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Moses Obroku: Where is Your Humanity?

Moses Obroku

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It is getting increasingly difficult to listen to the news without feeling worse for doing so. The kind of evil practiced these days is just alarming, to put it mildly. It is bad enough that victims of crimes experience such wicked acts from people of dark characters. Yet, when society manages to lay hands upon such perpetrators, an angry mob usually agrees, and mete out jungle justice on those individuals.

The practice of lynching in many parts of Nigeria is not new.  It depends on the mood of the mob, and the severity of the offence. Except of course, there is quick, efficient intervention from Law enforcement agents. One of those factors determines if an offender lives to face prosecution, or dies right there – at the scene of apprehension.

I do agree that being a victim of such violent crime like armed robbery, can create that proclivity not to show mercy to a pickpocket; but, we forget it is not the place of the mob to decide what the punishment for a crime is, nor its place to execute it.

Recently, a fiendish cult of diabolical murderers called Badoo keeps showing up in Ikorodu – specifically to kill people in cold blood. Their weapon of choice is usually the grinding stone, or any other crude household item. The group has attained mystical status. There has been sightings of the perpetrators, before they manage to vanish into the bush in the night, by some victims who survived; it is revealed they carry out their attacks stark naked. Without provocation or any other imaginable reason, the group keeps attacking innocent victims in their homes. They emerge from the shadows and carry out their horrific act; often times eliminating entire families.

Having eluded law enforcement agents for some time now, a group of four individuals were apprehended in Ikorodu recently; and declared to be members of Badoo. They were first beaten, then set ablaze by that mob that had a unanimous cry for blood. That angry vengeful mob had no time for investigations. It did not care that those men could have given the Police useful information to track down their wicked organization; if they were truly members. Talks later filtered that they were just land grabbers and not Badoo members. But it was too late.

This is what our society has become. In our desire for vengeance, we collectively turn on suspects of crimes and investigate, prosecute, judge and sentence them in one fell swoop. It is such lawless, self-righteous indignation that sometimes leads to the killing of innocent people. Do we remember the ‘Aluu 4′?

It is this giving into baser instinct that has stripped us of our humanity and unleashed the beast in us. The rising cases of rape and murders and even ritual killings are worrisome.

Some newly graduated male secondary school students went on attempted rape rampage recently. Immediately after their final examination that day, they began to chase their female counterparts all around the school environment. The unfortunate girls that were cornered had their skirts ripped with scissors by those boys. A passerby who saw it all confirmed that one boy was trying to force himself on one terrified girl; even as his colleagues cheered him on. Who raised those libido controlling, orgy indulging boys?

Before our eyes, people have made a profession of kidnapping for ransom. With non-specific targets, they hit whoever they imagine they can obtain ransom on. What sort of people invade schools and abduct students from their dormitories?

Surely this was not the kind of society I grew up in; it is certainly not the type I want to raise kids in.

Even as I write this, the six students kidnapped from Igbonla Model College, Epe, nearly one month ago, are yet to regain their freedom. We were all too glad when the Police apprehended kidnapping kingpin ‘Evans’. The confession he has been making underscores the point on how debasing people have become. Surprisingly, his wife wants him to be forgiven. But we have news for her. Lagos State has an anti-Kidnapping Law in place now. The Evans chap will have his day in court. And if the court finds him guilty, he will go to prison for the rest of his life for all the people he kidnapped. If it is further established that any of them died in his custody, he will face the death penalty.

Just when one is able to get some respite from bad news on mainstream media; social media forces more unnatural behaviours in our society down your consciousness. Sometimes, such videos range from the bizarre to the immoral. One such video showed a middle-aged couple accused of ‘stealing people’s money with spiritual powers’. Before you can blink, they were stripped naked and shoved along the road. You could hear someone saying by the side that they should finish them off right there. One other leader of that mob kept slapping the bare derriere of the woman aggressively – like that would fulfill his life’s ambition. The Police should be invited to arrest those accused of committing a crime, without resorting to stripping a person off their human dignity.

I saw another unfortunate picture on social media one time. A woman hung herself. She was not alone in the picture. Another lady with a phone held in front of her stood not more than twenty feet from the corpse. She was either making a video or taking pictures of that tragedy. She appeared in that picture because someone else took a shot of that macabre sight from behind.  This is who we have become; lovers of exclusive shots of tragic situations. The victims can sort themselves out while the cameras from our phones click away.

