Guest Post: Police brutality in Nigeria (SARS)

I was 6 when I, my parents and two sisters moved into a new flat off Agho. Elo was a few months old and Fegor was 1year old already. My gist partner at the time (my dad) was always travelling and I was made to babysit 2 annoying kids whenever my mum had to go out and as such; adjusting to the move wasn’t easy for me. I was new to the area and I hadn’t made any friends at my new school so for me it was all about trying really hard to cope and shii until the day I met Obehi…
It was one of those not so cool evenings. My mum had left earlier to make her hair so I was babysitting. I had just finished my crying session with my sisters. Yes, I cried with them sometimes. I would suddenly start wailing with them and it’d make them shocked and quiet😂😂
Anyway on this evening, shock became quiet, quiet became sleep and I had peace at last. Exhausted, I took my homework to the verrandah. When I was done with it, I started playing with tied balloons with my arms outstretched from the protector railing. I got distracted then the rope slipped from my hands and all the balloons fell downstairs and burst upon hitting the ground.
They were about 5 balloons and the noise was so loud. Almost immediately, I heard our neighbour’s door open downstairs and I stared wide eyed, expecting Mr John(A strict middle aged Man with grownup kids) to come out and scold me for my noise making. But then it was a Fine light skinned uncle that came out. 
He was a taller and finer version of Mr John so I figured this was his son. But I had never seen him before. I started to greet and apologise for my noise making and he waved it off. I remember him bending to check the fragments of my ruined balloons and saying

Town crier these your balloons are not strong o. How are you?

I nearly peed myself🤦🏽‍♀️

It never occurred to me that others could hear me cry as well when my sisters were crying and the fact that this fine uncle was the first to point it out made me so shy I wanted to runaway. Anyway he asked me my name and I told him and he said his name was Obehi. 
He went to get something down the road and he came back with solid balloons from Mama chief’s shop and threw them upstairs for me since I wasn’t allowed to open the door when no one was home. He leaned on the fence and then we started talking…he officially became my first friend in the area and that was the first of many evenings we spent talking like that.
As conversations begot conversations and questions begot answers, I got to find out he was in his first year in Ambrose Ali University (AAU Ekpoma), the lastborn of Mr John, a lover of dogs and music and sometimes He’d tease me saying I was too small to be asking questions like a police. My dad finished from AAU too and sometimes I would listen to both of them talk about the place and be wishing I was a big girl too so that I’ll go to AAU. 
Bottom line is he was a really fun person sha. It was a long holiday for them so I saw him alot. He even taught me to channel my crying energy to singing for my sisters when I had to baby sit😂😂 instead of crying and disturbing the compound like a mama agba. (Old woman) 
Fast forward to when the holiday came to an end and he had to go back. I was sad. Kept asking him every time, Obehi (He never liked the uncle title) when will you come again?? And he would laugh and say “Policewoman!! let me get there first na, before I will know when I’m coming😂😂” He promised to be back soon though, so I had hoped.  
I wasn’t around the day he left. So I dint get to see what he wore when he was leaving but I always like to think his dressing was made of black. He liked to wear black tees and they always looked great on him because  of his light complexion 
Many weeks passed and It just made me happy knowing that the more the weeks passed, the closer the time for Obehi to come back was. I had plenty plenty gist for for him. Even his mum on some evenings when I greeted her would say “Prepre how are you? You dinnor ask of uncle Obehi today?”😂😂 Na so I worry reach.
During all night service one evening, I saw my dad go out to take a call. He came back looking somewhat worried but I wasn’t sure cos I was kinda sleepy. He mentioned something about police to my mum but I couldn’t hear because of the noise around.
But when we finally got home and I slept, I dreamt of Obehi. It didn’t feel like a dream. It was like I could see him at the door of the room just standing there, watching me, I can’t really place the expression that was on his face but when I made to get up and run to hug him, I woke up.
I felt strangely cold after the dream but I was a child. I dint understand why I suddenly felt sad after. I dint want to tell my mum cos she and my dad still seemed worried about the police issue from the day before. My dad just dropped us at home after the all night and drove off. Still on Police matter…
He was never coming home. He’d never slouch on the fence in the evenings and gist with me again. I would never see him wear black tees and facecap. He was never going to be a daddy to a fine son.  
All the gist I kept for him…I was broken. He was more than a friend to me. He was a brother figure.
It din’t help when I heard the story of what really happened the night he died…
Apparently he was arrested with his friends for walking at night in ekpoma. They were accused of being cultists and tortured in the cell that night. My dad was the only person he could call (meaning he was the one that called while we were at the allnight) My dad then alerted this parents immediately. 
If the arrest had happened during the day my dad’s contacts in ekpoma at the time would have been able to help secure his bail. If it had happened in benin, he would have been released that very night but the distance was too much n all efforts to do so that night were futile. He died of internal bleeding and cold. He died before 6am.

This happened in 2004 but even as i’m typing, everything about it still hurts.

It still hurts to know that he was in pain at that time of the night. It hurts to know that he called my family first even before his own in that difficult moment, it hurts to know that I was going abt my normal life while Obehi was being tortured 2hrs away, it hurts to know that him watching me in my dream may have been his spirit watching around the time he died, it fucking hurts.

This is the reality of many Nigerian homes as a result of Police Brutality.

It’s ironic how he always called me policewoman every time and ended up getting killed by policemen.

MAY HIS SOUL AND SOULS OF EVERY OTHER PERSON WHOSE LIFE WAS CUT SHORT BY POLICE BRUTALITY AND THOSE KILLED IN LEKKI MASSACRE ON 20/10/2020 REST IN POWER!!!

All we are asking for is give us a chance to live. 

For more information about the EndSars protest, click on the links below
#ENDSARS #ENDSWAT #ENDPOLICEBRUTALITY

#ReformTheNigerianPolice #EndBadGovernanceInNigeria

Written by Precious Biose


Many thanks for stopping by, until next time…

Take care, please stay informed and stay safe!

7 thoughts on “Guest Post: Police brutality in Nigeria (SARS)

Add yours

  1. I hope Nigeria will get to a point where we will be able to say good things about her, where hopes become reality, where hard or smart work pay the bills, where past tense become steppingstones not agonizing moments. We have lost our Nigeria to the cold hands of our looting leaders. I hope we get a new nation which we can still call Nigeria

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Hope is the fuel that keeps the vehicle of life moving. Let’s keep the hope as we work toward a new and better Nigeria. Thanks for dropping by and leaving your thoughts.

      Like

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