What a week we’ve had! Nigerians went to sleep on the 1st of October after a muted celebration of 52 years in existence as a nation and woke the next morning to the disheartening news of the Mubi Massacre. 48 young lives in a Polytechnic located in Adamawa State were slaughtered in cold blood while over 50 other sustained different levels of injuries! The blood-thirsty murderers who are suspected to be members of the dreaded islamic sect Boko Haram, lined the students up and shot them like condemned armed robbers.
With Nigerians were still reeling from the shock of the gruesome Mubi massacre, only yesterday the social media was awash with pictures of four students of University of Port Harcourt who were badly brutalized and burnt alive by residents of Aluu community for allegedly stealing Blackberry phones and laptops in an off campus hostel. The unarmed victims who were all in their early 20’s were beaten to pulp by an irate mob and finally bound by tires and burnt to death.
I was shocked and appalled when I saw pictures of a crowd of onlookers urging on the self-styled executioners who without mercy, dished out jungle justice on the suspects. Several questions arose in my mind. Was there no right thinking youth or adult amongst these blood-thirsty people who could have been a voice of reason? Was there none of them moved by humanity enough to have contacted the police before things went too far? With the rate at which the gruesome images of violence spread over the social media, did it not get the attention of any security outfit that could have swung into action to prevent the resulting deaths?
Once again, Nigerians have displayed what years of abuse and system collapse can occasion. Our youths have become zombies, heartless and inhumane. I find it hard to believe that among the crowd of onlookers, no one was compassionate enough to have alerted the school authorities or the police to avert loss of life. They just stood there and watched!
I fear for the youths of our generation. A generation of heartless terrorists, cultists and blood-thirsty rogues who have no regard for the sanctity of human life. These so-called future “leaders of tomorrow” have no fear of God and think nothing of taking a life under the slightest provocation. If we have gotten to that place where the life of man means nothing, then alas, things are worse than I thought. What now differentiates us from Boko Haram? It is probably what IBB saw that made him say some years ago that our youths are not ready to assume the mantle of leadership in Nigeria and our retort? We rained insults on him!
There is a reason why the law prescribes the presumption of innocence for any person accused of a crime. It is simply to properly ascertain the involvement of an accused person in an alleged crime and to mete out a punishment that is commensurate with the crime. No one now can rule out the possibility of innocence of those youths because they are dead. Dead people can not defend themselves. No matter how horrendous the crime they committed was, it can never justify in anyway the gruesome manner in which they were killed. And how commensurate is the punishment of mauling and such an ignoble death by burning to the offence of stealing blackberry phones and laptops?
The anger of the average Nigerian youth is sadly misguided. There is so much hatred, wickedness and malice in the heart of the average Nigerian. Years of abuse, injustice and disillusionment has turned our soft hearts into hearts of stone that instead of fighting the root cause of our anger and dissatisfaction, we have turned against ourselves. Where were these self-righteous and irate youths during the fuel subsidy protests?
The pent up rage that was unfortunately vented on those four young men is the frame of mind of many Nigerians today. Our state of mind is so wacked out that there is no compassion anymore. Our societal ills have reduced us to mindless beasts. Even if the young men were thieves; though we may never be able to tell with absolute certainty, one would have expected some form of civility since the unfortunate event occurred close to a university environment. But alas, jungle justice was the solution a bunch of community people with close ties to a place of learning in the 21st century could come up with. This is a bad reflection on the image of the people Aluu Community.
While I am not denying the fact that they probably were sufficiently provoked to maul the alleged thieves, they should have handed them over to the police. They went too far by setting the suspects ablaze. That, in itself is the horrific crime of murder and it is sincerely hoped that the governor of Rivers State, Rotimi Amaechi will ensure that the apparatus of the state is put to work to fish out these persons who arrogated to themselves, the right to execute these young men without a trial in total disregard of the laws of the land.
“He who is without sin should cast the first stone.”
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