing sadness and then moving on. These monsters in uniform have won the battle, it’s why officer Tboy still walks free and will most likely escape any form of punishment for murdering that woman on Tuesday night.

But maybe it’s not a Nigerian problem anymore, maybe it’s the problem with the world. It’s the exact reason policemen in the United States have charges against them dropped after they cut off black lives.

Statistics have it that more than 100 unarmed black men were killed by police officers in the US in 2015. Only 10 of those police officers were charged and only two were convicted for these crimes. So you see that it’s the world that has gone askew and we have a larger issue to address and it’s not only a Nigerian problem but it is not beyond us just yet.

Mrs Adebayo’s son has clamoured non-stop on social media and all he cries for is to bury his mum and get justice for her indiscriminate killing. But will he get justice? The honest truth is we’re not sure but he most likely won’t. The Nigerian Police is yet to respond or even accept responsibility for the crime their own man has committed. So where do we even begin from?


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