We Can’t breathe’ and Nigerian Experience


Dr, Onakoya Abdulkereem

We can’t really breathe. Someone, somewhere, somehow should come to our aid. There is a knee on our necks.

Few weeks ago, the world cried over the brutal death of a 46-year old ‘caring father’ and ‘loving person’, George Floyd who was murdered by a Fired City Police Officer, Derek Chauvin in Minneapolis, the United States of America.

Sad to know that this guy was killed over a ‘fake 20 dollars paper’ he purportedly spent in a shop in the city of Minneapolis.

His death was a complicated homicide by officers who taunted him while holding him down for more than eight minutes. And the officer who stood by doing nothing was a physical ‘blue shield’. A living symbol of the code of silence.

The two medical examinations conducted later revealed that he died of acute ‘mechanical asphyxia’ – compression of his neck and prevention of bloodflow to his brain. It was really a ‘cold blood’.

The whole world went into a serious mourn over his death and there grew an endless call to stop the ‘systemic racism’ and the hatred of the blacks throughout the world.

A defund of the police force was suggested to the Trump’s government with special attention to social services which is crying for help amid this COVID-19 in the US.

On the 9th June, 2020, Floyd was laid to rest beside his mother in Texas, US with thousands of mourners calling for justice and the end of police brutality against the blacks all over the world.

The call was furthered in France, Belgium, the UK etc with inscriptions such as ‘I can’t breathe’ ‘black must live’ etc.

In the UK, the statue of the popular Rhodes in the Oxford University was demanded to be brought down by angry protesters.

In Belgium, the statue of the famous King Leopold II has been damaged.

In Senegal, West Africa, the popular Goree Island where more than a million Africans were kept by the whites before crossing them through the Atlantic to the Americas was besieged by a lot of sympathisers as he was buried in the US.

Undoubtedly, this is an era of political turmoil in the US. President Trump and his Democrats Opponent, Joe Biden were at ‘Word Trade’.

In a tweet recently released by Trump, he showed little or no concern to the death of a 75-year old man who was protesting the death of Floyd in Minneapolis and the growing protest across the country as he continues his bid to elongate his tenure come November this year. This according to some Democrats Governors like Andrew Cuomo of the New York is disheartening and mean.

We can’t really breathe at home here in Nigeria. Our politicians are kneeling on our necks, suffocating us. Blocking the bloodflows to our brains.

They are starving us to death. They are strangulating us. They are strangling us. They are killing us.

Our economy is bad. Our health sector is battered. They have successfully killed our schooling system. We can’t feed ourselves anymore. Our environment is polluted. Our roads are worsened. Our culture is eroded. Our wellbeing is crushed. Our future is damaged.

COVID-19 is another excuse to ‘deal with us the more’. A cut in the 2020 budget. It only affects our major sectors – education and health. The House of the ‘Demagogues’ remains untouched. Their salaries and allowances stood affirm. They worry less.

Hunger remains our endemic. Poverty is not leaving our shores. Our children have been out of school. Our farms have been emptied. Our purses have been drained. We can’t breathe.

We are left with nothing. We are crying for help. The ‘ambulance’ is becoming our ‘hearse’. Death is imminent.

They are ‘Derek Chauvin’ while we helplessly maintain our Floyd’s status.

Dr. ONAKOYA, Abdulkareem is the Director, Political Dynamics, Lagos, Nigeria. Email: cheikhabdkareem@yahoo.com

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