The Headlines of The Nigerian Compass newspaper of Monday 21st September 2009, announced the unfortunate death of Mr. Bayo Ohu, Editor of The Guardian newspaper, who was killed by armed robbers or hired assassins the previous morning, Sunday 20th September at about 7.00a.m. One of the photographs accompanying this story is shown above. The caption underneath the photo reads: “A policeman washing the blood” (inside the compound of Mr. Bayo Ohu’s home, where he was killed as he was answering the door).
Is there anything wrong with this picture?
I wasn’t sure whether to laugh or cry at the absurdity of what I was seeing. Where exactly should I begin? Should I begin with the photographer of the newspaper who took this photo, or should I begin with the editor of the newspaper that chose to publish this photo? Or perhaps I should begin with the policeman himself, who obviously saw nothing wrong in washing away arguably the most important evidence at a murder crime scene.
I expect that I am the one who is insane to expect to see, in Nigeria, a photograph of a crime scene – so soon after the crime was committed – to be cordoned off by the police, with Forensic Experts and Homicide Detectives all over the place, gathering blood samples and other vital evidence such as empty shell casings etc from the scene of the crime, before they are lost or contaminated.
Instead, what I see is a photograph of the very police who are expected to solve this crime, washing away the blood!!!
Prof. Dora Akunyili, re-brand this!
Honestly, it made my blood run cold, with a shiver all over my spine. For me in its own macabre way, this photograph captured so succinctly, all that is wrong with this failed nation state. A country of 140 million people who after 49 years of independence, have had our collective sense of reasoning and expectations so battered and decimated by the successive governments over the years, that we all now look forward enthusiastically and with great admiration to President Yar’Adua’s promise to “benevolently” grant this entire nation 6,000 imaginary Megawatts of electricity, by the end of this year.
This is Nigeria at 49. Nigeria We Hail Thee.
– Bankole Ososanwo
*This article was first posted on Facebook in September 2009.