Wednesday, November 5, 2008

"YES THEY CAN" - Armed Nigerian Naval Men Abuse Power

Two days ago, on Monday, November 3rd, 2008, 6 armed naval officials attached to a Rear Admiral, identified as Harry Arogundade, severely beat and publicly disgraced a young woman, identified as an employee of Price Waterhouse Coopers. Uzoma Okere was assaulted for not moving over quickly enough for the navy convoy as it tried to tear through traffic on Muri Okunola Street, Victoria Island, Lagos.

During the course of the violent public confrontation, she was beaten with gun butts and horsewhips, ripping off her clothing. When the navy men were done dealing with the young woman, they "forcibly handcuffed and dragged" her into a private residence on the street. She was left with "a battered face, blood-shot eyes and bruises all over her body" and later on admitted to a hospital nearby.

The Nigerian Navy has tried to shift responsibility for the actions of its officials by assigning blame to the victim, who they say provoked the incident. This official response accused the victim of making up stories to "embarrass" the Admiral.

(The information above has largely been drawn from an article published by Punch newspaper today, Wednesday, November 5th, 2008.)

I heard about this incident today, on the same day that the world's most powerful nation elected it's first black President. Throughout today, i have heard people echo the slogan, "Yes We Can," over and over again because they have been inspired and believe that Nigeria can grow and develop into a strong democratic nation with a booming economy. Many have talked, argued and debated over the possibility of attaining Vision 2020 - a vision that sees Nigeria as one of the top 20 leading economies in the world by the year 2020.

Most of us stayed up throughout the night to witness history in the making and as a result are more convinced that "yes we can" reach Vision 2020. However, having seen the video of this incidence, I question whether our country can progress if the civil liberties of citizens such as Uzoma Okere can be publicly violated in such a manner. How can we boast to be a democratic nation if public officials can publicly commit such an act and remain unpunished. Over the past few years, we have talked about corruption and hoped that institutions such as the EFCC will clean up our society. However, we are still waiting. This incidence proves that little has been done. If our leaders are unable to act appropriately and responsibly, we must take matters into our own hands.

Please take a look at the link below and join me by lending your voice to this note so that we can raise awareness and draw the attention of those who are in the position to do something about this.

Aisha B.



I haven't really been on blogville as I should this week. But I just heard of this. Abuse of power is far too common in many parts of Nigeria. Anyway, I am off to sleep early tonight so I can catch up on news with a clear head.

God bless Nigeria

1 + The One said...

This is a total disgrace, as a woman I feel sad/ashamed/mad/upset/vengeful.We know events like this happened in the military regime and it would be a total disgrace on the democratic era and the leadership that was "democratically" elected if nothing is done about this matter. ALL the perpetrators including the NAMED officer should face the music. It should be a lesson to anyone who thinks he is above the law. Do they not understand that in a democratic dispensation the PEOPLE/ELECTORATE, hold the power?! This nonsense has to stop!
The lady's employers should also take up the case as a body to lend more weight to the campaign. We must learn to speak up for our right!

Jaja said...

I saw the video yesterday, was disturbed as I often am because of it. My friends in Nigeria dont know of this because its not on the news... How to get attention to the story? Do you know anyone in media in Nigeria?? I dont know anyone, I cant develope apathy, so what can I do? direct me

Sherri said...

i was going to put a post up about it.
there's a petition in the works.i'll let u know the link when i get it.

how are u sis?

Anonymous said...

this is the height of imbecility ...beating up an innocent girl silly and stripping her naked. what kind of barbarians are we recruiting in our armed forces?
but they are not alone going by what is making the rounds these days. the sss is arresting people and torturing them in their cells. 50 youths arrested in katsina state because of their religious belief. one day we may have to check with the authorities before you pray eh.

guerreiranigeriana said...

...absolutely outrageous!!!...just doesn't make sense...makes you wonder...

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Naapali said...

I am glad that a protest has started and pray it continues. As the US elections have shown, the collective voice of the people is more powerful than any tyranny can suppress.

NaijaBabe said...

Is that why she was treated in that manner???
What rubbish utterances do nigerian make?

She provoked them? as in WTH?? This is sheer brutality and those men should be beaten to a pulp and then shot by firing squad...(ok maybe not shot, but then it'd be good to see the fear in their faces when they are told that).

Their boss too should be publicly humiliated for sitting on his fat black ass and watching such inhumane actions go on whilst he sat there in his car.

Arrant Nonsense...I'm vexed!!!

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