By Adeola Aderounmu.
“Until the gruesome murder of Osamuyia, I had never for once thought about Spain as a bad country to live in”.
My thoughts of Spain are not for evil but of good. The first time I met a Spanish person was in 2003 in my student corridor. Raul is a young fine man, very friendly and always social. If you are attending University in Sweden and you happen to have a Spanish friend, you have just boosted your social life.
With Raul and his other Spanish friends around, my weekend was always spiced up. They make good parties and they enjoy getting tipsy from drinks. The merry making of the Spanish is a clear departure from the boring attitudes of Swedish students in my corridor. Raul returned to Spain and I left the student corridor apartments sometime around April 2004.
In August 2005, I met another Spanish guy called Pedro. He is the funniest guy among my colleagues. He teaches spanish and I was teaching computer science at that time. In 2006, we found ourselves at a new school together again as colleagues. This time I am teaching science. Pedro and I have been at great parties, we have shared a room on a cruise and Pedro at some time wore my Nigerian clothes (Buba and Sokoto). He is a delightful person. I can speak well of him always.
My other knowledge of Spain comes from what I’d read mostly on BBC and what my friend Paulo told me about Spain. Paulo is my friend, a Nigerian who had lived in Spain, Luxembourg and now in England. Paulo lived for some time in Sweden before moving to England. As a matter of fact, Paulo met Raul and then Pedro because he spent most of his time around me while living in Stockholm.
I read that there are probably more immigrants living in Spain than anywhere else in Europe. This is mainly because of the closeness of Spain to Africa and the relative ease to explore the islands associated with Spain. I have read about the difficulties that the Spanish authorities have in controlling the influx of migrants into her territories. I have also read about hundreds of migrants that have died trying to reach Spain and also about those who get to Spain and are sent back one way or the other. Most of what I read are from BBC. This news service seems to dedicate extraordinary attention to migrants trying to reach Europe. It is a soap opera on BBC.
Paulo told me great things about Spain and Spanish girls. He told me the ease with which he spoke Spanish in comparison to the Swedish that I am still struggling with 6 years on. So, with my personal contacts with 2 friendly Spanish guys and with the stories from BBC and discussions with Paulo, my thoughts of Spain were formed.
For the most, I love Spain. I like the Spanish men (and women that I later met and interacted with). I received an email from Pedro last week; he is spending his summer holiday in Spain. He left his Spanish phone number and would like to be reached if anyone was planning to come over to Spain over the ongoing summer break. I had thought of visiting Spain many times but I didn’t. Instead, I have been to Germany and England where I have Nigerian friends on ground.
The lure to visit Spain is still there but this time, with the additional responsibility to make it a family trip. But instead of thinking of a flight to Spain now, I am now thinking about how I can lead a protest march to the Spanish embassy in Stockholm.
Suddenly, my thoughts of Spain have changed. Osamuyia was to be deported to Nigeria for some reasons. He was killed in a manner that lacks far less dignity than killing any animal! My new thought of Spain is that it is a country that has wild animals as Police officers. All at once, my respect for the Spanish people disappeared with this singular unspeakable attitude of some idiots in Uniform.
In the days ahead, we will like to see the public trial of these animals called police officers and we are much interested in their time behind bars. Spain as a country should apologise to Nigerians and the family of Osamuyia.
Above all compensations, the Spanish police as an organisation should teach its officers the principles and fundamentals of human rights. The course should also entail the applications of these principles so that NEVER again should this happen.
May the Glory of Nigeria come, soon!