There are more than 13,000 Nigerian students with study visas in Canada and the number is growing by every academic circle, reports The Sun.
The curtains were sadly drawn last week in Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada, on the fading hopes that the missing 19-year-old Nigerian student, Promise Max Chukwudum, who went missing on November 17, would be found alive.
The Regina Police came up with the sad news that Max’s body was found a kilometre away from his last known location over a month after he failed to return home from an outing.
There was a massive search by the police, the University of Regina and the small Nigerian community here, when the whereabouts of Max reached the distress status. His father flew in from Nigeria to join in the search and after over a month his body was found, lifeless.
The police believe Max “could have left the party on foot and be looking for shelter from cold temperatures that was freezing at -20 at that time,” reported CTV Regina.
Max was a young, promising lad in his second year as a computer science student at the University of Regina. Although the Regina Police force, known for their thoroughness, says it is investigating the death, it says “there was no indication Chukwudum’s death was a result of criminal act.”
This is the third death in Canada of Nigerians in school here in three years, and by far the most inexplicable.
The University of Regina is one of the best in Canada and, recently, Nigerians have increased their numbers in its faculties and students. Max, just 19, was already zooming off to the best opportunities here. Was there any carelessness on his part? Were there rules the parents could have set up for him and his younger sister, Chinaza, who is also a student here? Should our children not be properly guided and monitored on a daily basis by their parents? What can parents do to control a child in a society where unlimited freedom is guaranteed for those aged 18 years and above? What lessons can the thousands of patents back home learn on how to keep their children in check from these recent mishaps?
In 2016, Solomon Odekunle, a 21-year-old undergraduate in Ottawa, was stabbed to death in front of Piper’s Bar and Grill in Ottawa around 2:30am on Sunday, November 6.
He was a very peaceful young man who rose to defend another young Nigerian female student from threats from the knife-bearing assailant, 27-year-old Joe Bryan Ndukuriyo.
Many Nigerians were asking the inevitable questions as to what Solomon and his friends were doing out late in the night when the incident happened.
Was he a stubborn troublemaker? Why defend his fellow Nigeria in the face of danger?
So many questions are still being raised.
Solomon was a peaceful young boy, very disciplined and hardworking in academics. His classmates at the Southern Ontario College (SOC), Hamilton, where he did his grade 12, all have not recovered from his death.
On a personal note, Solomon was a classmate to my son, Clifford, at SOC and was a regular visitor to our home in Toronto. My family can’t recover fully from his death. He was cut down abruptly. His loving parents, close relations and friends, are left in distress.
Nicholas Nwoye, 46, was stabbed to death in Calgary in June 2017 while on his way home. The Calgary police described the attack as “random and unprovoked.” He was stabbed to death by a man whom he had never met before.
Nwoye, a father of three, was enrolled at the Bow Valley College in a practical nursing programme.
Keeton Michel Gagnon, the “career criminal” who killed Nwoye has a long criminal history with the British Columbia (BC) police spanning two decades.
“He is a career criminal with dozens of convictions including assault with a weapon, robbery, escaping custody and many breaches,” said the CBC News.
It is becoming clear now that Canada’s peace can be punctured once in a while, and that young people can be vulnerable at odd hours, particularly night time, like in any other country.
There are more than 13,000 Nigerian students with study visas in Canada and the number is growing by every academic circle. Many of the parents simply leave their children to their own fate, believing that, in Canada, all is safe.
While Canadian cities are well policed, and can boast of the best security architecture, there is need for parents who have exposed their children to, arguably, the world’s best education opportunities in Canada to know that they have a role to play for them to be safe here. There seems to be an illusion that because Canada is very safe and free of violence, there are no bad people around the streets and in some neighbourhoods.
Canada ranks as one of the most peaceful countries in the world, but this should not be taken for granted. The quick deaths of three Nigerian students, a 46 years old father of three and two very young undergraduates, in the last three years in Canada should raise the curiosity of parents on how to be sure their children stay out of trouble as they study in a relatively peaceful Canada.
Solomon’s brutal killing by stabbing in Ottawa, the yet-to-be resolved death of Max in Regina and the stabbing to death of Nwoye in Calgary have brought to the fore the need for Nigerian parents, particularly those who labour back home to give the best to their children in Canada, to be on the daily monitoring of their wards.
The western world, Canada inclusive, no doubt, has the best to offer our children in education but we must endeavor to monitor them in order to save them from the best of criminality that pops up here from time to time.