Civil rights advocacy group, Human Rights Writers Rights Association of Nigeria (HURIWA), has asked Edo State’s Police Command to stop speaking for the alleged armed Fulani kidnappers over last weekend’s killing of younger brother of social critic (Omoyele Sowore), Mr. Olajide Sowore.
HURIWA recalled that Sowore, who was a pharmacy student at the Igbinedion University Benin city, Edo State, was reportedly killed by suspected armed Fulani kidnappers at the Okada axis of Edo State.
However, ‘in a dramatic show of shame’, according to HURIWA, Edo State Police Command, on Sunday explained that Felix Olajide Sowore, younger brother of the Sahara Reporters publisher, and convener of #Revolution Now, Omoyele Sowore, who was killed in the early hours of Saturday at the Okada axis of Edo State by some rampaging kidnappers, was just a victim of circumstance.
It said: “At a press conference on Sunday, the Command’s public relations officer, PPRO Bello Kontongs, said the late Sowore, who was driving himself, ran into the kidnappers, who had laid ambush for passengers of a commercial bus, which had broken down Friday night and had spent the night in the community.
“According to him, the deceased was not an occupant of the bus from which five persons were later kidnapped.
“ Kontongs explained that the stranded commuters had returned early on Saturday to pick their personal effects from the bus when the kidnappers opened fire on them and Sowore unknowingly drove into the scene.
“He was just a victim. The kidnappers tried to stop him, but he refused to stop. The bullet hit his car and one of the bullets got him, and he died on the spot”, the PPRO stated.
“Vexed by the police’s lack of discretion and respect for the wrongfully murdered citizen, the Rights group condemned the Nigeria Police, especially the Edo State Police Command for now deciding to become the advocates for armed Fulani kidnappers for whatever reason, rather than work resiliently to bring the perpetrators to justice.
“This colossal and catastrophic policing fiasco is what you get in a Country where merit, competency and professionalism are pushed aside and people get enlisted into important positions in national institutions on the basis of who recommended them for the job. Why should it be the work of the police to defend the activities of kidnappers by saying that Olajide Sowore was killed because he refused to stop? Where were the men and officers of the Edo State police Command when suspected armed Fulani kidnappers took over the highway and succeeded in killing the innocent student?”