In October 2012, four Nigerian students of University of Port Harcourt were brutally mobbed and murdered by people in the Aluu community, Rivers State. The concept of mob justice, lynching and ethnic intolerance is something that we decry and denounce.
So, when a BN Reader sent us an email about a near-repeat of the Aluu situation, we knew we had to share. Let us all join our voices against this horrible practice in our nation.
Please read the account below:
I’m a serving corper in Suleja, Niger state. I’ll withhold my name for security purposes.
On Thursday, August 3, 2015, 3 corpers, Oscar, Shola and Sadiq were mobbed almost to death & arrested over allegations of robbery. Oscar and Shola were out in Suleja & around Suleja General hospital when a Yabanga (Hausa vigilante) accused them of “looking like” some guys who robbed a nearby supermarket some days ago.
As soon as he shouted “thief” other Yabangas and Hausa people formed an angry mob and began beating these boys with every possible weapon. Sadiq, who knew them, stumbled upon the scene and tried to stop the mob, saying that they were all corpers in English. The mob conversing in Hausa immediately decided he was one of them and descended on him too. Bella, these boys were beaten for nearly an hour, almost to coma and almost killed before a police man appeared and arrested them.
They were not even hospitalized or given first aid despite the scene of the incident being in front of a general hospital. Instead they were detained in disgusting cells and forced to write statements. The police refused anyone to visit them till Saturday. That was when we were able to get them food and pain killers. Bella, if you saw these boys in the police station, you will hate Hausa people.
The police refused to release them, even on bail or take them to a hospital for proper care, as well as refused to allow any corper take pictures. Those boys slept in jail with open wounds, sores and internal bleeding on Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Corpers have been going there everyday with no progress.
Meanwhile, the NYSC local government Inspector and zonal inspector for Suleja L.G.A were nowhere to be seen. We organised ourselves and decided on a peaceful demonstration from the police station to the Emir’s palace to be held this Monday morning – 8th September, 2015.
Then this morning, the zonal inspector now called for a meeting of all C.D.S presidents and fellowship ex-cos an d some other corpers to dissuade us from protesting. According to her, the state coordinator and NYSC director general have been informed and are working on the case. Bella as I’m writing this, the boys were moved from Suleja here to police head quarters in Minna on Monday morning. They are still in custody despite the lack of any evidence against them.
How can you brutally beat up and arrest people because they “look like” the thieves that robbed in the past???
The situation in Suleja now is so bad that the zonal inspector has advised all corpers to lay low and avoid any argument/confrontation with the Hausa indigenes. The police is not even helping matters. They even accused a female corper that brought the boys food and drugs of “looking like” the girlfriend of one of the boy. They nearly locked up my friend who was protesting at the station. If not for the fact that she’s a young mother and had her 11 month old baby there with her, she would have been arrested too.
As at now, we have no idea what is happening to those boys in minna or what the nysc D.G is doing about the case. An elder has advised me that we need to form a delegation of about 10 corpers, go to the state secretariat and demand to see the State governor to brief us on the case.
Bella, my question is, why is this NYSC scheme still in existence?
I don’t understand why parents will struggle to train their child for 4 to 7 yrs in the university, only for him/her to finish and be posted to serve in a state where he knows no one – where his life means nothing.
Every month, we hear fresh tales of corpers being robbed, raped, assaulted, mobbed or killed for no reason without the perpetrators ever being apprehended. All this would never have happened if after school, you could remain in your state and start Job hunting.
Also, you have to realise that children of the rich in this country are automatically exempted from this redundant scheme. I will pluck out my eyes, if anyone can show me proof that any of Yar’adua, Obasanjo, Goodluck, Dangote or Adenuga’s kids did NYSC. Why is it now the children of the middle class and poor that are used as sacrificial lambs?
We’ve also been told that this same mob beating happened to corpers in this same Suleja about 2 years ago. These kind of situations make me regret the fact that I chose not to study law as I feel I could have done so much more to stop things like this permanently.
Bella, I really hope that you take this very seriously and post it today as we really need the world to see this great injustice. I sadly don’t have any pictures or videos of the boys or even their full details; names, call up numbers n state codes, but I believe the nysc officials have this information, but are refusing to give a press statement because they want to cover their asses. I know that if you and other news agencies can run this story, they will be forced to release all important information.
We hope someone who has the power to do something will read this and take action. We have to put an end to injustice and the spilling of blood in our country.
We thank the BN reader who sent this email to us. Thank you for taking the stand to spread the word.
Together, we stand for a better Nigeria.
BellaNaija has spoken with Niger State Assistant Superintendent of Police, Bala Elkana James, regarding the issue.
In a nutshell, he told us that the corpers were identified by a shopowner as armed robbers who previously robbed his shop.
Based on the information given by the shop owner, the vigilante group proceeded to torture the corpers, and soon, an angry mob gathered and also beat up the boys.
Police officers reportedly arrived at the scene shortly after, and took them away from the angry crowd.
They were then detained and not granted bail. According to James, because it is an armed robbery case, in Nigeria, armed robbery suspects can’t be granted bail.
ASP James says the corpers have now received medical care, and that the case is currently under investigation.
We will keep you updated on any developments.
A source closely affiliated with the case says two of the corpers were released yesterday. However, the third individual is still in under investigation and remains in police custody.
Photo Credit: Dreamstime | Horst Petzold