Governor Tanko Al Makura of Nasarawa State on Thursday gave a stern warning to Nigerian citizens about what they may expect from the era of the All Progressives Congress (APC): “Go to hell!”
The all-powerful governor was addressing a lady who had dared cry to him for help as police officers in his convoy brutalized her relatives and damaged their property right before his eyes. Lois Iorvihi’s crime was that her car had failed to get out of the way quickly enough as the governor approached.
Ms. Iorvihi was traveling through Lafia, the capital of Governor Makura’s Nassarawa, with her younger sister, Joi and their brother Jerry, on their way from Makurdi to Abuja. On Thursday around 3: 00 PM Nigerian time, they enjoyed a smooth ride until arrival at Nasarawa-Eggon, less than 100km from the nation’s capital.
“If you are familiar with the road, just immediately after the bypass on that sharp bend where many souls have perished, a dispatch rider overtook her car and was crisscrossing in front of her instructing her to clear off the road,” they said in their account.
Before Ms. Iorvihi could react, she heard a loud siren from behind her. As she tried to steer away from the road, up came to a Hilux pick-up van loaded with heavily-armed anti-riot policemen who shoved her car off the road. She was stunned but managed to bring the car to a halt in front of the valley.
Immediately she brought the car to a stop, four of the policemen, known in local circles as “Kill and Go” for their ruthless methods, descended on the car using the nozzle of their rifles to dent, perforate and scratch the body of her car.
In the passenger seat, her brother wound down his window and pleaded with the police officers to take it easy, drawing their attention to his stunned sister’s agitated state.
They responded by dragging him out of the car and then proceeded to beat him to a pulp with the butt of their rifles.
The situation worsened when they noticed that Joi had started to use her phone to take pictures of the proceedings. They seized all of her phones, along with an iPad, and smashed all the devices on the road.
Lois, confused and hysterical, stood in the middle of the road screaming and begging. “Is this fair?” she asked repeatedly.
As traffic began to build up on both sides of the road, someone called out to her, telling her, “Madam, their Oga dey inside that Jeep, go and beg him.”
Lois walked towards the heavily tinted SUV bearing the Nigeria Coat of Arms and the insignia of the governor. As she got within a few yards of the car, the heavily-tinted widow was brought down, obviously by someone who had had a generous view of the violence being perpetrated on citizens.
It was Governor Tanko Al Makura, the first citizen of Nasarawa State, but before Lois could open her mouth, the governor spoke, “Young girl, you are so rude. Look at how you’re dressed like a prostitute.”
Lois, who was wearing a gown that covered up to her knees, was incredulous.
In her agitated state, she fired back at Governor Al Makura, asking:
“How am I rude? Is this fair? Is this why we voted for you? We did not vote for you so that your convoy will run us out of the road. Look at what your security men are doing? They are destroying my car, beating my brother to a pulp and smashing all our mobile devices just because we had the misfortune of driving in front of your convoy?”
APC governor Al Makura then told her what time of day it is: “You can take the case to wherever you wish or go to hell.”