YNaija Editorial: For Demola & Others Dearly Departed – May Their Deaths Count for Much and a New Nigeria

 …may their deaths count for much and a New Nigeria 

 

Our hearts go out to those who have lost their loved ones – it is our prayer that these deaths would not be in vain.

Yesterday, the news filtered in, first as a rumour, then it was confirmed- it was the first casualty from the mass protests by Organised Labour and a civil society coalition.

On Monday, 9 January, 2012, Ademola Aderinde was killed by a policeman from the Pen Cinema Police Station of the Ifako-Ijayo Local Government Council.

Interestingly, Aderinde wasn’t a protester and was only playing football. According to an eye-witness:

 “The policemen from pen cinema suddenly appeared at Yaya Abatan today and started shooting sporadically. CSP Segun Fagbemi’s team shot Demola, one of the young men in the area and injured 3 others. Demola ran after being shot but gave up in a few minutes.”

According to Rita Biovwuyi, a PR consultant and friend to the deceased, the four protesters shot at Yaya Abatan / Thomas Salako junction by the DPO Pen Cinema, Agege, at about 9.30am today are Mr Ademola of Aderinto Street who died on the spot. Others lying critically injured at the County Hospital, Ogba are Idara Monday of 33 Abeokuta Street, Ogba, Samuel Ebujor of 31 Abeokuta Street, Ogba and Abubakar Alimi of 16 Odebiyi Street, Haruna, Ogba.

Policeman, Victor Okafor allegedly fired the fatal gunshot ‎. According to other eyewitnesses at the scene, Okafor and some of his colleagues arrived in a vehicle with the plate number; RRS 101 LA. Eight other cops came down with him; they fired 2 shots in the air and then continued sporadically.

 “I was running when I felt something hit me,” said one of the victims. “I didn’t even know it was a bullet till I saw blood then they rushed me to the hospital.”

Added victim recounted his ordeal: “When I was coming from the bus stop where I went to read sports news, I saw the policemen shooting in the air, suddenly the bullet just hit me and I found myself here (hospital).”

It is a familiar, sadly even expected, story.

Unfortunately, the hospital refused to treat them (another familiar story).

According to the matron on duty, recorded on television, private hospitals are not allowed to treat bullet victims without a police report. This is despite well documented directives from the office of the Inspector General of Police to the contrary. The victims were rushed to another hospital (County Hospital, Ogba) after a police report was received from Area G police station.

The young people rushed back to the police station to “deal with” the officers, but were stopped by the Channels Television crew and the council chairman, Oloruntoba Oke. The DPO has since been arrested and is detained at the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) office in Ikeja, he will possibly be charged for murder.

The Lagos State Commissioner of Police has also apologised to the family of the deceased over this sad incident.

Across the nation, many have yet died – some as collateral damage, including the confirmed death of an ‘okada’ rider that died in avoiding a bonfire in Ketu. There have been other deaths reported in Kano, Ibadan, Osogbo and then in Benin (the Red Cross confirmed 5 dead) stemming from the Boko Haram protests. It has ultimately become a case of avoidable deaths as the Nigerian government has neglected to responsibly engage protesters or in some cases, the police has sort to repress angry Nigerians by violence.

The Inspector-General of Police, Hafiz Ringim totalled the number of people dead  so far from the nationwide protests at three – but since we share the natural scepticism of Nigerians over police claims and considering that the Red Cross already confirmed 5 dead, it is easy to assume that the casualty figure is much worse. This makes us terribly sad. 

Our hearts go out to those who have lost their loved ones – it is our prayer that these deaths would not be in vain, as Nigerians fight a battle to reclaim their country.

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Comments (5)

  1. Nike,

    Which part of my message said it's okay for police to take any life?

