A few days after a 14-year-old SSS1 student cum trainee vulcaniser was allegedly killed by police stray bullets in Ajasa-Command area of Alimosho, a Lagos suburb, parents of the victim have cried out for justice. Kunle Akinrinade reports.
Darkness descended on the world of Abidemi Sanyaolu 11 years ago following the loss of her sight to a mysterious illness.
Since then, she took solace in the fact that her 14-year-old son, Mubarak, always ensured that she was well taken care of before he left home for school in the morning and upon his return in the afternoon.
Another ugly fate befell Abidemi recently as the family lost Mubarak’s older brother to a strange illness, leaving Mubarak as the only surviving child.
The darkness that had enveloped Abidemi’s life tickened further on November 3 with the gruesome killing of Mubarak during a protest provoked by the alleged killing of a tricycle operator by the police on the Ajasa-Command route.
Until his death on November 3, Mubarak, an SSS1 student of District Secondary School, Meiran, was also a vulcaniser apprentice in the neighbourhood.
On the fateful day, the lad was said to have hurriedly fed his mother on his return from school in the afternoon and left for the workshop when a protest broke out between the police and tricycle operators who accused the former of stabbing one of their members to death for refusing to give an officer the sum of N100 as bribe.
A detachment of operatives from the nearby Meiran Police Division were deployed to disperse the crowd of protesters when Mubarak was hit by bullets allegedly fired by one of the policemen, ripping his intestine open.
Lamenting the incident and the ugly fate that has been her lot in life, Mubarak’s mother said: ”I lost my eyes mysteriously after I took ill about 11 years ago.”
”My husband works as a Keke Marwa (commercial tricycle) operator, so he leaves home early. Our son, Mubarak, has been the one taking me around to have my bath, use the toilet and even feed me.’
”He was a student and apprentice vulcanizer. He goes to his trainer when he returns from school and was returning home from work when he was killed. ”
Abidemi, swathed by sympathisers, told The Nation amid lamentations at her residence on Thompson Alade Street, Ajasa Command area of Agbado-Oke-Odo Local Council Development Area, also said that Mubarak was trying to cross the road after the owner of the workshop where he was training to become a vulcaniser had dismissed him and other apprentices for the day and shut his shop when policemen who were drafted to quell the ongoing protest started shooting indiscriminately
One of the shots hit my son and killed him instantly. I was at home when some people rushed in and laid my son’s body at my doorstep. He was 14 and my only guide after I lost my sight. When they brought his body, I could only touch it to ascertain that it was him,” she added.
SEARCH FOR JUSTICE