Monday, 8 October 2012

The Murder of The 4 Uniport Students:The Untold Truths

I’m sad. The spade of insecurity in this country is alarming and this has forced citizens to take the law into their own hands. JUNGLE  JUSTICE we call it. I call it MURDER.I don’t want to dwell on the reasons why these four University of Port-Harcourt students – Ugonna, Ilyod, Tekana and Chidiaka had  their lives cut short in this barbaric manner. No1 has the right over another man’s life.These boys were caught for alleged theft and tortured for hours and killed. That is the log line.

Despite various recounts as to what might have happened, multiple sources have claimed they were cult boys who went to claim or attack some 1. They didn’t meet the person at home and went to the bush to chill and smoke.Then the vigilante were tipped off that robbers were in the area which resulted in them being rounded up.

Another story claimed they were cultists who went to attack a guy and he shouted for help and this drew the attention of the vigilante’s in the area.”My source who spoke exclusively to me, and confessed to being part of a group called Mafia;s said“These boys are 200 level students of the University of Port-Harcourt. They were part of a cult group” THE MAFIA’S”. They are not even hardened enough to kill .What they do is collect dues from defaulting members etc.So on this faithful day, they went to Aluu village to ruffle a particular guy who happened to be a rival cult member(Vikings).On getting there, they didn’t meet him at home so they decided to chill in the nearby bush.

The word got out that they were around and  a Vikin member ran to the vigilante guys to report that the thieves terrorizing the neighborhood were spotted.Knowing if they were spared,they would retaliate,the Vikin members posing as ordinary students called for teh head of these boys and accused them of orchestrating several robberies in the area.They even arranged for some girls to claim they had been raped” OK PAUSE.
One of the victims, Tekena on holiday in London

Many of us have heard of mob actions before,we have seen alleged thieves paraded on TV.There is something which is never absent“The weapons used,the item stolen/the person attacked.Why were all these components absent?Why didn’t we see any reference in that video made to the fact that these boys were thieves?
Who brought up the story of theft in the first place?A cover up?A frame up?Were the vigilantes used as a tool to perpetrate the heinous crime orchestrated by others?

-Why didn’t any 1 in that footage say”"Stop”?Where were the women of that community.The community head?
-All the voices in that footage called for their heads.One kept ringing in my ear”The yellow one no wan die,die,die,die”".I dint hear a single”NO”.
-For a torture session which lasted for hours,why didn’t anyone call the police on time?
-Was it a case of jealousy or envy caused by class segregation?

A few people have backed the killings.One said “Na because they be fine boys” Another said: “All of you condemning this killing don’t know what it means to encounter an armed robber”. There was an interesting one “Why all the fuss?This is not the first time,mob killings occur in Nigeria”
True!Let me tell you why this has driven deep into the core of my soul and other Nigerians.There are killings which are done in the spur of the moment,and there are premeditated murders,carefully planned and executed.

Mob actions are usually carried out in the spur of the moment.The thief is usually caught red handed in the act.The beating, torture, burning is done in a twinkle of an eye.So fast that even the fastest reacting police squad wont get there on time. This is different,there was time,they were paraded,taken from one scene to the other.Yet,no sign of what they did.

This means,are the people Aluu made up of monsters or were their minds infiltrated with such hate against those boys by someone?Have they been covered up murders in the past?
The callousness and wanton disregard for human life exhibited by those who did this didnt potray them as novices.They have done this before
I have several theories and none would be as legit as the truth(sadly enough,just the 4 of them know what really happened)
But for the benefit of those who are heartless enough to justify these killings
I have two chilling stories to share with you all.

Sometime back in 1998,I went to the Jos main market with my late dad.Suddenly, a young man ran past us carrying a bundle of lace materials. While we stood raining obscenities at him for pushing people roughly, a Yoruba trader ran out of her shop shouting ”Ole,Ole,Ole.

W e didn’t need a soothsayer to know she was referring to the guy who just ran past us. Being a strict disciplinarian my dad was, he followed in hot pursuit along side many other men and women.
We hadn’t gone far when we saw a mob gathered around a young man, beating him with sticks and chains..Something was wrong; he wasn’t the man who ran out of the store with those laces. We saw the Yoruba trader screaming at the top of her voice”. No be am,no be am tif my cloth”. The noise of the blood thirsty citizens drowned out her voice as we watched a man bring a tire and throw around this young man’s neck.

Then I looked up, and spotted the man who ran with those items in the crowd. Watching, waiting. Our eyes met and I nudged at my dad and when he looked in the direction of my face, he saw him too. This time, the man was disappearing into the crowd.

A match was brought and I heard this innocent man say with his last strength” Why me father? Why me? My dad tried to push forward to tell them you have the wrong man, but the stares he was given were enough to say” back away old man, or you join him”.
This story doesn’t mean all victims of Mob actions are innocent, what it means is even when the primitive urge in man, frustrations and lack of trust in our legal stems push us to the edge, something could go terribly wrong.
The second story goes thus

“Sometime in 1999, my dad took a trip from Onithsa to Benue State boarding a popular transit bus. (name withheld). They had gotten to the outskirts of Onithsa when robbers struck. The robbers who were dangerously armed gave them one simple instruction” Place our money on the floor. All of it because  we’ll search. While other robbers (a mix of male and female) were offloading all the passenger’s bags into their own van, three were collecting the money seat by seat. They also searched them down to their pants.
Then something happened. There was a young woman in her 20’s who was dressed in all black. She had a baby in her arms. She was seated next to another older woman. When the robbers struck, this young lad quickly split her money into 2.She hid part in her baby’s pampers and dropped the last on the floor.
The older woman, my dad and a few others saw her do this. When they got to her, they told her to drop the baby and stand for a search. She did that and the found nothing on her looked at her baby and asked her to sit down.

After the robbery the thieves were leaving.suddenly,the woman seated next to the nursing mother screamed” “THIS WOMAN HER HID MONEY IN HER BABY’S PAMPERS”.It was like a scene from a movie as the robber turned and walked towards the lady who was shaking.They took her baby lifted it up and the head of the gang tore the pampers,removed the money and said”as you small so,you don sabi tif abi”.In a split second,he shot the baby pointblank in the head and flung the baby in the bush.  Ordered the driver to kick start the bus and leave
My dad said,there was absolute silence,shock,no 1 uttered a word as the believed mother went blank. They drove for hours til they got to River Benue.  The driver stopped the bus and came down with his assistant.Opened the door and asked the woman(who reported)to step out.She started crying,wondering what they wanted to do.Upon denial,the forcefully pulled her out and threw her into the river.The driver turned to them and said”Any body wan follow am”? No 1 coughed as they shut the door,drove to the park and dispersed.

Now,look at these two scenarios and be the judge..Did they have the right to kill her?NO. Did she deserve to die?Be the judge
But,these boys didn’t deserve this.Even if they were cultists.Young men join groups for various reasons,per pressure,wannabe,security.(not justifying though). Each and everyone who participated must be brought to book publicly.


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