Olajide Sowore, younger brother of human rights’ activist, Omoyele Sowore, was laid to rest on Thursday at the family’s hometown –Kiribo – in the Ese-Odo Local Government Area of Ondo State.
Olajide was murdered in cold blood by gunmen suspected to be kidnappers on Saturday, September 4 in the Okada area of Edo State.
Before his death, he was a student of Igbinedion University, Okada, where he was studying Pharmacy.
At this burial on Thursday, emotions ran high as family members, friends and well wishes mourned the demise of Olajide.
#RevolutionNow protesters, kitted in their #BuhariMustGo T-shirts and caps were seen calling for justice for Olajide.
“We have come to bury Jide, not to praise him. The gruesome murder of our beloved brother by killer-herdsmen along Ore-Benin expressway; we have not got a consolation message from the Federal Government to provide answers into why Nigeria is killing its people. Jide was an inventor,” one of the friends said.
One of his brothers said, “Only a thorough investigation into the circumstances surrounding his gruesome murder in broad daylight can ameliorate the excruciating pains occasioned by death. The federal government must put to a halt the deliberate and continuous prosecution of our brother, Omoyele Sowore, whose major offence was calling for a better Nigeria.
“Omoyele Sowore should be allowed to the United States of America to reunite with his wife and children. He has not committed any offence."
The representative of the Ijaw National Congress said, “The government of Nigeria has failed. We don't see any reason why Nigeria is under siege as we are presently. You cannot travel from one state to another peacefully without fear; we cannot sleep with two eyes closed. The All Progressives Congress-government led by President Muhammadu Buhari should wake up to their responsibilities; this is not the time to be killing our future.
“Those who are dying are our future. Who knows what Jide would have done if he was still alive? As a representative of the Ijaw nation, I say that the Ijaws are tired of the condition of Nigeria. Nigeria should return to true federalism where the owners of resources can control them.”
Another person said, “We have lost someone dear to us. Jide will remain in our memories forever. The Nigerian government should try and do the needful to bring the perpetrators to book.”
A younger brother to Olajide said, “Jide was a lover of peace, a coordinator to this family. He has lived a well deserved life, a life of good gesture. I have taken solace in all these as a brother. It is bad news and an omen to the entire country. Today, everyone is palpable to fear for one reason or the other. We have fallen into a bad period of politicking in the country, we can't help the situation. The republic we are in presently is the worst one. I want to encourage everyone to remain antagonistic to all the odds in this country wherever we find ourselves.
“The federal government has failed us as a people, as a family from this part of the world. My brother has died for like a week now and the entire media space has been awash with the news. People from all walks of life have sent condolences to the family but unfortunately, the federal government kept criminally mute without saying anything to this family. It is a situation that has told everyone that this country is not worthy to be lived in. We thank the governors of Ondo, Edo, Benue and others who have spoken up.
“Today, we are rebuking the federal government for the criminal silence and complicity in the gruesome killing of people in this country, giving amnesty to criminals in their hideouts to keep committing crime.
“We are grieved today because the baton we are receiving is from several ends. My brother (Omoyele) has been criminally restricted to Abuja without doing anything yet Boko Haram is given amnesty and recruited into the nation's Army so they can come and fight back.
“Those who have stood for justice, and sought the betterment of Nigeria are being victimised. Sunday Igboho is somewhere now languishing. Everyone who stood for justice in this country is being victimised and criminalised. To this end, I want to say, we must do everything to pursue justice in this country.
“My brother (Omoyele) would have come to bury his brother according to our custom but the federal government has held him captive. We are now like orphans because as he has been held captive; our brother was working to fill in the gap. Now, he has been killed.”
A member of the #RevolutionNow movement and African Action Congress said, “This issue is not just happening to us, it is happening all over the country. That's why we are fighting, seeking a surgical revolution such that an end will come to the killings, kidnapping, banditry and all forms of insecurity.
“But our leaders, both federal and state governments want war, they don't want us to get justice. Kidnapping is going on in this same state. While we have been clamouring for revolution now and while the government is keeping Sowore captive is because the ruling class has been swimming in blood for a very long time. They have taken away all the jobs that used to be in this country; they have sucked the wealth of this country dry. They killed companies so you and I will have no jobs.
“All the crisis in this country the Nigerian ruling class is happy about it. Jide's death is a proverb to all of us. Let all of us unite from North to South, in every part of this country, hold ourselves still because those who want war are one and the same. Let us unite and put an end to this debacle. Across all their parties, they have failed and will continue to fail."
Earlier in the week, Sowore appreciated Nigerians who showed support for the family over the demise of Olajide.
He had, however, noted that despite the noise from Nigerian government officials promising to bring the perpetrators to justice, the family was not aware of any investigation by security agencies.
“Thank you all for reaching out with great love and kind words of consolation, support and solidarity over the tragic but still unexplained death of my dearest brother, Felix Olajide Sowore.
“I send you loads of gratitude from the bottom of my heart and that of my entire family.
"We should report to the public that despite the noise from Nigerian govt officials promising to 'apprehend' my brother’s killers, we are not aware any security agency/ies carrying out rescue operations to free those purportedly abducted or investigating the identity of Jide’s murderers.
"It is not as if we expect anything from the failed system that took our brother’s life, I feel that I owe you all an update on these matters. We will keep the public updated with progress regarding funeral arrangement,” Sowore had said.
Also, the family had announced the link to the virtual attendance option of the burial ceremony of Olajide.
Taking to his Facebook page on Tuesday, Sowore shared the link to a pre-scheduled zoom meeting which will connect well-wishers to the burial ceremony holding at Ondo State on Thursday.
The inclusion of a virtual meeting in the burial arrangement comes as the activist himself has not been granted the opportunity to attend the burial.
Sowore is currently under open detention in Abuja, the country's capital following a court order issued by Justice Ijeoma Ojukwu in 2019.