I didn’t see the Aluu video, I never wanted to. The summary of the event was enough to make any sane human being puke. I’d seen my fair share of gory deaths; three years ago as a field reporter for a local newspaper in Ogun State. The sight of burnt bodies in fire incidents, decapitated victims of accidents, bloated corpses abandoned on expressways never really leaves you. It ain’t pretty and never will be. My capacity for morbid curiosity died an early death; I wasn’t ready to see such anymore, particularly when this particular incident reeks of a most gruesome act of man’s inhumanity to man.
These days, youths (and Nigerians generally) are being cut down by people supposed to be brothers, neighbours, compatriots. A few days before the Aluu incident, the trending topic was the Mubi 40 (kinda makes me think of a great band. Sad thing my memory is now screwed up in that regard). It now appears as if no one else cares about your life except you. But we do not live in a jungle so why should the ‘dog eat dog’ mentality still prevail in a modern society? Even in the pre-colonial days, people weren’t treated this way; why should we do so now?
But the issue actually exposes some other problems we have. It goes a long way to show that a vast majority of Nigerians have lost faith in the justice system and the police (YES YOU!). When innocent people rot in jail; when hard core criminals are arrested due to an anonymous tip, only to see them walking free the next day (possibly with the house address of the ‘snitch’ in hand for reprisal), it makes you wonder if we have justice in this society anymore. Now I wonder what took the police so long to get there and stop a bad situation from getting worse. Maybe they weren’t called but it still shows how inept they have become.
In the midst of all this, does it mean we should now take laws into our own hands? Heck no! When that small group of murderers decided to become the judge, jury and executioner, they sunk lower than the lowest scum of the earth. In my opinion, they mentally devolved backwards to our Darwinian ancestors, Homo Idiota. People were there who didn’t like what they were looking and could have stopped them but didn’t; they’re murderers too. They say evil resides in the presence of good men who decide not to do anything to stop it and have become as bad as the evil itself. With Aluu in mind, it couldn’t be farther from the truth. As for the pseudo cameramen who were content to record the video with murderous glee, they’re no different from the person who struck the match.
These guys were children to some parents, brothers to a few, friends to many and humans above all. We now know the story (or stories as it might be) but guilty or not, they did not deserve to die the way they did. Is our justice system dead or alive? I’ll leave you to answer that. Now that a lot of noise is being made (and I suggest we do all we can to ensure that our calls for justice aren’t drowned out), something should be done fast. The police have hard evidence in the video; there are faces in it and there’s little or no pussyfooting (or what they call investigation) to be done. We need closure on this and we must get it this time around.
The murder also exposes, on a broader perspective, our current affinity for short cuts: we jump queue’s at will, give/take bribes to speed up a process, pull others down to rise to the top, do crazy stuff to make quick money, etc. It’s akin to what the Aluu people did; in a bid to get their ‘justice’ from the supposed robbers they captured, they took a short cut, jumped right over the police and the courts. The unfortunate thing this time around was that they took lives; bribes can be returned, erring queue jumpers can be reprimanded and made to go back but a human life once taken, can never be replaced. They took four.
When a politician robs us blind before our very eyes, we sing his praises but four promising Nigerian youths got stripped, beaten and barbecued for supposedly stealing a laptop. What have we become?
I pray this issue will not die down until justice prevails.
R.I.P: Chiadika Lordson, Ugonna Kelechi Obusor, Mike Lloyd Toku, and Tekena Elkanah.