As the fight against Police brutality by Nigerian Police continues around the world, Nigerians in Canada were not left out.
On Saturday October 17, 2020 Nigerians in Canada joined the March against Police brutality, Injustice, Corruption and Bad Governance. Cities who participated include Toronto, Ottawa, Sudbury, Saint John’s, Winnipeg, Halifax, Calgary and others.
In Toronto, the event was scheduled for Dundas Square. At 12pm local time, the March began from Dundas Square all the way to Toronto City Hall. At the City Hall, several activities took place including singing of the Nigerian national anthem, Taking the knee for all victims, Chanting solidarity songs and Speech by various groups. Later on, everyone marched back to Dundas Square. On the way the crowd was cheered by motorists and pedestrians and also coordinated by the Toronto City Police. There were several news organizations Including City News, CP24 amongst others.
Amongst the participants was Adodo Eddy Osaman. He had this to say: “Today’s march was not a carnival, but a group of serious minded Nigerians who have made up their mind to ensure their country gets the needed change it deserves. We also have Non-Nigerians who joined the March today. I saw several friends with Caribbean roots who also joined us. It’s been too long and we are all tired of Police brutality, injustice, bad governance, corruption and many more. This is just the beginning”.
Osaman also recounted his experience during his University days when his colleague Ibrahim Momodu was killed by a Police officer. He said:
“Ibrahim Momodu was my colleague and friend. We were both studying Science Laboratory Technology, under the same major (Physiology/Pharmacology Major). We were all on Industrial Training in year 5 (2013) when his life was taken by the Police. It was one cold dark evening we will never forget. The entire class was rocked to the core. Our industrial training was almost suspended and we had to rally round the family members. Ibrahim was full of spirit, very jovial and loves to dress very well. Anytime he comes to class, you’ll always know he’s around.
Ibrahim’s case wasn’t the only Police-related case I had to deal with whilst serving as Leader of our Class. During the same period of his demise, we had another incident with the Police. There’s another colleague of mine Shedrach who was in Biochemistry major.
He was carrying his little relative at the balcony of his home one Friday evening when bullets rained down the roof, pierced his skull and went into his medulla. It was a miracle that he didn’t die instantly.
We again rallied round and through much help by well-meaning individuals, he was able to secure healthcare at the University of Benin Teaching Hospital (UBTH).
We later learned that there was a social wake keep nearby (popularly called ‘obito’) and the bullets could have been from trigger-hungry Policemen at the event. Shedrach’s educational ambition was put to an end by that sad incident as he could no longer speak properly nor coordinate himself. Till date I’ve not heard from him. Year 5 was a dreadful one for all of us.
So when you see many Nigerians angry, it’s not just against the Nigerian Police. It’s against the entirety of Nigeria’s corrupt system.
I have been seeing the recent social media dragging of the daughter of the alleged Police officer who killed Ibrahim. None of these will bring back the life of Ibrahim and many others. Ibrahim would have been a graduate today. This is one of the reasons I March”.