Friday, December 24, 2010

The Death of Lion Man, the failure of NWF

A professional heavyweight wrestler Lion Man died last Sunday shortly after his fight was called off Three Minutes into his Fight at the National Stadium, Lagos. I do not think that the reason for his death has being established up till now. Lion Man, Christopher Okechukwu whose wife is due for delivery soon, had his fight called off when he was noticed not to be fit for the fight. I wonder why there was no test for fitness in the first place before Lion Man went up to the ring. The Blessed put it this way on Nairaland " These wrestlers, if at all, were not medically/physcially and pyschologically assessed and certified fit to fight..." This is really the truth. This neglect is unacceptable.

There were lots of sad drama surrounding Lion Man's passing as was captured and reported by the PM News. Lion man whose fight was stopped and nearly collapsed when he stepped outside the ring as I saw on TV, was not attended to by any medical personnel but his friend who supported him and led him out of the Stadium. The organisers Wrestling and Charity Organisation of Nigeria in conjunction with DAAR Communications, Accolades and Ratinwa Communications obviously did not think of any complication even from the fight that might require any medical attention or first aid. The Nigerian Wrestling Federation too, did not seem to think it is important to have a team of medical personnel and first aid providers standing by.

Lion Man was taking in a Pick Up Van to an hospital where he was rejected for lack of money for his medical care. The same pick up took him back to the Stadium and they left him there lying unconscious. If any necessary measure has been taken Lion Man would not have died. So, the question is, who provides medical facilities and treatment for our sport persons in Nigeria? My hubby who is into Taekwando, told me how so many times they were responsible for themselves when they go for orgnised, supported and sponsored sports. A case in point was a fight they went for in Abuja, where one of thier colleagues fainted while fighting. They not the sport organisers did all they could to wake up the fainted sport man while the whole stadium watched. What happened after was the organisers asking them to write and sign that if anything happens to them, they choose to fight by their own freewill. Where then is safety? Where then is care? Where then is responsibility and the protection of human rights?

RIP Lion Man! I hope things will change, I hope NWF will get sued for this and I hope a big lesson is learnt from this.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Different Faces of Abuse.

It's being a month or so that I am back home. ' Home sweet home- Nigeria I hail thee'. It was as if I was not away for a year but a millisecond. Getting back into the scheme of things didn't take time. It is already in the blood but can I stand the traffic jam in Lagos again? I just can't but I have to. There are still darling friends to see but I am stalling and looking for appriopriate time to go and avoid plenty traffic but work cannot wait . I am doing a research consulting at the moment and it is very interesting. It means also that I have to be in a lot of places to do a lot of things and taking buses a lot of times. I have being challenged by friends to buy a car not that I have the money or that I really want to but it is looking like I have to. Well, I think too that running from buses 'palava' cannot make the problem go away as there are many bad road users on Lagos roads but there will be lesser hassles if I am in my car I guess.

For one, I won't have to listen to so many things I will rather not listen to. It is really amazing how people can complicate issues when they think the first thing that come out of their mouth will resolve whatever it is on the ground. How at times we subjugate women further in our attempt to be peacemakers without fore sight. There have being many cases I have witnessed or that have being victims of. So, I can say this is not a one off issue. Imagine a woman for instance that is asking politely for people to create more space in her seat and the jerk next to her find that offensive and the peacemaker can only say "madam, at least you have a husband at home, you know how men are, we just have to manage them". First if we think about this properly, it means women don't have a choice but to cope with any situation they find themselves and men are what now, idiots? But no one will analyse the latter...

I was on one of my research trips today and after a long day, I was coming back home. I took a bus, sat in the front and dreaming of getting home to rest and spent time with my partner. I didn't enjoy the solitude for long when one fella asked me rudely to move to the middle seat in the front. I ask him to seat in the middle seat if he wanted to but he was upset and he started talking down at me with his friend at the back chorusing. The driver found it his duty to interfere and what he can come up with is "You know women only have mouth and not power" before he went ahead to indicate to the fella that he is older than me. All I asked him - I mean the rude fella was to please take the other seat and now women have mouth? Statements like this only broaden gender inequality and instigate violence. The assumption that this fella was older than me was ridiculous and rest of the statement was appalling. The Drama went on for a while but I just ignored the misbehaved fella after I corrected the driver. I just wonder how many more of these incidents would have led to abuses- both verbally and physically if not contained?

That reminds me, a colleague of my friend was beaten up by her husband and did not come to work for 2 days, when she did, it was with bruises and swollen face. She refused to take the case to women organisations for mediation. What do you think of this decision? My neighbour's pregnant daughter was beaten up by her carpenter who is also their family friend because she got angry that he did not do the job she paid for. Today is the last day of 16 days of activism against violence against women and the journey seems longer...
My Passion, my focus, the change that I want to see in the world - is my propellent factor.

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