(My longest post yet… and not as entertaining as the rest.)
My heart currently bleeds for my nation- Nigeria. Nigeria has got some of the sweetest souls on earth and yet some of the meanest and cruelest human beings. Personally, I blame several conditions in the country for this. That’s not to rule out the fact that people should take responsibilities for their actions.
So about a week ago in Nigeria, four promising young men (All students of University of Port Harcourt) were brutally/heartlessly murdered for reasons we still don’t know. These boys were just about 19 or 18 years old. My younger brother is just about the same age and is about to enroll in university. So reading about this sad situation just made me think of my own younger brother.
Four mothers have just lost their sons. Sisters have lost brothers, brothers have lost brothers. Class/course mates have lost friends. Nigeria has just lost four young men who would have contributed positively in one way or another.
There’s a video floating on the web, showing how those boys were stripped of their young lives. Spectators appeared to be totally void of emotions. They watched as those boys who were already near death, had each of their necks strapped with tyres and set ablaze.
Where is the love Aluu community? Heck, where is the love Nigeria? Let’s face it, if this horrible incidence was not video taped and plastered all over the internet, most of us would have turned a blind eye to it and maybe even consider it a problem from Port Harcourt or South-east alone.
Where is the love Nigeria? The death of those young adults was not the only thing that has happened and we pretend to be oblivious. There are millions of issues we fail to claim ownership of but instead dump it all on the government who care less about its citizenry…. oh well, another topic for next time…
Back to Aluu.
There are hundreds of accounts as to what may have caused those cold-hearted Aluu community vigilantes to kill those boys. Some other people have also described these boys as law abiding and upright citizens. And it will be remiss of me not to mention that these guys were “upcoming artists.” (It appears that’s the in-thing now in Nigeria. However, I listened to one of their songs- Heart of a City- and it is an amazing song.)
According to one of the accounts, the four boys were allegedly robbers who had repeatedly broken into homes and businesses. Let’s assume they were indeed robbers. What then gave those community vigilantes the right to execute those young boys in cold blood? Aren’t there police in that community?
1, They had no right to kill those boys. 2, I am more than certain that there were police in that community. Let’s assume the police were far away from the vicinity where this treacherous act occurred and as such couldn’t quell the violence.
Now, quite honestly we know that community vigilance or in this case, jungle justice in Nigeria is not a new concept. For those of us who grew up in not so rich or well-to-do neighbourhoods, we’ve all witnessed when that one “thief,” was beaten mercilessly (to the extent that he/she lost consciousness) and tied to the electric pole till the police arrived. Whenever anyone screamed “Barawo,” or “Ole,” out loud, everyone knew to abandon whatever they were doing and give chase to that thief. The only thing I never saw or heard was the “Barawo,” or “Ole,” being killed. The police would usually pick up the thief and his/her fate was determined from there.
Did that same community vigilance I experienced as a kid ever exist in Aluu community?
But then, there are thousands of stories of people who have sought the assistance/ services of the police in desperate situations and have been disappointed. The excuse of “we don’t have petrol,” has been a chart topper.
If the police were called upon during the Aluu incident, would they have turned up? In an interview with Channels TV, the mother of one of the victims claimed the police were actually called and they claimed they were “overwhelmed” by the crowd.
I could only gather the guts to watch that video for less than a minute and for all I noticed, the crowd was very calm and actually looked very entertained as the boys were killed.
Is there any security in Nigeria at all? Well, let’s assume the police are helpless. Could the army have done a better job? Well, after all the reports of their abuse of power in Jos – killing, exploiting and in some cases raping women- I would think their presence would have made no difference. Except maybe more innocent people would have been killed.
And to the the best of my knowledge, our dear “good luck” of a president, has not made any statement on the killing. But then what difference does it make as the usual thing would be “We condemn such acts and we would do our best to make sure justice is served.” (Mind you, justice has no home in Nigeria; none whatsoever.)
Okay, I’m beginning to rant now and my head hurts.
God bless Nigeria.