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Casting The First Stone

12 October 2012, 09:39

First, my heart-felt condolence goes to the friends, families, schoolmates of Ugonna, Lloyd, Tekena, and Chidiaka. These are the names of the UNIPORT undergraduates murdered by some members of the Omokiri Aluu community of Rivers state. God would grant them the fortitude to bear the loss of their loved ones.

This past events seems to point to the fact that we live in a country that do not value the life of the youths. The Aluu incident is coming on the heels of the massacre of more than twenty students in Adamawa Polytechnic, Mubi some weeks back. Taking some step back into time, we all knew the sad demise of the youth corpers who were butchered to their death by some U.P.As {Untamed Political Animal} in the Northern region of the country in the past election conducted. Now, we have the Aluu incident where some unscrupulous elements from Aluu, the university’s host community, lynched four undergraduates of UNIPORT students with bright future.

It had been long I heard of an accused thief being lynched by a mob .With disgust, I still have the vague picture of my mind of the charred body of a thief that was lynched by a mob on Muyibi Street in Olodi-Apapa area of Lagos. It was like six years ago and I thought lynching is now out-dated in Nigeria. However, events on that fateful Friday proved me wrong.

I do remember that day I just came back from an appointment in Eleme, an area on the outskirts of Port-Harcourt, Rivers state. Checking up on my twitter account, I came across a post that informed that some group of people were being lynched at Aluu community. I thought it was a social media-marketing gimmick. On logging into Facebook, I saw the posted pictures of the pummeled and bloody face of the young men and most appalling was the gory picture of the charred bodies of the burnt guys.What?Lynching still exist in Nigeria?

Like a ball during a tennis play, rumors, accusations, and counter-accusations had been flying left, right and centre on what actually transpired on that fateful day? Were Ugonna, Lloyd, Tekena, and Chidiaka actually thieves? Were they cultist? Were the executioners actually a legitimate vigilante group? Were the police actually chased away by the mob some minutes before these undergraduates were burnt to death?

Well, I am not writing this article to pinpoint who should have the lion’s share of the blame. I believe these above-mentioned questions would be answered by the investigative team of the Rivers State Police Force. However, the fact of the matter is that human beings, Nigerians, had been murdered in the most gruesome of ways.

This article is a wake-up call for Nigerians to have a change of attitude when it comes to societal issues. The average Nigerian believes the Nigerian police would not be able to render the justice needed. They believe the magicians called the police would perform some mago-mago and abracadabra and after being arrested, the cell of the thief would be empty 48 hours later. The probability of justice being denied would be higher if the accused have solid connections to the elites of the society. The feelings of the mob are very much understandable .Still, these premise does not, and would never, justify the taking of the life of a human being. Not even the so-called ineptitude and corruption pervading a particular institution could justify murder of a citizen who has a right to life.

We are all conversant with the biblical story of Jesus Christ and the adulterous woman. We all knew how the scribes and Pharisees brought the adulterous woman to Jesus Christ to seek His opinion on whether to stone the woman to death for her sin. We all knew the reply of Jesus Christ:” He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her”. We all know how, starting from the oldest, they began to drop their stone and depart.

To those people who took part in the lynching and the members of the mob, are you trying to tell me, in all your life you have never sinned before? Only your conscience, the laws of the land and God would judge you on that.

It is at this point that I make a passionate plea to the UNIPORT students and other aggrieved citizens to remain calm. Reprisal attacks would not be the answer to the Aluu imbroglio.We should know that we do not throw away a whole crate of egg just because some few were rotten.As we are aware, the police have arrested the perpetrators of the act, include the community leader, and we should be optimistic that the law would take its full course and justice would be duly meted out. Initiating reprisal attacks on the community would do nobody any good. Ugonna, Lloyd, Tekena, and Chidiaka, of blessed memory, would not rise from the dead if these reprisal attacks occur. Indeed, reprisal attacks would only initiate a fatal cycle that would only destroy more lives and properties.

In summation, there is great need for the average Nigerian to imbibe the right mentality. We are in the 21st century, not in the age of the Homo-erectus. Lynching is the crudest of punishment. It is plain murder. We live in a lawful society and should allow the law to takes its full course. Moreover, we are a nation aiming to be a member of the twenty most developed nations in the world by 2020.A society that a  sections of its citizenry lynch the accused in the blink of an eye is not supposed to be in the top 100 nation. In every way possible, Nigeria must put a stop to lynching of the accused. We should not contribute in making Nigeria a lawless country to live in.

In the developed nation of the world, is lynching the norm over there?

Just as Mary Slessor stopped the killing of twins, there is a now a great need for all to be a Mary Slessor to stop the barbaric act of lynching.

Rest in Peace, our departed compatriots!

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