Bisi Fayemi's Lack Of Empathy
In what appears to be sheer disregard for human lives which smacks empathy and the feelings of humanness, a genuine students' agitation turned bloody in Oye-Ekiti yesterday, 10th of September on the order of Bisi Fayemi, the first lady of Ekiti State. It is very unfortunate that her lips profession of the recognition of peoples' right have been confirmed to be mere lip service as she supervised the killings of innocent and harmless protesting students of Federal University, Oye-Ekiti.
As if that is not enough, the wife of the Ekiti State Governor, Bisi Fayemi bought the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) and Punch Newspaper to twist the story to her favour while blackmailing the students and discrediting the protest that was embarked upon by the students of the University. Though, this is not surprising as it has become a major tactics of an average Nigerian politician, but, what makes this highly embarrassing is the fact that it came from someone whose husband rode into power chanting human rights.
It must be made known that peoples' right to protest is an internationally and even a godly recognized right a derogation of which should not be tolerated in any sense. It would be recalled that these students were peacefully protesting against epileptic power supply in Oye and Ikole which are students dominated areas before the carcade of Bisi Fayemi ran into them. Let it be made known that the lack of electricity in these areas points to governmental inefficiency and failure and the students were still acting within the purview of their right by exhibiting their anger before one of the police officers attached to the wife of the Governor alighted from the vehicle and slapped the President of the Union. This action forced the students to react and descend on the Police officer while the other security officers responded by shooting sporadically at the protesting students leaving two dead and one in critical condition at the Federal Medical Centre, Ido.
It would be recalled that in 1976 during the Ali Must Go protest in Ibadan, the protesting students were pelting the then military administrator of Oyo State, David Jemibewon with sachet water and some other objects. His orderlies got infuriated by this 'unruly' action of the students against David Jemibewon and they wanted to start spraying the students before he stopped them and told them that "they are my children. They are merely showing their dissatisfaction towards the government policy that does not favor them. We shall look into it." This action halted the degeneration of the incidence into an avenue for the flow of blood like the oceans but instead, the students went calm based on the maturity that was displayed by the military administrator.
It is still fresh in our memory how angry people in the UK were seen throwing all sort of objects at their PM, Boris Johnson over the debate on Brexit. Let it be made known that none of the Police officers there made any attempt to shoot at the people, rather, the Prime Minister was whisked away.
But, it is highly embarrassing and against all known rules of engagements for Police officers to go as far as shooting harmless protesters that were basically showing their dissatisfaction towards what appears to be governmental failure and ineptitude in a state that is acclaimed to be the 'state of knowledge'. Where then is the wisdom in you supervising the killings of innocent and harmless students?
Nothing justifies the police killing of defenseless and harmless protesting students of Oye-Ekiti, and, the Police officers involved in this barbaric killings must be made to atone for the death and the families wholesomely compensated. It has always been demanded for that the Police should cease killing innocent persons just to make a point as we have witnessed many extra-judicial killings supervised and carried out those at the top echeleons of the country, a typical example of which is the recent killings of protesting students of Oye-Ekiti.
It is on this basis that recommendations are made for the prosecution of the Police Officers involved in this killing, the prosecution of Bisi Fayemi and the immediate reform of the Nigerian Police Force as this would help reduce abuse of firearms by our psychotic and overzealous Police Officers.
Kazeem Olalekan Israel (GANI) writes from Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife.