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The UNIPORT 4 A descent to the abyss

OF all the atrocities associated with our current security challenges in the country, none touched me and nearly drove me to tears like the killing of 50 students in Mubi, Adamawa State and the October killing of four innocent teenage students of the University of Port Harcourt.

The event in Aluu more than all the criminality and corruption going on in this nation, shows how deeply the country has sunk. It shows us as a soulless  nation, a spiritually and morally deprived society. Even in the traditional African setting, nothing can justify the public killing of innocent teenagers. Even if they were indeed robbers, and these innocent Port Harcourt four were not, no traditional African community publicly killed teenage robbers.

In this case, these innocent children, who from all indications, came  from decent homes went to collect money one of them had loaned to a “friend”. This  has  vindicated Aristotle who in one of  his writings admonished “Neither a lender nor a borrower be”. If one of these boys had not shown kindness to a criminal, the  four of them would be alive  today. Who knows, one of them could have become another Wole Soyinka, Chinua Achebe, or even Nnamdi Azikwe or Obafemi Awolowo or indeed our own Albert Einstein. See how they have been wasted because we live in a country that cannot protect her citizens, a country of debased humans, and a society where majority are animals walking on two legs that can do worse things than lions in the wide.

The death of these innocent teenagers both in Mubi and Port Harcourt raises some fundamental questions: Where was the police in Aluu and Mubi. The Mubi Killings took place in the night so the police can say they were not informed, but what of the day light killing of the Port Harcourt Four. Is there no police post close to where this savage act took place? If it is true that the police actually got to the scene and felt they could not do anything and left without any effort to save the innocent, then the entire police team that went there should be dismissed from the Force, tried and sent to jail, and the Divisional Police Office in charge of Aluu should face the same fate while the State Police Commissioner in charge of Rivers State should be sacked; why did the police not use their fire arms to save the innocent. There is no doubt that it could have been better to  murder 20 potential murderers in order to save even one innocent citizen; for nothing can justify the killing of the innocent and no effort or sacrifice made to save the innocent is too much.

This is a nation where people enjoy their positions of authority and its benefits but make no effort to do their duty, a society where people seek power without responsibility.

Nigerian Public Officers are only interested in what they can get for themselves. Perhaps, if there was an opportunity for extortion or other personal gains during the ugly incident at Aluu, the police could have found reason to intervene. The government must use the Aluu incident to show Public Officers that dereliction of duty has consequences. In China, the head of an agency, the equivalent of our own “NAFDAC” was executed for dereliction of duty that led to the loss of lives. This is what it should be.

As I have always said in my interviews, articles and management development programmes, the major problem of this  nation is empathy deficit. Are there no elders in Aluu who have children? How will they feel if what happened to these four innocent children happened to their own children. Are there no mothers in Aluu? What did they do to prevent the killing of innocent teenagers? All of them, perhaps, the ages of their own children. Then the criminal traditional ruler, who should be executed publicly; does he not have children. How can such a crime be committed in a land with a leader? What  manner of traditional ruler is  he? To  make  matters even more savage, it is said he incited the mob to kill.

The lack of empathy among Nigerians is visible everywhere; in the traffic, in the hospitals, in police stations, in government ministries and departments, in churches and mosques where some  rogue pastors and imams preach either materialism or hate which they know is  neither in the bible nor the Koran, in schools/colleges and even in the universities where lecturers sexually harass female students young enough to be their daughters.

Was it not said that the late spokesman of the dreaded Boko Haram sect was killed while trying to take his wife to Kano for treatment: so he had a wife he loved, and perhaps even children, and yet his organisation would send suicide bombers to murder other people’s wives and children in churches and mosques and he would announce it to the world with pride.
As citizens of this nation, we  must begin to develop mutual love for each other and learn to put ourselves in each other’s shoes irrespective of religion, tribe or language. An American can put himself at risk, trying to save the life of another American. This is the type of attitude we must cultivate  if indeed we want to build a nation.

We must collectively rise against evil and ensure that justice is delivered to evil doers without the idiotic rationalization of evil that some people make or the traditional delay in our judiciary.
This Port Harcourt case must not be one of those cases that stay with the judiciary for decades. This justice must be served and delivered  hot so  that the lessons and deterrence will sink. One of the reasons for the culture of impunity pervading the country is the fact that deviants including those who commit mass murder are allowed to go  free under all  manner of excuses.

To date nobody has been tried and sentenced for the post-election violence in some parts of the North that led to the death of thousands of innocent people including Youth Corpers.
This  must not happen with the Port Harcourt case. All those involved with this barbaric killing, including the traditional ruler must be brought to book fast. The “Chief murderer”, the boy who raised the false alarm instead of paying his debt must be apprehended at all cost. The case file must never be closed until he is caught. People  like  that must  be  permanently separated from the society.

The government should ensure that this case is given an accelerated hearing and sanctions promptly executed. This is the only way the right lessons can be taught and learnt on this ugly incident, so that the nation can arrest this decent to the abyss and the pervading culture of impunity.

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