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Friday, January 13, 2012


. . . because many of us literally equate “shooting” with “killing”, the news that Nadia Johnny of Mongouge was shot understandably sent shockwaves through the Mongouge community. We first learned that a police bullet had gone through her neck; later we understood that the bullet went through her arm.

As the story unfolded, we learned that the bullet did not come from a police gun but that a prison officer who was “defending” himself against an attack by an ex-convict. Unfortunately, Nadia - an innocent passer-by – simply happened to be “in the wrong place at the wrong time” and she became an instance of collateral damage.

Nadia was an outstanding student in her final year at Grambling State University (GSU) pursuing a degree in Accounting.

I knew Nadia from childhood and later on went on to teach her Physics and ICT at the Choiseul Secondary School. She was a very soft-spoken student and was barely audible when she spoke in class; and because of her “diminutive” physique and low profile, she was barely “visible”.

But whatever she missed out in “voice”, physique and social profile, she "more than" made up for it in academic brilliance/excellence.

Nadia was no doubt an A-student; and her academic excellence followed her all the way to GSU where her GPA average never fell below 4.0.

I last saw her (along with her Mum, brother and young son) on Christmas holiday when she came to visit me on a professional matter. We spoke at length about her studies and I found out, despite her academic brilliance, she was having much financial difficulty making ends meet. Now another layer of difficulty has been added to her ordeal.

Nadia was due to leave on Sunday, January 15 to resume her studies.

I wish her God's blessings and a speedy recovery, so that she can resume her studies at the earliest.

Meanwhile, the authorities may want to consider granting her some financial relief as a part of her indemnity package.

Nadia is a close relative of ex-policeman Leonard Johnny who is in the final stage of completing his PhD in criminology at the University of the West Indies..

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