Murdered on service to fatherland

Posted on | mei 2, 2011 | No Comments

Obinna Okpokiri

Young Nigerian graduates on national service were murdered in cold blood by supporters of opposition presidential candidate, General Muhammadu Buhari because they failed to allow underage voters cast their ballot in the recently concluded elections in the West African country.

One of the corps members, Mr. Obinna Okpokiri wrote before his death on his Facebook update how he was being forced to register those below eighteen by members of the Congress for Progressive Change (CPC) in northern Nigeria but refused,

According to Okpokiri who finished his post-graduate in England and came home for the service, he escaped being killed but was rescued by the police. But he met the same fate later when the assailants started a much larger attack which saw more than 15 of the young college graduates murdered with machetes and guns.

Few days later, states in the country started recalling their indigenes on service from the conflict prone zones then more of the story was told by a returnee.

“When we realized there was an uprising immediately the presidential candidate of the CPC lost the elections, we ran into a police station but were force out from the station when hundreds of assailants besieged the place by the policemen themselves” a returnee from Lagos state said. In his narration, some were stabbed or shot to death by the rampaging mob but others managed to escape to some remote areas.

At present, some are calling on President Goodluck Jonathan who won the election to proscribe the compulsory service call National Youth Service Corp (NYSC) while others are pushing for the prosecution of the killers.

Northern Nigeria is home to more Muslims than Christians who are found mostly in the south and President Jonathan is a Christian from the south while General Buhari is a Muslim from the north.

Some analysts believe that the prosecution of the assailants would lead to deeper conflict between the two religions and regions while others insist that sweeping the issue under the carpet foreshadow the worst scenario.

AUTHOR: Paul Ohia
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E-MAIL: paulohia [at]


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