I wonder if Bob Marley had Nigerians in mind when he wrote the song "Who The Cap Fit" because indeed, man to man is so unjust. I watched a horrific video this morning and it has traumatised me so badly that I have cried and I have been unable to eat anything.
On Thursday, 15th December 2016, suspected Okada riders and miscreants along Point Road in Apapa, lynched Mr. Tunji Bakare to death in the worst possible way. Mr Bakare, who was the Apapa Zonal Head, Lagos State Traffic Management Authority (LASTMA), was on duty controlling and regulating traffic when he was attacked by these angry savages.
The video showed Mr. Bakare, beaten and battered, inside a filthy gutter and despite him being so weak and in agony, those savages kept pelting him with heavy stones and tires aimed at his head. Sources say after the video, Bakare was subjected to worse treatment as he was stabbed and had both eyes gouged out. How can humans treat their fellow human in such an ungodly animalistic manner? Even animals do not torture themselves to death, talk less of humans with feelings, emotions, sense and blood running through their veins. Man to man is so unjust and evil.
Some witnesses at the scene say that some trucks were parked illegally along the road and upon sighting Bakare, the truck drivers rushed into their trucks in a bid to speed off and escape penalties for flouting traffic laws. Apparently, one of the drivers did not know that there was young bus boy sleeping underneath his truck and so he ran over the sleeping lad, killing him instantly. This angered the Hausa okada riders, who felt that Bakare was to be blamed for the lad's death since the truck drivers were fleeing LASTMA and the long arm of the law. They set on him, beating him up, stoning him, stabbing him and removing his eyes.
No one deserves to die in such a gruesome manner, least of all a government official on duty. This nefarious act went on for quite a while and I find it really disturbing that the police, who were initially at the scene but said to have fled as soon as the lynching began, were not able to mobilise and reinforce themselves and return to the scene to rescue poor Mr. Bakare. I am very angry and upset that his death could have been totally avoided if only we take security and human lives seriously in this country. If a government official could be murdered in broad daylight and in cold blood like that, what hope is there for us mere mortals?
This post is an appeal to Governor Ambode to wade in and address the issue of security in Lagos State. It is our fundamental human right to be kept safe and to feel safe in a town where we live, work and pay our taxes. I had an accident some weeks ago and as bad and near fatal as the accident was, most of those who gathered to peep the wreckage were there to rob us. My iPhone was nicked at the scene as they swarmed around our wrecked vehicle, while trying to steal more stuff. The trauma I have been going through has more to do with the attempted robbery rather than the accident itself. No one called for help, all they wanted was a piece of our belongings. Does it mean if my colleague and I had not survived the accident, they would have left our bodies in the vehicle while stealing our stuff?
This man's demise is similar to my experience and the only difference was that I got myself away from the scene as quickly as we could. Bakare was not so lucky, no one came to his rescue. Not even the ones who kept recording rather than placating the bloodthirsty murderers. Yes, that's whether they are. Anyone who participates in jungle justice is a MURDERER, plain and simple.
Bakara's family as distraught, as I type, but even though I know nothing is going to bring him back from the dead, I sincerely hope the family would get justice and compensation from the government whom their beloved served until his demise. If you as a Nigerian who has had unpleasant experience with LASTMA think for a second that his death was justifiable, then you are part of what is wrong with our country. We cannot continue to take laws into our hands because we feel the government would not follow through in getting justice for those who do wrong and run foul of the laws. Every life matters.
|Rest In Peace Tunji Bakare|