…You know you want to
I thought I would hold my peace on the killing of the four University of Port-Harcourt undergraduates but the evil just keeps eating away at my heart. The more information I get about the incidence, the more my heart breaks; the more I realize that the heart of man is indeed desperately wicked and the extent of its wickedness is truly unimaginable. Despite all the wickedness that I have seen in my time, I often choose to believe that our world is improving and man is becoming more humane in his reactions to his fellow man. I was wrong.
I first heard of the brutal mob action that terminated the lives of these four young Nigerian males via a social network broadcast. Indeed, I was alarmed. One would ordinarily believe that Nigerians have gone past the days of mob killings or am I just being naive? I need an answer. When I was a child, it was common place to hear of petty thieves, armed robbers, kidnappers and the likes being beaten or burnt alive by irate mobs. However, our developing civilisation suggests that such people should be handed over to police custody upon suspicion or being caught in the act.
I recently observed a depraved mode of vigilante justice that has started becoming ‘popular’ in recent times. Young ladies caught stealing mobile phones are stripped of their clothes and are sexually molested by male assailants who make sure to keep their faces hidden from the camera. The video goes viral on the internet and people deaden their conscience and gloat. If the perpetrators are so proud of their supposed ‘crime-fighting’ techniques, why do they hide their faces? These are sex-offenders who ought to be tried as such but they hide under the pretext that they have caught a thief to perpetrate the depravity of their minds.
It is now apparent that some people have still not grown out of that barbaric state of being. Just when the western community was starting to believe that although our skin is black, we are humans too, some people go and do this! How do we distinguish ourselves from wild animals that have no forethought or predisposition to compassion if we knowingly and gleefully cause the gruesome death of a fellow man?
I am told that on the allegation that these four young men stole two mobile phones and a laptop computer, a mindless vigilante group quickly constituted itself, striped these young men naked, paraded them around the town and beat them beyond recognition before setting them ablaze. I did not have the heart to watch the video of how they were killed but the stories I heard from those who dared to watch it left my stomach in a tight knot. Reportedly, one of the amateur camera men took his camera over the almost lifeless bodies of the boys and casually said “This one never die”.
Where was the police when this was going on? There were hundreds of the inhabitants of that community in attendance, supervising the serial murder. How come nobody lifted a finger to help them? How come nobody ran to the nearest police station to report or was the duration so short as to make life-saving intervention impossible? Was it just enough that someone had said they were thieves? Did the allegation make it right to immediately pass a sentence of brutal death on them? I am shocked at how merciless these people are.
Speculations upon speculations have arisen since the serial murders. Some said the young men belong to a cult and the perpetrators of their murders were from a rival cult. How does this amount to a reasonable excuse? Even if we all concede that men of the occult are devilish and they show no compassion whatsoever when dealing with people that they perceive to be against them, will we all also agree that the villagers who watched on as the boys were savagely murdered are part of the occult society? I vehemently refuse that proposition.
Cultists or not, the ‘non-cultist’ spectators could have done something to prevent the grievous crime. I dare to say they did not because the wanted to watch those boys get killed. They savagely enjoyed the scene.
This goes to show that not only the persons who dealt the blows, or lit the match took part in the killings. Everyone who chanted and sang after them as they were paraded around the village naked and those who laughed and gloated while they watched are all murderers. If only a few people had gathered to save these boys and do the proper thing by handing them over to police, they would all probably still be alive today. The allegations remain unproven but the alleged offenders lay dead forever.
Death is not the penalty for the offence of stealing under any law subsisting in Nigeria. If after they are arraigned before a court of justice, they are found guilty of the offence of stealing; they would serve their time and look forward to living a better life when they get out. That option is no longer available to them because a bunch of barbaric monsters thought them undeserving of a fair trial; and better off dead.
Every person who stood by and watched the unlawful execution needs to ask themselves this: “If it was my brother; father; son; cousin or friend lying there, taking all that beating, would I stand back and gloat just because I believe what they said he did?”
I shake my head in deep mourning for these promising lives that were brutally terminated but more so for the depravity of the minds of all those who stood back and did nothing to help those boys. The police have failed us yet again but worse still, the spectators, just like the killers have done the human race even more harm. I am starting to wonder if the evil in this country is greater than the good. The fact that we could not get at least ten people to gather and fight for these boys is almost sufficient proof in the affirmative.
My heart is screaming at the untold grief that has been brought on the families of these young men. One family had to collect the barely identifiable remains of their son and bury in the thick forest as native traditions would not permit the burial of a brutally murdered person in the village. They say he was only nineteen years old. He was younger than my little brother.
It does not matter whether they stole.
It does not matter what they stole.
It does not matter who they were.
It does not matter what life they lived.
They deserved a fair trial.
But that is not going to happen now.
The people of Aluu have killed them.