Emmanuel Franklyne Ogbunwezeh, Johann Wolfgang Goethe Universität, Frankfurt, Germany responds to No. 956 on police torture


The Vanguard online of 28th July reported that the Nigerian government represented by one absentee-minister that calls himself Frank Nweke jr. denied those reports as containing no iota of truth.


Well, the Nigerian government has overreached itself as a past master in official denial of facts that even ostriches with heads buried in sand are well aware of.  A few examples will essay to prove our points here.


This was the way the government treated the 2003 European Union Election observers report, with Jerry Gana and Obj making feeble attempts to discredit the report. But the Supreme Court lead Judgement and dissenting opinion on the suit filed by Muhammadu Buhari are in agreement that the massive regularities graced the elections, as was duly reported by EU observers.


Transparency International ranking of Nigeria as the 3rd most corrupt country in the world received the same kind of lame denial. But the government has not shown the world one person convicted of corruption since its anti-corruption war started. The Vincent Azie report in 2003 proved what everybody knew all along: that the greatest range of corrupt practices goes on in the presidency. Osuji, Wabara, were sacrificed. Tafa Balogun is still stalling his trial. But tony Anenih that squandered 300billion builing or rehabilitating Nigerian roads in the planet Mars, is walking the streets a free man, without as much as a question on how he spent those funds. Obasanjo is still asking the citizens to do the investigative work of the police and EFCC before IBB could be charged to return Nigeria’s money that he stole to the people.


When Chinua Achebe wrote Obasanjo rejecting the national honour bestowed on him in protest for the engineered decimation of his home state, the government went on the same kind of lame apologetics to discredit Achebe. The same treatment was given to Abubakar Umar’s critique of the administration’s excesses. Furthermore, Obasanjo faced with the statistics that over 70% of Nigerians are living below the poverty line, countered that Nigerians are not poor.


I am sorry that I have to be harsh, because falsehood like a metastasizing cancer invites a very decisive chemotherapy if it is not to replicate and contaminate healthy cells. I have no apologies in stating that if Frank Nweke jr. believed himself and the lies he is peddling, that he should be canonized the most arrant liar of the 21st century. What is false about the Human Rights Watch report? Is it a lie that the Nigerian Police Force treats Nigerians like an army of occupation, usurping properties, killing people, raping women and maiming innocent people who refuse to cough out some 20 naira bribe?


If he believes himself, he is either a liar or he is suffering from some amnesia. The Apo 6 and the sundry reports of Police killing that has inundated the airwaves are instant refutations of wooden apologetics.


The government’s response is dangerous because, it forecloses the possibility of reforming the rotten system. Once the government denies the facts, matters return to the “business as usual” mode. The Obasanjo’s government may be a government in exile as not to realise that thousands of Nigerians are losing their lives daily courtesy of trigger happy policemen. Obasanjo’s government cannot be lying through the teeth and expect the world to be hoodwinked. Obasanjo himself at an NTA media chat told the World that the Nigerian Police lend their guns to armed robbers. What other proofs do we need to know that the Nigerian police has abandoned all pretences of being civilized and is now pursing the agenda of its psychotic rank and file, that seems to derive sadistic pleasure in killing people in cold blood. May be Obasanjo has forgotten he ever said that, or may be there is a breakdown in communication and policy between the administration and its minister of Information.