My comrade, Alex Ogbu; a hard worker who combines journalism and labour organizing, was shot dead by security Operatives at Berger, Abuja. Far away in Port Harcourt, Chima Ikwunado; a notable mechanic worker, was tortured to death by the police officers attached to E-Crack command.
While Alex was killed at the protests of the Shiites where he was felled, he was not at Berger mainly to cover the protests. He must have tried to cover when the police started shooting at the armless protesting Shiites. Eyewitness report said he was shot directly at, but Mohammed, a Vehicle Inspection Service (VIS) operative had to beg that he was a government worker to get spared from being shot in the head like Alex at the same period at Berger. Meanwhile, Mohammed has been shot in the leg already. That the police has turned the Shiites to “games” for their protests demanding the release of El-Zakzaky must be questioned by all people of conscience. We must demand frankly that the police must stop firing live bullets at protesters!
Chima’s sin alongside his friends was doing their job of testing a repaired car. He alongside the #Ikoku4 were unlawfully arrested and detained by the police with an unfounded allegation of being robbers. Even after Chima’s death and the fact that the owner of the car had retrieved his car by December 30, 2019 stating clearly that his car was never stolen; the police still charged the #Ikoku4 for armed robbery by 9th January, 2020. One of the police officers, one Sergeant Rose was said to have sexually assaulted Chima before his death by horribly “pressing his blucus” while others were torturing.
In both cases, the police has lied even after committing the crime. They said Chima was a robber and had died of diabetes. The police also lied that Alex Ogbu was not shot and that he had hit his head on a stone during the violence. They even deposited Ogbu’s corpse at the morgue as an accident victim.
Now that the lies of the police in the murders of Alex Ogbu and Chima Ikwunado has been exposed, there is a dire need to make salient metaphorical points.
Alex and Chima are workers with organized labour in the informal sector. Alex Ogbu does not have the luxury of working with the terrestrial media nor with the mainstream labour. He was the administrative secretary of National Automobile Technicians Association (NATA). Chima Ikwunado also belongs to NATA by his being a mechanic. Informal workers are worse victims of state brutality and madness. The system keep killing its talents and splitting blood and mud around the nooks and corners of the country. The neo-liberal economic tendencies of the Buhari/APC regime is a continuation of the decimation of formal work and the campaign that people should be self-employed through self-development of skills and talents. Alex and Chima sort for themselves by being so hardworking, instead of the state to protect them and even bless their hustles, they were brutally murdered. This is just a metaphor to the hundreds and thousands that get killed through same similar trajectories.
Government fail to provide jobs nor care about the welfare of citizens. Same government also viciously kills its citizens, after doing same indirectly through the pro-few economic policies that have thrown the millions into deep and deeper jeopardies. The audacity of failure reinforces itself through forceful practical demonstrations of the same audacity. The war against the masses keeps getting messier without even the slightest of democratic pretence of judicial mercy. After all, the majority poor has been physically and psychologically pressured to believe that primitive accumulation comes with honours.
But the backlashes and the fight backs on the #Justice4AlexOgbu and #JusticeforChima has shown that the cancer of state lies cannot anymore hold its fake waters. Millions are behind these campaigns and we must use that chance to show the world that we can continue to open our eyes and allow dirt to prey in. Alex has a wide and daughter. Chima’s wife is heavy with pregnancy. We must campaign to make sure they get compensated. We must also make sure the killer police officials and their commanders are brought to book. We must as well stop the flagrant disobedience of the constitution by demanding that police stop torture and also stop attacking protests and rallies with live firearms.
Meanwhile, we demand immediate justice for the #Ikoku4, who were also almost incapacitated during the horrible torture. Just as we must all unite and demand justice for the millions who are under physical, economic, psychological and political torture and brutalities.