The Aluu Murders and Our Misguided Anger by Sagay Agbalaya
Barbaric, archaic, shameful, evil and terrible were some of the words many Nigerians and other observers have used to describe the killing of the four students of University of Port-Harcourt (Uniport). Many of us were shocked that some Nigerians could justify the act.
I personally do not agree with those who claim that killing of suspects by a mob should be allowed because the criminal justice system doesn’t work. I do not agree that a mob should be unleashed on suspects because we feel that the Police will not secure a conviction in Court. I do not agree that suspects should be stoned to death because we think the Judge could be compromised and the suspects could end up walking as free men
It is jungle justice. It is meant for animals and animals only. Not for higher animals that we are.
The last time getting justice this way was something fashionable, Christopher Columbus was yet to discover the new world; you could own a fellow human being as a chattel because it was lawful to do so – Not the 21st century!
Like most problems facing us as a nation, we are too lazy to think about the way out of the wrath that has taken over our judicial justice system. Is it education? – Parents now pay mercenaries to write exams for their kids yet they claim the standard of education keeps falling. Fuel – Since regular supply cannot be guaranteed by the government, operators of petrol stations now have all sort of charges. Economy – because the economy is so bad, civil servants feel they are justified to extort money from you when they perform their normal duties.
What is wrong is wrong. It’s very simple.
I know the questions that will come to your mind. What if I was there when my younger sister was raped? What if after making so much effort to raise money that could save my mom’s life, some good-for-nothing armed robbers attacked me? What if my only child is killed right in front of me? What would I do?
Wouldn’t I do worse than what members of Aluu community did? Wouldn’t I hit the idiot who raped my sister with any object in sight? Wouldn’t I stone the robber who prevented me from saving my mom? Wouldn’t I pour petrol and light a match on the fool who took my only child?
If the system works, why would I? Why can’t we push the government to make it work? Why can’t we make our own contribution to make it work?
If someone killed my relative, I would definitely want to see him dead. I don’t have to put the laws into my own hands. If my daughter was raped, I would cry; I would be scared for her health; I would be scared for her emotional well-being; I wouldn’t mind to see the rapist dead, but not by setting him ablaze.
My disagreement with Aluu community is not that I pretend to be as magnanimous as Jesus Christ. My condemnation of Aluu is not because I will ever forgive anyone who made an attempt on my life or that of my family. My strong opposition to Aluu is not because I would overlook my material losses. No.
I have disagreed with Aluu because another Aluu may occur again and there may never be an end to it. I disagree with Aluu because it is only one of the ways whereby we find short-cuts to our problems. We cannot rely on the Police for proper investigations, so what?
While there are explanations to show that the Aluu victims might have been innocent, let us even assume they were caught in the act; it is totally wrong for mobs to do justice this way. The implication is that each man may eventually become a law unto himself. That will lead to anarchy and getting to a turning point may be very difficult. It’s the reason why we need a government in the first place.
In as much as I am disappointed with Aluu community, the reaction that trailed the issue has left me more stunned. I still can’t believe that people who condemned jungle justice by Aluu actually believe that the reprisal attack by the students of University of Port-Harcourt is justified. If some people gave an excuse on behalf of Aluu that most of the residents are illiterate, and that could have explained their action, what about these University students?
I have seen people raining curses on the family of those that took part in the murder at Aluu. There are several broadcast messages encouraging us to curse the community and organize reprisal attacks. I have seen people who are ready to kill members of that community if the opportunity ever surfaces. The question is this: If jungle justice is bad, can we tackle it with “counter jungle justice”?
This is a moment when it appears there is no tunnel to look into let alone of seeing any light at the end of it. Do we even have hope as a nation at all?
Some days back, an army unit attacked a community and killed 30 civilians because suspected Boko Haram militants killed a member of the unit in Maiduguri.
There are several unreported killings of suspects in this country and we act like nothing is wrong. Human life has been reduced to nothing. I was shocked that some people even used their phones to capture how the helpless boys were murdered. When I discovered there was even a video (which I have refused to watch) about the murder, the only emotion I could feel was anger.
Anger at the entire Aluu community; Anger at the flawed criminal justice system which may end up not getting any conviction against the murderers at Alu; Anger at the Police in that community for their failure to intervene; Anger at those who hit the boys with any object whatsoever;. Anger at the boys that were sent to get the petrol; anger at the person who provided the matchet; anger at those people who brought the used tyres; anger at those who stood by while a crime of murder was committed.
I was getting over the anger when I was informed that there was a reprisal attack. I’m angry with the students who took part in the counter jungle justice. I’m angry at the security agencies who knew the attack was going to occur but chose to look away like they must have done when the initial murder was done. I’m angry at the Government that governs a nation where people feel jungle justice is the only justice they can get. I am angry at the “children of anger” on facebook and twitter who curse those who do not agree with them on issues. I’m angry at the twitter Overlords who made Desola abandon her twitter account for expressing her opinion – though I do not agree with her.
I’m just very angry, but I will deal with my anger. I won’t hurt anyone in the process.
Do not hesitate to leave your opinion in the comment section below.
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