By Kennedy Eberechi.
The Human Rights Writers Association (HURIWA) has called on the National Assembly and the International Community to investigate the remote and immediate circumstances surrounding the death of Nigeria’s first female combat Pilot; Tolulope Arotile whose death was announced on Tuesday, 14th July by the Nigerian Airforce.
In a statement signed by the National Coordinator; Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko and National Media Affairs Director; Miss Zainab Yusuf, the prominent Civil Right Group revealed that the their call for a comprehensive and forensic investigation on the cause of her death was stimulated by “our suspicion that the official line of story told to us Nigerians About her death does appear like a tale by moonlight and a made up story because it is not scientific and not satisfactory to millions of Nigerians who are already insinuating that she may have been killed for a reason known only to her killers and their sponsors”.
HURIWA informed that in a normal civilized constitutional democracy, when such a suspicious death occurs, it is incumbent that Government must investigate legally just as it added that the kind of story told about her death is not acceptable by any sane person.
“The story of how she died as told by the air force has made Nigeria to look like a banana republic, a place where the sanctity and sacredness of a human person is not respected. We are therefore calling on Nigerian Government to setup a medical/ forensic/ ballistic investigation team to ascertain the actual cause of her death. We also want amnesty international to look into her death”, HURIWA stressed.
Recalling the statement by the Air Force, signed by Air Commodore Daramola Ibunkule; Director of Information, Nigerian Air Force, which explained how Miss. Arotile died as a result of head injuries sustained from a road traffic accident at NAF Base, Kaduna, HURIWA noted that to survive in Nigeria is both a skill and a miracle, while adding that Nigeria has been made the most dangerous place on earth to live by the ruling Elite.
“Nigeria kills her best everyday due to political corruption that has become a trademark of 98% of powerfully connected politicians in Nigeria. We made $206bn from crude oil in 5 years of President Muhammadu Buhari’s regime but there is no single national roads infrastructure that is motorable. Insecurity is at its peak and yet the same government goes about borrowing. Also, corruption is systemic and endemic here.
“Professor Chinua Achebe had terrible road accident and could have died if he was treated here but he lived for many years thereafter because he relocated abroad to the USA. Gani Fawehinmi was misdiagnosed here and nearly died much earlier if not for further medical inquiry with better facilities abroad. Dora Akunyili was misdiagnosed too and we know the result and it is not as if our doctors are not good but there are no facilities to treat patients.
“Also, licensing of persons to drive is heavily corrupted because a toddler can be granted driver’s license and so most of those who drive on Nigeria’s badly maintained roads are just ‘hired killers’. We have a very long way to reform Nigeria”, HURIWA explained.
Further in the statement, HURIWA condemned the Police IGP, the Rivers state Commissioner of Police for sending armed operatives early Thursday morning to the house of the immediate past MD of NDDC Joy Nunieh to embarrass, harass and intimidate her person. “Joy Nunieh must not be killed”, HURIWA warned.