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David Ntekim-Rex may have lived


David Ntekim-Rex

David Ntekim-Rex

Sir: One of my lecturers in the Department of English at the University of Lagos was Dr (Mrs) Yewande Ntekim-Rex. When I read the news of the death of David Ntekim-Rex by armed robbers in the Jibowu area of Lagos, I hoped that he won’t be in any way related to her.

My worst fears were confirmed by Roy Mustang, a cousin of the deceased who said that the late David was the middle son of the academic. According to him, the deceased – a 22-year old brilliant systems engineer was dropped off by a friend at Jibowu and he was to take a bus home when heartless robbers attacked him to collect his Samsung phone. He was murdered when he allegedly resisted giving them.


According to his cousin, the police appeared more interested in the contents of his laptop and wanted to be sure that he was not an internet fraudster popularly known as yahoo boys. His distraught mother was called that her beloved son was gasping for breath by the roadside and he was taken to the military hospital where he was rejected on the grounds that he was a gunshot victim and they couldn’t be certain whether he was an armed robber or not. On getting to the Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH), there was a delay by the medical personnel which led to his untimely and avoidable death.
In 2018, Ntekim-Rex beat 17,000 contestants from around the world, including finalists from Brazil, Germany, India, Japan, Nepal and the United States to emerge as the co-regional winner of the annual Master the Mainframe competition, organised by AngelHack and IBM Z Academic Initiative.

Why does Nigeria kill its best and brightest? In a developed clime, he would have been financially comfortable with his extremely high level of brilliance and angel investors would have been at his beck and call flocking to fund his ideas. Alas he was unfortunate to have been domiciled in a failed state where cows have more values than precious human lives! This was a brilliant young graduate of Systems Engineering at the University of Lagos. 


Life in Nigeria – the current poverty capital of the world is extremely cheap and it is worse for the majority poor who do not have any resources to protect themselves from the dangerous elements that make life here brutish, nasty and short to quote Thomas Hobbes.

The death of David is a sad reminder to many hardworking and honest Nigerians that they can be the next victim as the system doesn’t protect them in any way since we are all our own local governments. We feed ourselves even when we have no economic opportunities, provide our water by sinking boreholes or buying them from the itinerant vendors, provide our security etc. We are vulnerable on a daily basis and can be taken out at any time without warning. The system doesn’t take kindly to acts of kindness. Good Samaritans help distressed gunshot victims only for them to be implicated and labelled as robbery accomplices.

As usual David’s killers would never be found and the nation will move on as though he never lived since the system has decided to turn us into heartless beasts!

May his gentle soul find eternal rest in the Lord’s bosom!

Tony Ademiluyi wrote from Lagos. 


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