8 Oct 2012

Let me start by getting the disclaimer out of the way. I think what happened to the uniport students was inhumane, wrong, wrong again, and just plain wrong. No matter what the crime was, it is not the duty of the villagers(mob) to kill them---butcher them will be a more appropriate way to put it. I find one thing disturbing though; the surprise with which the Nigerian masses viewed the act. What am I saying then? I am saying that the event is not that surprising and it definitely is not as isolated as some people will like to think. There was a video the other time showing the lynching of a guy in lagos, I remember the lynching of a thief when I was little, and christmas season is like the festival of lynching at main market (you see charred bodies as you go to the market). Some people proclaim, "this never happens, so the perpetrators should be KILLED." I want to say that

that is lie no 1. Want to test my theory that this is not an isolated incident? Walk into main market and take (steal) anything; if you escape with your life, then you know that your chi is working overtime. Now, why do I say this. I think we don't just need to address and show our outrage at one video because it managed to get on the internet. It is so much bigger than just those four students. We need to look at the society that thinks it's okay to lynch thieves. We need to examine why our youth (the leaders of tomorrow) thinks it's okay to dish out jungle justice to unarmed individuals. We also need to examine why a large number of bystanders think it is okay to watch in fascination as a brutal horror unfolds before their very eyes. We need to examine why a large crowd did not find it pertinent to stop two men from bludgeoning the students to death. We need to address the moral decay that is prevalent in our society. I saw a picture of one of the alleged murderers in police custody. He was shirtless and a little worse for wear (he looked like he was beaten up by police). By our logic, the police should not be brutal in their handling of suspects because if not, they become as bad as the criminals (not that Nigerian police are not criminals, but that is a discussion for another day). Lastly, we need to ask why the government cannot provide security for her citizens. Those people calling for the arrest of the village chief are wrong in their righteous anger. Unless the chief was present at the scene of the crime or gave the orders to lynch the students, then he is as innocent and mortified at the event as you and me. Let us not in our blind rage and thirst for blood/vengeance go on a witch hunt for someone to lynch. God bless Nigeria.
By Lisa Amina Ngwudike.



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