Why Ige's assassination demands better security
for all Nigerians, not just leaders

By Rev. Augustine Ogbunugwu

 Special to USAfrica The Newspaper, Houston

The December 23, 2001 assassination in Ibadan of Chief Bola Ige, Minister of Justice and the Attorney General of Nigeria demands that the government of retired Gen. Olusegun Obasanjo should not let this dastardly action pass as it has allowed on other occasions when innocent Nigerian lives had been wasted.

Minister of Information Prof. Jerry Gana has started telling Nigerians the importance of giving extra-extra super security to the people at the top, so that they will be better protected. But my message to Prof. Gana and his group is that they are making another grievous mistake. If the government of Gen. Obasanjo wants to help the situation, they should protect and care about the peasants of that country who have been going through hell. No amount of bandaging or heaping of cotton wool will help a decomposing sore.

To help that sore, one should scrape every coating on it, look at the nature and the size of the sore and begin to treat it. Nigeria does not need to excort every minister with an armored car and a helicopter or assign a platoon of soldiers to every local government chairman when the basic security organ of government, the police force is allowed to rot away.

Here in the United States, it will take not more than two minutes for a local police to answer to a call from one in distress. Nigeria does not even need to have a federal police force anymore. If Nigeria had cared about the things that should have been cared for or about, maybe Bola Ige and others like him would be alive.

If Nigeria had invested in training and equipping her police force instead of building a trillion dollar stadium from where they will steal all the money, someone should have been able to rush help to the security after they were confronted at Ige's home. No one cares to do what they were elected to do. What our leaders would do was to begin to steal money for reelection one year into their first tenure and this is from Federal to Local Government level. They are telling us the security guards of the minister were overpowered and expect us to clap for them. What happened to the Nigerian police?

Nigeria will begin to mend when those that love their country and the people begin to take position in government. Nigeria is a country where you will be driving on the street and human corpses are allowed to rot on the street. Those are children born to families and precious in their own little ways too and no one cares about such people. Nobody even records their death.

There is a saying that when an epidemic clears those on the borders it will travel inland. Let Nigerians find time to sit down and talk and see how to live together or part ways peacefully. To me every life is very very sacred and should be protected with the same degree of care.

God bless Nigeria.
Ogbunugwu, pastoral leader of the All Saints Anglican Church in Houston, is one of the chaplains of the USAfrica Prayer Breakfast (which holds on the last Saturday of every January. In 2002, it will be on the 26th at the Holiday Inn, Houston/Sugarland. 713-270-5500)

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