It is all relative. If we don’t make a big deal of any member of our society being murdered, it will be very difficult to get any resolution to the ones we deemed untouchable.
Reading Adeolu Ademoyo’s article “Of Snipers, Unresolved Murders, and All That” is very painful to read as a Nigerian and of course it should be a concern for everyone as ‘iku to n pa ojugba eni, owe lo n pa fun ni.’ The article was about the unresolved case surrounding assassination of Bola Ige, more details here
While the death of Bola Ige was a big blow to Nigeria, so are many, many more people famous or otherwise, politicians, lecturers, colleagues, market women, fathers, mothers, students etc get murdered and all we did was shout and shortly all is swept under the carpet. And don’t forget, next time it might be either you or family or someone else in the community.
In 1999 Professor Ajayi Dopemu was brutally killed in his home at University of Ilorin, the reason being that he was part of the investigative team working to fish out those who were in the system without required papers for university admissions – for doing his job, he was massacred, today, his murderers are still walking freely on our roads. And given this was done by university students, they are likely in our public offices now doing what they knew best to anyone with opposing views.
I do not know Prof. Ajayi Dopemu personally, however, being a former student of Osun State College of Education (OSCOED) Ilesa, where he was a provost before going to university of Ilorin, I have met him and thought he was the most articulate teacher that I have ever met, so welcoming in his gestures and brutally honest. The quality that is very hard to come by in college professors. I used to live just opposite of OSCOED at 10 by 10 hostel. My hostel at the time was notorious for being home for gangs causing troubles in and around campus, but the truth was that it wasn’t the case as most students get on with their studies. Prof. Dopemu was the first and only leader figure who showed interest in learning about our challenges with accommodation in the area. He called a meeting, invited representatives from all the hostels in the area – all our hostels are privately owned. In the meeting, he showed that he cared, he listened, never raised his voice and noted all the points and promised he would find a way to communicate our concerns to our landlords – we knew he could not magically solve our problems especially at 10 by 10 where we had 6 pit toilets for at over 80 students (the rooms were meant for 40). Prof Dopemu encouraged everyone to speak up so much so that the village girl me said a bit of my mind and felt heard.
The main problem that students living in privately owned accommodation were skyrocketed rental increase every year and lack of maintenance.
Now you can imagine my horror when I read about him being cut into pieces for helping to clean our education system University of Ilorin. Like many Nigerians, not knowing any of his family members, I mourned him privately.
And to think that I was at Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU) the night that Afrika and his fellow students were killed and actually only chatted with Tunde a few hours before his untimely death gives me goose pumps every time I think of it.
This is an ethical issues. To get resolution to the many unresolved murder cases of the high-profile individuals in the country, let’s not forget the not-so-high profile ones whose blood are still boiling for justice.
Now, you see Mr Adeolu Ademoyo, you are not alone, in fact a lot of us think about the injustice of our country daily.
The question is what do we do about it?