Barbaric and extremely shameful are the words I can use to describe the gruesome killing of four UNIPORT students.
The deed has been done, but are we sure that would be the last, would there not be a repeat??? Are we just going to talk about it till it becomes stale?
There are lessons to be learnt. I have some to offer:
1) We have lost faith in our Police Force, if we still believe in them, the boys would have been taken to the Police Station, and everyone would be rest assured that the case would be handled well. Can you imagine, the Policemen on ground complained that they didn't have enough bullets to scare the mob away? The Police has failed us, Aluu is not a remote village, and this barbaric act lasted for about four hours.
- We need a total overhaul of our Police Force, an a re-introduction of it should carefully mapped out.
LACK OF VALUE FOR LIFE
2) Life has little or no value in Nigeria. It is a normal thing to hear about deaths in different parts of Nigeria on daily basis. Yet the stinking aroma of unconcern is everywhere. We have become so used to the news of death, that it no longer in any way, affects us. As far as none of our relatives were killed, its none of our business. We have become lovers of that part of the bible which says 'a thousand shall fall by my right hand and ten thousand by my left, but none shall come near me'. We have become silent, beaten into intimidation by recurring death news.
- Its time we use our mouths and shout at the top of our voices, then we would be heard. Use every platform available, facebook, twitter, bbm, let them know that, in our own little way, we are noisemakers...and can make a lot of noise.
SOCIAL MEDIA - A DEADLY TOOL
3) Many have complained that the killing should not have been videotaped. I totally disagree. Whoever taped it and uploaded it online did the whole world a favour. The video brought a different side to the killing. Many watched it and vomited, others recoiled in horror, others cried. The video was the main evidence in the hands of the Police. It motivated people to join the cause and take a stand. Many top govt officials actually watched, and were not just told the story.
- Now we can see the power of social media. The video immediately became popular with so many hits on youtube. Those people who someone called the idle and idling, twittering, collective children of anger the distracted crowd of facebook addicts, the BBM-pinging soap opera gossips of Nigeria are the ones actually pushing for justice...(I think we need a new name).
4) If this had happened in 'Oyimbo' land. John Maxwell, popular author on issues about leadership would have written a book on how to handle crisis as a leader. It is sad and painful, that there was actually a man, who could have done the right thing. The Community Leader or Community Killer, Chief Hassan Walewa, refused to be a leader at such critical moment and became the lowest follower...what a shame. He stood back and allowed such a thing on his turf.
- People who are in leadership are supposed to be calm, and think straight when everything and everyone around them is burning up.
LEAVE JUDGEMENT TO GOD
5) I agree that our judicial system also has a part to play in this brouhaha. The mob must have felt that the court process of convicting the boys would be slow and corrupt, and so decided to pronounce judgement. Even if the boys were guilty, What gave them the right, are they, themselves pure and holy. Remember, 'let not the kettle call the pot black'. No wonder God decided to take full control of the jurisdiction of judgement.
- I believe in the law and state. I believe in the judgement of the court. Though, mistakes are inevitable and sometimes, the innocent cry and the guilty laugh, but it is still a better bargain when compared to jungle justice. Even animals are not treated that way.
6) It is very obvious that the people who committed the beastly act were frustrated. They were fuelled by poverty, a failed system, unemployment, insecurity, and so they pounded the boys with their frustrations. Listening carefully to the sound from the video clip, you would hear the villagers talking about how rich the boys were. A hint of jealousy is very much obvious. To them, what they were doing was justified. They were killing the rich and corrupt people...(The Robin Hood Idea). They were ridding the country of the bad eggs..very funny.
- If only they had known...if only they had known. The real corrupt people do not send their children to schools in Nigeria. They wear white agbada and white cap to match. They are heads of conglomerates, and are always awarded National Honours. Their anger was misplaced, misguided and directed at the wrong people. We complain about our failed state, let's talk to the government, let's demand for our rights, let's tell them that we don't have jobs, we don't feel safe, let's shout it out with one voice and not keep shut and wallow in painful silence, then pour out our pain on helpless individuals. Yet we kill ourselves and feel good about it.
Our future is bleeding.
By: Akan Imoh, Dept of Political Science, UNILAG.