For David Ntekim-Rex, a 22-year-old tech entrepreneur in Lagos who was shot dead by robbers in the Yaba region’s Jibowu axis, tributes have been pouring in.
Tunde Omotoye, co-founder of an immigration technology firm, said David had recently been employed to lead his company unit before his death.
“This is so sad and I am actually speechless,” Omotoye tweeted. “I got introduced to David just on Tuesday. He joined a startup team I belong to as Head, Product Design.
“The system has indeed failed David. It has failed him & his family totally. I pray his family finds the strength for this loss.”
David is one of the two Nigerians who won the annual Mainframe Master competition organised in March 2018 by AngelHack, a multinational hackathon organisation, and the IBM Z Academic Initiative.
How ‘we’ lost David
David, according to a Twitter user Roy Mustang, was on his way home from work on Friday night when the robbers attacked and shot him dead.
Mustang said the police were called to the scene while David was gasping for breath but could not aid his transfer to a nearby hospital.
“The Nigerian police stood and watched as he gasped for air,” Mustang tweeted. “They took pictures instead, and were more concerned with why he – a tech guy- was carrying a laptop.”
He explained that David was taken to the “military hospital around the area, the nurses ignored him. The doctor came around and kept asking who they all were. It took a senior nurse to come out and start checking for a pulse.” Mustang claimed that David had lost a lot of blood at this point.
“The police then took David and his family to Sabo, where they looked for the laptop that he had on him instead of giving them a police report. He was finally released to his family, and they got to LUTH around 12:30 am.
“David wasn’t attended to by the doctors at LUTH. He was there till the family was convinced he couldn’t be alive because he had no pulse. The doctors refused to administer any test to see if he was alive.”
The death of David, like many others in the country, could be attributed to a failed security structure. The impacts of a weak police system and government policies that make the environment dangerous are left to many vulnerable Nigerians like David to contend with.
Now, #EndSARS is ‘back’
Having exploited all means to get their grievances to the authorities, Nigerians are left with no other option than to protest – and peacefully so.
In October 2020, Nigeria witnessed a total shutdown of major cities in an en masse citizens protest against police brutality, extortion, harassment, and extrajudicial killings.
Although the protest has been put to a halt by the government, Nigerians are not done – protesting with the tag #EndSARS – a statement that now resonates with a fight against injustice, poor governance, and advocacy for better living in Nigeria.
On Monday morning – three days after David’s death – #EndSARS is back on the trends table – with a message to authorities to arrest the culprits for prosecution and set up a better policing system that guarantees security for all.
Lagos State Police Command is yet to confirm or debunk the activities of its personnel before David’s death. A call to police spokesman Olumuyiwa Adejobi was not answered. Text messages were not responded to at the time of filing this report.