Last week Friday many Nigerians demanded justice for a 16 year old girl, Tina Ezekwe, who was shot and killed by a trigger happy police officer, at the Iyana Oworo area of Lagos on Tuesday.
According to reports the police officer was trying to arrest a bus conductor who violated the nation wide-lockdown imposed by the Government. Amidst their altercation, it was said the officer shot the bus driver with Tina getting caught in the crossfire. After the incident she was rushed to the hospital however, she died 2 days later.
This incident is only a minute part of a larger conversation on the ineptitude of the Nigerian police force. The people who are meant to protect their citizens are killing them. This unfortunately does not come as a surprise as police brutality is deeply woven in the fabric of our society.
According to the NOI Polls conducted in May 2019, “4 in 10 Nigerians specified that they have either been or know someone who has been brutalized by police personnel”. The report further states that “the Nigerian Senate passed the Police Reform Bill in April 2019 for presidential assent. One of the outstanding features of the bill is that it provides an internal disciplinary mechanism for any police officer that maltreats or kills an innocent citizen”.
Thankfully the two officers suspected of the shooting have been arrested however, Tina is part of a long bloody record of innocent people that have fallen victim to police brutality. We still have a long way to go before we witness any changes in this lifetime. This will happen again and again as long as we’re silent, as long as we’re compliant and as long as we allow injustice to fester in our judicial system.
We make a difference through spreading awareness on violence against women, keeping the conversation alive and supporting gender based organisations such as WARIF (Women at risk International Foundation). A non-profit organization committed to fighting against sexual assault, rape and human trafficking of young girls and women across Nigeria. Enough is enough.
See also: Justice For Uwa!