June 29, (THEWILL) – It has been more than 24 hours since the death of a young and promising Nigerian footballer, Kelvin Igweani, was confirmed by the Police after their officers tased and shot him while dealing with a civil issue; and there has been neither a word from the Nigerian government on the issue nor a formal diplomatic handling of the death.
Every means necessary to demonstrate the important value and high premium the Nigerian government holds for the life of every Nigerian is absent after the news went public that the footballer was reportedly shot dead by the police in the United Kingdom in an incident that occurred in Milton Keynes over the weekend.
As the investigations continue, the story of the events, as related by reports monitored in the UK, are said to have begun when officers, who attended a call-out to a property in Two Mile Ash, north-west Milton Keynes, at around 9.40am on Saturday, June 26, where a child was found with serious injuries, reportedly shot and killed Igweani.
After the demise of the Nigerian, the Thames Valley Police (TVP) put out a statement that explained the circumstances that resulted in the death of the young man. The TVP said its officers made a forced entry after acting on information from a witness.
Once inside, they said they found a man in his 30s and a young child with serious injuries. Events that happened thereafter led the officers to deploy a Taser on Igweani. Then, live rounds were fired at him by the police officers.
The man whose condition after the incident required first aid, received on-the-spot treatment from an ambulance crew called to handle his wounds. But, it was fruitless as the Nigerian was pronounced dead at the scene, according to the statement from the TVP.
The child with serious injuries at the address was taken to a hospital immediately to receive medical attention for the injuries sustained.
According to the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC), a probe is now underway after a police firearm was discharged at the Milton Keynes address.
Christian Bunt, the Assistant Chief Constable, said: “What has happened this morning can only be described as absolutely tragic and will no doubt have an impact on the community.
“Our thoughts are with those who have been impacted by this incident. Our major crime unit is working closely with the IOPC to understand exactly what has happened.”
Yet not a word has come from any of the authorities concerned with the welfare, lives and property of Nigerians at home and abroad have addressed the death of Igweani. The Nigerian High Commission in the UK, the Federal Ministry of Foreign Affairs where Geoffrey Onyeama presides and the Abike Dabiri-Erewa-led Nigerians in Diaspora Commission (NIDCOM) have all been worryingly mum on such a weighty matter.
It does the Nigerian sovereignty no good when the life of a Nigerian is not treated with the value it deserves irrespective of status, class or connection. Until we can begin to place a premium on the lives of our citizens by treating them right at home and demanding that they are accorded such treatments everywhere else, Nigerian lives will be worthless wherever they exist and reside.
THEWILL calls on the government and relevant agencies in the Foreign Affairs corps and the NIDCOM to follow the investigations and, because it involves an arm of their Armed Forces unit, to get the UK government especially to formally address how a Nigerian legally resident and working in their country came to meet an untimely demise at the end of a gun barrel wielded by their police officers.
About the Author
Jude Obafemi is a versatile senior Correspondent at THEWILL Newspapers, excelling in sourcing, researching, and delivering sports news stories for both print and digital publications.