Citizen Alechi Woko and the demand for justice

Okenyi Kenechi

The shooting to death of Alechi Woko by a DSS officer attached to a military convoy on Monday should not be swept aside.

It is yet another time that those who have been tasked with securing lives and property have made themselves butchers of those that they are meant to protect.

The Rumuokoro axis has, in recent times, become very notorious for police extortion and brutality. A day hardly passes without innocent citizens being manhandled by security officers at Rumuokoro yet everyone moves on as if it is nothing.

In March, a taxi driver simply identified as Bright was shot dead by a police officer on escort duties. The officer quickly fled the scene of the crime having seen his victim bleed from the gunshot that he fired.

Mr Bright, a struggling young man from Abia state had a wife who was nursing a 4-month-old baby before life was snuffed out of him.

Worse still is the fact that the Rivers State Police Command issued a statement saying that the killer-police officer was an out of state officer and his identity unknown.

But one would wonder how the police discovered that the killer-cop was an out-of-state officer if his identity is unknown. Even at that, is it not the duty of the police to investigate such and carry out arrests?

While the Nkpolu community members barricaded the East-West Road on Monday to protest government’s lack of attention to the flooding that has ravaged the area, with businesses forced to shut down, little did they that they would lose one of their own.

Alechi’s crime was coming out, just like everyone, to protest the insensitivity of a government that he voted for, a government that allowed his community to be drenched in the stagnant flood which caused them discomfort.

But more insensitive is the fact that security operatives had to exploit that opportunity to create fear in the minds of the people and cause mayhem. The Nigerian security agencies rarely restrain themselves from using their arms on unarmed civilians. So is the case of the Shiites and unarmed IPOB protesters.

The Rivers State Government could have prevented this unfortunate incident if after boasting on air that the ministry of works will mobilize equipment into the community, the commissioner actually ensured that personnel and equipment were mobilized to take care of the flood.

The denial by the persons involved is unnecessary. There is a need for consequences to be meted out to those who snuff out life from their fellow citizens without having second thoughts about it.

Nigeria cannot afford to continue like this; carrying on like nothing happened each time a citizen is murdered by security agencies. Alechi’s family deserves justice and justice they should get.

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