Many Nigerians and Africans in diaspora have been killed in gruesome circumstances in recent times. Many others have also sustained injuries or suffered various degrees of abuses and violation of their fundamental human rights in these countries.
In February 2018, a right wing apologist in Italy shot and severely injured six African immigrants in Macerata, about 19 miles inland from Civitanova Marche. Two years earlier, another Nigerian was killed in Fermo, a city south of Civitanova, after he sought to defend his wife from racial abuses. On July 23, 2022, Tosin Amos Arowoshegbe and Chibueze Momah were killed in a club in Vaughan, Canada, while on duty as security guards. Not long ago, a physically challenged Nigerian, Mr. Ogorchukwu Alika, was killed by an Italian, Filipo Claudio Giuseppe in Civitanova Marche, Italy.
According to reports, Ogorchukwu, the 39-year-old physically challenged vendor, was attacked and killed at his stall by the 32-year-old Italian last week. A viral video of the dastardly act, showed how the Italian beat and pinned the victim down until he died of asphyxiation. Ferlazzo also stole Ogorchukwu’s cell phone after the incident.
Unfortunately, nobody came to the rescue of Alika while being brutally attacked by the murderous Italian. The death promptly sparked off protests in Civitanova Marche, and some placards likened the incident to the murder of George Floyd, who was killed in a similar circumstance by a racist policeman in the United States last year.
Ferlazzo, the 32-year-old factory worker, has been charged for homicide and robbery. The Italian authorities have ordered for autopsy to determine the cause of death. Reports indicate that Ferlazzo has been suffering from bipolar disorder. His family also claims that he has a history of mental health illness. At a hearing in Court some days ago, Ferlazzo apologised over the unfortunate incident, but ruled out racial motives.
The heinous murder of Ogorchukwu had provoked outrage among Nigerians and some Italians who believe that it was a racially motivated attack. Nigerian and Italian governments have waded into the matter and promised to ensure justice for the victim.
We condemn the gruesome murder of Alika in Italy and decry the rise of racial killings in the US, Canada and other European countries in recent times. The world will not have peace if people are killed based on the colour of their skin. If the current wave of attacks on blacks in US, Canada and Europe is not halted, reprisal hostilities against the whites the world over may ensue, as no race can lay claim to monopoly of violence and no race can claim superiority over others. If this happens, it will add to the spate of violence across the world.
We urge the Federal Government to ensure that the killer of Alika is prosecuted and punished for the willful murder of an innocent Nigerian. The government must also ensure justice for the Nigerians killed in Canada by ensuring that the killers are brought to book. We implore the Federal Government to ensure that Nigerians in other countries, especially in the US, Canada and European countries, are treated with dignity.
We ask that the Italian authorities should do everything within the law to deal with the murder. Not doing anything when citizen’s take the law into their hands, to the extent of killing others, will increase such crime. We also ask that adequate compensation be paid to the family of the deceased. It is good that the Nigerian mission in Italy has urged the Italian government to provide a job for the wife of the deceased, eventhough this will not replace the life of the victim.
It is indeed shameful that some people prefer to video the murder of Ogorchukwu in Italy instead of rescuing him from his attackers. Although the Italian authorities have ruled out racism from the vexatious attack, many people believe that the attack smacks of racial hatred and the rise of white supremacy recently witnessed in the United States during the reign of Donald Trump. The law should have a way of also punishing those who fail to intervene in a situation of aggression, when they are in a position to do so. Respect to human life must be enforced. While crime should be abhorred, the perpetrator must be brought to book to serve as a deterrent.