It is exactly a year today since some deranged, cursed, purposeless, bloodthirsty characters and known political thugs killed a promising young man, Daniel Usman, whose only offence was his resolve to go exercise his franchise in the 2019 general elections in Kogi state.
Little Daniel was shot at a very close range by political thugs who came to destroy and disrupt voting proceedings in the 2019 Presidential and National Assembly elections in Anyigba, Dekina LGA of Kogi state. Testimonies by his family members and friends attested to the fact that 2019 was the first time the young man ever voted having just clocked 19 years.
He believed he could make a difference with his Permanent Voter Card. He envisaged and dreamt of a society where leaders would emerge through the ballot box and not through bullets.
Little Daniel Usman believed in the sanctity of the electoral process, hence his resolve to have defied all odds to join other voters on that fateful day to exercise his civic responsibility as a responsible and responsive citizen. Sadly, half way into the exercise, gunmen in their numbers stormed the very polling unit where citizen Daniel Usman had queued up to vote and began to shoot sporadically.
Confused, hopeless and shocked; voters ran in different directions just to take cover. But while other voters were fortunate to have escaped the daredevil armed political thugs, Daniel Usman, unfortunately, couldn’t make it.
He was shot right in the head and left in the pool of his blood! Having bled for too long a time without getting any help from nowhere, including from the security operatives present, he eventually died.
This is one full year after this promising university undergrad was killed in the most senseless and gruesome manner, yet no single arrest has been made nor has the Kogi state government deemed it necessary to atleast reach out to the families of the deceased.
Those concerned are acting as if Daniel Usman’s memory isn’t deserving of the same honour they accord to the families of other victims of electoral violence in the state. We saw the deluge of political razzmatazz, media hype and exaggerated hypocrisy when the PDP Woman Leader in Ofu, Mrs. Ache Abuh was callously killed days after the last governorship election in Kogi state.
I read tons and tons of press statements, newspaper editorials and news commentaries all condemning the ungodly act. Even the state government and the IG of police vowed to fish out the killers. The Mrs. Ache Abuh incident gained much traction because she was a politician and had access to the top hierarchy of her party.
Atleast, a few persons were arrested in connection with the killing, an indication that government meant business. But what about the killers of Daniel Usman? Are some lives more precious and important than others? Why has the Governor Bello led government not acted swiftly in the case of Daniel Usman? Why has the case not gone beyond the Anyigba Police Divisional Headquarters? Daniel Usman died while exercising his franchise as a Nigerian.
He wasn’t a criminal. Even criminals are presumed innocent until pronounced guilty by a court of competent jurisdiction. So, I still wonder why justice hasn’t been served in the case of this young man.
Dear Governor Bello, since you are beginning to exhibit some semblance of administrative astuteness and political adroitness in your dealings since you began a fresh 2nd term of four years last month, I will plead that you get to the root of this matter immediately.
Sir, late Daniel Usman had parents and siblings. Put yourself in the shoes of his parents and family members. No one ever recovers from the harrowing trauma of losing a close relation, in this case a young university boy with a promising future. You should in your capacity as the Chief Security Officer of the state ensure that the issue is thoroughly investigated.
I plead that you take up the issue yourself to avoid any form of laxity or some underhand dealings by some political buccanears of yesterday. In all honesty, late Daniel Usman deserves justice, even in death. May the good Lord grant his beautiful, innocent soul eternal rest, and give the family the fortitude to stay strong even as they await justice.
– Abdullahi Yunusa ProfWills writes from FHA Lugbe, Abuja. Meetprofwills@yahoo.com