    For your information, if you die, under any circumtance, the world moves on. Same with me. I am therefore not under dellusion that I should put myself in harms way for a cause. I did that during the June 12 riot and to my charin found out that the Abacha, IBB, and Abiola families dined together, while we the masses put our lives on the line and many lost their lives for the cause of June 12. Guess what? Life went on.

    So dear Nike, I know your type – an embittered Buharist. Who you are and who you voted for in the last election is irrelevant and does not in any way diminish the points that I raised. Open up your books, let's know who is pulling the strings of this Occupy movement that seems to have no focus or influence. And has taken a murderous turn in the North.

    Is occupynigeria funded by El Rufai? Is it led by CPC party agents?

    You can't demand transparency from the government when you have a shady operation.

  2. Dear Chude,

    After you identified the dearly departed and his friends as football players and not protesters, you went on to say, "According to Rita Biovwuyi, a PR consultant and friend to the deceased, the four protesters shot at Yaya Abatan / Thomas Salako junction by the DPO Pen Cinema, Agege, at about 9.30am today are Mr Ademola of Aderinto Street who died on the spot. Others lying critically injured at the County Hospital, Ogba are Idara Monday of 33 Abeokuta Street, Ogba, Samuel Ebujor of 31 Abeokuta Street, Ogba and Abubakar Alimi of 16 Odebiyi Street, Haruna, Ogba."

    Those are my facts gathered from your editorial.

    Second, the picture. There's no place I suggested that the picture has any of the dearly departed in it or it is of that incident. My point, which deals with a wider issue, is that is it right for a news story (an editorial being a commentary on a burning issue), to carry a 'stock' image? Surely, you can find a decent picture (unoffensive, if you will) depicting police brutality which actually happened during the protest you are commenting on. I know you will jump up to argue and perhaps my point is arguable. I would be let down if I picked up a Time of Newsweek, and the picture used to tell a story is of an event that has nothing to do with that story and the editors don't have the courtesy to indicate that such is the case.

    But it's rather worrisome the trend in reporting this particular news event. Where the reporters (news organisations and citizen reporters) who have decided to throw facts out the window. Journalism where anything goes breeds the kind of awful system we have today.

    Thank you.

  3. Ugo Ene,

    (pardon my lack of 'dear')I find your comment objectionable becos like most callous people, you leave the substance and are chasing the shadow. Did people die or not? That is the question. What bearing does the picture used matter in the face of that? If they were protesters nko? Does that make it ok for them to be killed for having an opinion? or a voice? Afterall, as daft as it is you also do have one. Please let's not become inhuman becos we are blinded by what we will eat (and I use 'we' loosely here). Why is it Occupy Nigeria that should be proving something when the government has had all this doublespeak and image laundering going on? Remove your head from your ass and please educate your mind. This is not about subsidy alone!!!Its about getting rid of a bogus elite that keeps raping our polity-do not be misled!!!

  4. Dear Ugo Ene,

    The picture was not captioned as the deceased, if you notice. We have a picture of the deceased but have made an editorial decision not to publish. We also refer to protesters generally and not this particular protesters – thus we never referred to the deceased as a protester. Please re-read the piece to be sure you understood the piece before you charge – perhaps you are need to check your 'facts' appreciation.

    Regards.

  5. If Demola and co were playing football when they were shot, why do you proceed to call them protesters in later references.

    The picture you used for this editorial has been questioned. Was it taken during this protests? Many say, not so.

    These deaths are they because government has refused to 'engage' with people whose motives are questionable in staging protests. Are these protests really the people's protests are are CPC protests. Yesterday, Tunde Bakare changed the demand from fuel price to 'Jonathan must go'. Let the Occupy Nigeria people open up their books, let's know how they are funded. It's time EL Rufai stopped dancing in the shadows. Even this dishonest Fashola and Tinubu funding protests in Lagos, did he not spearhead a call by state governors for the FG to remove fuel subsidies?

    It's important we get our facts right as news media so that we don't mislead people.

cool good eh love2 cute confused notgood numb disgusting fail