I had the misfortune of opening a video I now wish I can unsee; the video will haunt me for a long time to come. Already I’ve had nightmares and I haven’t stopped cursing the person who sent it to me.
It’s the video of Dr. Chike Akunyili’s last moments after he was shot by unknown gunmen in Anambra state. The doctor was murdered as he was returning from a commemorative ceremony hosted by the University of Nigeria to honour his wife, the late NAFDAC DG, Dr. Dora Akunyili.
To be honest, I didn’t read the viewer discretion note attached to the video when I opened it, even after watching, I had no idea it was Dr. Akunyili in the video, nor did I even think it happened in Nigeria. It was hours later, via another online story that I pieced together what I had seen, thankfully before then, I had deleted the video because it haunted me.
I saw him lying on the road writhing in agony, his brain not fully comprehending the tragedy that had befallen him; half of his face was ripped off, and dangling on the side like a half peeled orange. He flayed an arm, perhaps calling for help because with half his face blown out, he couldn’t cry out…help didn’t come…I don’t even know if he was able to see that people stood by and watched as life seeped out of him.
His medical training may have kicked in as he tried to get up to help himself, since no one offered help. Not from people who gaped at him and his fellow death mates who sat bleeding in the jeep they were in before the bloodbath, no one was concerned enough, moved enough, duty bound enough, even brave enough to step forward and offer a hand, not even our “avid videographer” through who’s lens some of us saw the video…
They all watched him die and now I wonder, was there pity in their eyes?
Watching Dr. Chike Akunyili die on the road is painful, it shows how depraved we have become as a people.
Where were the elders, the grown men, women in that community?
Did they laugh at he tried to get up or were they scared for their lives, seeing a man dangling between life and death and thanking God they weren’t the ones in his shoes?
Or “He’ll die anyway,” they may have told themselves, “What help are we going to give him?”
Or they could have wondered, “All these rich people who think they have 9 lives, save yourself, e no kuku concern me.” Assuming they had no idea who he even was. That is the tragedy of our people.
But this was a doctor versed insaving lives and from what I’ve heard, had done so many times for free.
This doctor had given to the community and his people.
This man, forget the fact that his hands helped to heal, forget that he had lived under the shadow of his wife for years, (we keep referring to him as Dora’s husband as if he never accomplished anything as a private citizen) was a man who needed help. Help could have been in the form of one or two people, helping to get him to the nearest hospital.
Or even helping him die, without him thinking, “Where is everyone? Why am I alone? What just happened?”
But wait a moment, who says there’s help at the nearest hospital?
Who says his younger colleagues, fellow doctors, won’t require a police report before they even touch him with the end of their stethoscope?
Who says the people who even helped get him to the hospital won’t be made to write statements and keep going to the police station (bribing them as well) just to show they had nothing to do with Dr. Akunyili being shot?
IPOB and the DSS have exonerated themselves from the murder; but why were they fingered in the first place, especially the DSS? Because they have arbitrarily taken human lives, under the guise of duty and love for country, that’s why.
Dr. Chike Akunyili’s murderers remain “unknown gunmen.”
No one is volunteering to name them for killing innocent souls all in the name of love for community and country.
IPOB’s agitation, while may it appear valid has lost its appeal for a number of people who now realise they could be the next target of “unknown gunmen.”
Perhaps if the mad men that killed Dr. Chike Akunyili hadn’t been chanting “No elections in Anambra,” maybe we would assume they had no hand in the deaths; perhaps if the DSS hadn’t a penchant for surprise attacks on innocent people, killing some along the way, maybe they would never have been named.
These groups have blood on their hands! A good man has died and those unfortunate to be on the road with him have paid a price too high.
We mourn with the family; a good man doesn’t deserve to die this way! May the perpetrators be found and justice served!