It was a foggy December morning and I was only 7 when I came eye to eye with what the people in my neighborhood had been up to the previous night. At first, it looked like Ejike, who ran a goat pepper soup restaurant in front of our house, had left his roadside kitchen and walked many meters away to roast the he-goat that would later garnish scintillating pepper soup and bitter leaf soup his customers would enjoy. But this thing, it had no horns. Could it be the baboon from down the street owned by one of the roadside mechanics who came around to fix my grandmother’s car? I was sure I still saw it’s bright red buttocks that morning as my aunt drove my siblings and me to school.
It was a human being. A man. His burnt face had the expression of one who was crying out for help. My neighbor later told me that he was the notorious thief whom everyone in our neighborhood had been searching for and that he deserved what he got. That image never left my mind, and that moral lesson according to my neighbour? Thank God for a compassionate mother whom I watched closely, Children’s church every Sunday and a school that taught me to be my ‘brother’s keeper’.
It takes one woman to carry a child for 9 months and pass through the backyard of death during labor but it takes the whole village to raise a child. Who is the village? People who can’t forgive a child for ATTEMPTING TO STEAL GARRI? That village must be filled with barbarians. An eye for an eye and tooth for a tooth kinda zoo.
Someone was lynched by a crowd in Lagos this week and it didn’t only bring back the choking memories of jungle justice but raised many questions. But I have these few to ask:
Who recorded the video of this lynching?
Who are those people who watched as he was battered and eventually roasted like cheap meat?
Where are those people who killed this person right now? Eating goat pepper soup and enjoying the fame social media has brought them since the video emerged?
Are all these people Nigerians? Wait, are they human beings?
It’s no longer about what crime this person must have committed. It’s about the government and it’s about you and I. Do we, as a people or country, really have the right moral standing to complain about Boko Haram bombing people if a boy could be tortured with such callousness and all our fellow compatriots did was stand by and watch?
Indeed it takes parents to bring children into the world but it takes a village to RAZE them in flames for the most forgivable offences.
Photo Credit: Belinda Pretorius | Dreamstime.com