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Death Of Glory Adekolure And The Rest Of Us



Death Of Glory Adekolure And The Rest Of Us


Nigeria is hardly short of a tragic incident at any given time. Outside of the regular casualties in the Northeast and Northwest regions, the latest tragedy involved one of our hapless, young compatriots Miss Glory Adekolure on the outskirts of Benin City, a fortnight ago. The fresh graduate died in one of those painful circumstances that is almost becoming a routine in Nigeria. She didn’t die because of a natural disaster such as torrential floods which occur at the peak of the rainy season nor through an automobile accident which happens just any other day as a blight of Nigeria’s social development. Her life was snuffed out by few persons with whom she shared the same geographical space as a citizen.

Reports had it that she had gone to finalise her clearance at the University of Benin (UNIBEN), but while returning to her mother’s house, she was accosted by an unspecified number of boys that allegedly gang-raped and murdered her. The assailants thereafter took her corpse and dumped it in close vicinity to her mother’s residence in Iyiowa, a suburb of Benin City.

The causative mode of her untimely passage would have shocked many people as rape and brutal murders diminish the essence of our humanity, yet we have moved on as usual, probably waiting for another tragic manifestation in another part of our fatherland. Can we be blamed? For a people who are confronted by the worst economic situation in decades, any thought about the death of a young woman whom they did not know would be brief unlike the permanent concern about daily survival. Existential issues that are exacerbated by an extreme lack and a fading hope of a better tomorrow in our country have a way of robbing man of his empathy for a fellow that is dead or entangled in the ceaseless human predicaments.

However, Glory’s death hit me beyond description not because I knew her personally but arising from sheer imagination of the impact that her death would have on her mother, siblings, and close relatives. It’s conceivable her mother would remain inconsolable far beyond this time. We do not know how many children she has, but losing her daughter after graduation is a terrible experience. The category of parents burdened by the huge financial challenge of seeing their children through schools, especially at this time fully understand what I’m driving at.

It’s therefore understandable why typical bereavement scenarios induced by the death of loved ones in their prime transport the mourners to a state of utter confusion. In this case, this bereaved woman might be prompted by sorrow to question so many things. She may ask, of what use is her daughter’s educational pursuit if her life would end so tragically? She could also probe the basis of human existence if her young daughter could die just like that and her catalogue of dreams and aspirations put in abeyance. Above all, she may ask where lies the joy of life if one could die so unpredictably, so painfully in the hands of supposed criminals?

Unless she’s is stoic and firmly rooted in fatalism, a lot of women could lose their minds either temporarily or for a longer time, if they were in her shoes. I can relate this to the tragic fate visited on my beloved mother following the death of my younger sister and my mother’s first daughter in the middle of 2015. It’s one incident I wouldn’t like to remember because a vital part of my mother, then 76 years old, died with my great sister. Until my mother’s final reunion with her forebears on November 5, 2023, the recurring thought about her late daughter weakened her more than those incessant illnesses she encountered in the last decade of her life. Despite the equanimity with which we all bore that loss, I also lost my manliness for a brief period.

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One of the issues thrown up by Glory Adokolure’s death is the pervasive state of insecurity which has emboldened various groups of non-state actors to operate unhindered in many parts of Nigeria. It’s however not a new development because, before the death of the young woman, so many others had died in the same horrifying circumstances. As tragic as these deaths were either lately or in the recent past, the most painful aspect is the debasement of the humanity of the dead as gleaned from the cruel manner those victims are often abandoned like rodents crushed by motorists on the roadsides.

Of course, there are many Glory Adekolures who may have died in the countryside, and for that category, they are largely numbered among the mass of anonymous deaths without reports in the media or subsequent enquiry by the law enforcement agents. If Glory did not live around the periphery of Benin City, it’s probable nothing would have been heard about her untimely passage. The question then is must all of us live in cities and towns to be acknowledged as higher human species likely to attract police probes in the event of tragic contrivances against our lives?

The ultimate challenge posed by death of Glory Adokolure to her living compatriots is to rid the Nigerian society of undesirable elements that prowl the length and breath of our territory like the Biblical devil in search of whom to devour. If Nigeria was as safe as other climes, the ease with which the most prized possession of Glory was violated would not have occured.

The police should therefore perform its duty by ensuring the prompt arrest of those that murdered the late graduate. Even if they were unable to meet the one-week deadline given by Edo State Governor Godwin Obaseki a fortnight ago, all hope is not lost if they can redouble efforts to apprehend those killers for prosecution. Only such a feat would help them to redeem their battered image that has generated a ridiculous reference to the police operatives as cats without claws in an environment endangered by sophisticated species of rats.

Exacting judicial vengeance is a must on the murderers not only to provide an intangible relief to her family but also to serve as a deterrent to those habitual criminals cashing in on the malfunctioning state of our country to torment us and put out the light of our fellow citizens at will.

May the soul of Glory Adekolure rest in perfect peace!

*TONY EKE, journalist and public affairs commentator, based in Asaba, Delta State, can be reached via [email protected]


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