August 24th, 2010
your life interview with CNN Anchor Christian Amanpour in
April of this year in Washington D.C. you proclaimed that
Nigeria is a “very, very religious society”. But of what use
is a religious atmosphere when the care of life and the
disposal of dead bodies are handled with a Godless attitude?
Sir, no one should query with the office of the presidency
as it is reportedly getting ready to buy three airplanes.
Why, because the Nigerian roads are not routes in the civil,
mechanical or actual sense. They are simply impassable and
The Nigerian Police Force in its style of traffic management
remains crude at best, but how can one put all the blame on
the police as its officers are products of an almost ruined
society, in the institutional sense especially.
Who will like to maintain traffic rules in roads that lack
updated or posted speed limits, adequate lighting, emergency
telephones, rest spots, control of armed bandits and
continue to lack operational rules in regards to curtailing
For now there are crude like check-points set up by the
police, mainly in busy highways and at times these check
points have become temporal centers of unmanageable traffic
jams, points for bribery negotiation and in some cases sites
of deadly accidents.
In the face of these turbulences it is not uncommon to find
victims of fatal accidents rotting away along the highway
and in nearby bushes.
Mr. President, take the case of one 39-year old Egbosele
Eronmosele of Uromi , Edo State. Just this past Wednesday,
he left Uromi in his car on his way to the nation’s capital,
Throughout Wednesday and Thursday attempts by his family to
reach him on his mobile phone failed. He is a newlywed man
and naturally his wife and family were concerned and heavily
The family being disturbed by his unusual silence and by him
not picking up his phone, some family members had no choice
but to look for him. They then proceeded to do this manually
by aimlessly travelling by car, as there are no functioning
police emergency services for distressed callers. These
family members on leaving Uromi, took the normal route which
included Auchi, only to reach the town of Okene in Koji
State, one of the leading towns to Abuja.
Sir, with bits and pieces of information around the
surroundings, 39-year old Egbosele Eronmosele was found in
the bush—all burnt up and dead.
His burnt body reportedly lay helpless facing the steering
wheel in the burnt car. The family like every reasonable and
concerned family proceeded to the local police station,
Division 2 to inquire about the fatal accident.
They were reportedly informed by the attending station
officers that the victim was involved in an accident with a
trailer. As they requested to see the actual traffic
incident report they were informed that there were no
available reports of the accident. Also, there was no
information provided on the trailer because the
investigating officers were not currently on duty and could
not be reached.
As to why the report which is supposed to be filed, kept and
maintained in the police station, was not present the family
were told, the report is with the investigators.
Mr. President, here is the most distressing part of the
story. As to why the lifeless body of the victim was left
rotting away from Wednesday up to Friday when the burnt car
was found in the bush, the police reportedly stated that the
body was left unattended due to religious reasons. What does
that mean, the family asked the station officer? The
apparent police response was gravely disturbing.
They were informed that Mr. Eronmosele died in a “very ,
very religious” area of Nigeria, a Muslim area. As such no
casket could be procured, purchased, or publicly sold or
allowed in the area. And neither was the body taking to any
hospital mortuary as there is no fully functioning one in
the area. Sir, all these occurrences generally resulted due
to religion and as a consequence of the backward mentality
that still exist in the policing of the Nigerian people.
The family then gathered the pieces of Mr. Eronmosele, and
returned to Uromi to bury his remains this past Saturday.
Sir, this reality!
Mr. President, fifty years later Nigeria the so called giant
of Africa appears to be moving opposite to progress with a
few Nigerians sharing in your sentiments that there is
optimism for Nigerians.
No reasonable mind believes that the nation is finished but
the evidence is openly clear that without sweeping
improvement in the highways, traffic system, electric power,
police system and in leadership; religion alone will not
save the country from its quick entry into a state of an
Mr. President, as you set out to declare a yes or no answer
to the 2011 presidency on or about September 10th, 2010;
hopefully you will remind the nation of the story of
Egbosele Eromonsele as it relates to the need for a commons
sense governance of the nation, despite the so called sacred
state of the country.
John Egbeazien Oshodi, Ph.D, DABPS, FACFE is a practicing
Forensic/Clinical Psychologist and the Interim Associate
Dean of Academic Affairs-Behavioral Science, North Campus,
Broward College, Coconut Creek, Florida. firstname.lastname@example.org.