This time it is Capt. Jerry Agbeyegbe. This time, like so many other times, Nigeria has murdered one of its brightest stars. We kill our best and our brightest; we kill our innovators; we kill our political gadfly; we kill those who dare to be different; we kill those who helped in conquering frontiers; and we kill those with uncommon ideas and ideals. We have become a nation of cold-blooded murderers. At the rate at which we are exterminating our shinning stars — all that Nigeria would be left with are imbeciles and sycophants, thieves and hoodlums and illiterate ex-this and illiterate ex-that.
With our callous actions, we are laying waste our collective destiny. What is happening in our country is not only pitiful and painful; it defies all logic. Otherwise, how is one to describe the recent cold-blooded murder of Jerry Agbeyegbe?
And like so many assassinations, this case too might not be solved in our life time. It is so sad! So sad to think that Nigeria has become a nation of hired assassins. We have a nation where armed robbers rein supreme and snuff out life at will; a nation where politicians kill rather than settle disputes in the court of law. We have become a nation where the police and other security agents would as soon maim and kill than go through the legal process.
Without just cause Captain Jerry Agbeyegbe was murdered. And even before his family was told of this brutal and sad crime, the police and the Nigerian State Security Services were peddling innuendoes just to soil his reputation. The Nigerian police are trying to mask its complete and deep-seated inefficiency (and perhaps complicity) by associating “Juliet Okonkwo” with the deceased. Talk of a smear campaign. Don’t our police and our government have any shame? Mr. Agbeyegbe was a father. He was a brother. He was a husband. He was a son. He was a friend. He was a Nigerian — a Nigerian who lived his life in the service of humanity and in service of a country that does not honor life and human dignity!
If he was a political prostitute he probably would have lived longer. If he was like so many of those in the corridors of power he probably would still be alive. If he was a rogue, a vagabond, and a leech, Nigeria would probably have decorated him with all manner of awards and chieftaincy titles. But he was not. Captain Jerry Agbeyegbe was none of the aforementioned. He was a man. He was a dignified human being whose only fault was that he lived his life in the service of an ungrateful country.
John F. Kennedy it was who asked: “…when at some future date the high court of history sits in judgment on each one of us–recording whether in our brief span of service we fulfilled our responsibilities to the state–our success or failure, in whatever office we may hold, will be measured by the answers to four questions…were we truly men of courage…were we truly men of judgment…were we truly men of integrity…were we truly men of dedication–with an honor mortgaged to no single individual or group, and compromised by no private obligation or aim, but devoted solely to serving the public good and the national interest?”
Fortunately for Jerry Agbeyegbe, he lived a life well-spent. He loved his children. He loved his wife. He loved his country. And he was a man of immense courage. He was a man of refined judgment. He was a man of unblemished integrity. And he was a man of unquestionable dedication. Here was a man who could have lived his life ensconced in the comfort of the United States, Australia or any country in the West. Here was a man who could have lived a quiet life way from all the hustle and bustle, headache and decadence of Nigeria. But not so! That was not the life Jerry chooses; he choose to live a full life devoid of fear and timidity. Captain Jerry Agbeyegbe lived for Nigeria. And for that, Nigeria murdered him. Nigeria murdered a patriot and a selfless citizen.
And when it is all said and done, the government of President Olusegun Obasanjo should be held accountable for this and other deaths (that happened under his watch). This is a government that can not even provide basic public goods such as security. This government is lazy, lost, inefficient, confused, and mediocre in style and in every standard of measurement. How many people have to die in the comfort of their homes or on the streets of Nigeria before security measures are put in place to protect invaluable life and property?
How many Nigerians have to lose their life before this government comes to the realization that something is terribly wrong with our country? Why do we have a government — when government can not assure us of our safety? Beyond the obvious, this is a sad commentary on us as a nation because, even in peace time, Nigeria is like a country in perpetual war mode. Only in times of war do people cheaply lose their lives. Only in times of war, do parents bury their children. Only in times of war does the populace live in unending fear. Only in times of war and political instability does anarchy rein supreme. Sadly, this is the situation in today’s Nigeria. It is one thing to be known as a nation of the parasitically corrupt and third-rate leadership; but quite another to be known as a nation of the callous and cold-blooded murders.
Now, what was gained by killing Jerry Agbeyegbe? What was gained by the cold-blooded murder of a thousand other Nigerians? Ha, Nigeria…shame on you!
At this point, I would like to segue and offer my prayers and condolence to the family of Captain Jerry Agbeyegbe:
In spite of Jerry’s failures and shortcomings,
May God in his infinite grace and mercy forgive and bless him.
May his journey to heaven be assured and secured;
And may he find comfort in the hands and abode of the Lord
And of the Holy Spirit.
May Jerry’s children, wife and all those he left behind
Be blessed and be comforted;
And may they find peace and happiness in the Lord Almighty!
May God strengthen and give his family the strength to bear this untimely lose…