The only time onlookers in a crowd don’t take pictures of an ongoing tragedy is when there is a clear and present danger to them. I don’t remember any of such amateur emergency photojournalists standing in the path of an approaching fire spreading from a petrol tanker.

People collaborated in putting out a fire in those days. Nowadays, they whip out their mobile devices and document the whole thing. With the way we are going, rather than pulling out a drowning man by the hand, we may instinctively bring out phones to capture real time drowning scenario for our viewing pleasure.People now standby and Livestream suicides, urging the one who wants to kill himself to get on with it already.

It was in the news recently that half the humanitarian items meant for internally displaced persons by Boko Haram are diverted. Such items turn up for sale in shops. And in spite of their branded packaging as relief materials, consumers purchase them at low cost; thereby supporting such horrific corruption. Who steals from IDPs who are already undergoing unimaginable travails?  I fear about the level of insensitivity this generation and coming ones will demonstrate. As it is, our society is already a callous, cruel and shameful place.

We are all guilty, people. From those who commit heinous crimes to those who take the pictures or make live recordings of disasters at the victim’s expense.  Even those who love to circulate and view such gory stories without voicing their disapproval.

The golden rule of life remains true at all times. Do to others as you would have them do unto you. If we take a moment to think about what we want to say or do in those terms, we shall begin to reclaim the very essence that makes us humans.

Photo Credit: Alberto Jorrin Rodriguez | Dreamstime.com

Aside from being a lawyer, migration management expert, security personnel and fitness buff; there are many other sides to me. I am also a self -proclaimed foodie (and oh yes, to complement that, I can cook!). Of course, writing is my passion and I have a mission to inspire my world, one person at a time. I can be reached on [email protected] Instagram: @mosesobroku

13 Comments

  1. marvel

    June 20, 2017 at 9:23 am

    honestly, the most barbaric is taking selfies or live streaming a victim. I cant imagine. well done, Moses.

  2. Kunle

    June 20, 2017 at 9:43 am

    Lol….. Until you wear the shoe where they kill your dad, rape your sis and ask you to have sex with your mum, you won’t be judging those who take such decisions. I’m not saying their actions were justified but just still think and emphasis on their pains wearing the shoe.

    • Pippy

      June 20, 2017 at 11:40 am

      I’m just confused by your use of “Lol”

  3. C

    June 20, 2017 at 10:21 am

    Most barbaric country. I still have nightmares about that mob mentality from my childhood. My dad had to restrain me cause I wanted to go help the lady stop being mobed and raped right in front of us where he was busy trying to save two babies he was holding one of which a 6yr old girl who thought she could save the worl. I remember thinking why are the burning humans trying to go see whether the charred human could be identified and if their families could bury them. At 5-6 years old I had more sense and sensibility than 90% of the adult population in that country. The nightmare that country gave me. Everyone is busy praying insufferably in mosque and churches. Talking about heaven and hell. That country is hell the most self righteous animals in this universe. Who the hell cares about your heaven or hell Mohammed or Jesus when everyone is in a reoccurring nightmare. Most inhumane society on this earth. All religious barbaric zealots with no sense of humanity whatsoever talking about persecution of someone thousands of years ago as horrible when they unjustly persecute their own everyday. Nightmare nation

  4. Siju

    June 20, 2017 at 12:15 pm

    Nigeria sure is a barbaric country but @ C, it is not the most.

    The unfortunate thing is nigérians are talkatives, and thus we have an image in the world that sees all these bad things only.

    On the otherhand, I can assure you that India and China for example are way more barbaric than Nigeria, but China forever filters the news that it spreads about itself, this, the average global Citizen has no idea of what truly holds in China than what he has seen on TV.
    So don’t be too hard on yourself…we need a total re-education of our minds in order to get ahead than this present mutation we experience.

    On the other hand, Moses has made very valid points, Nigeria is becoming an horror story by the day…or I would rather say the internet is extensively letting us see all the atrocities that get down in all the croonies of Nigeria.

    Last night for example, I was watching various videos on youtube about the EVANS guy, and while I do not live in Nigeria, I was so scared to sleep as I could just not dust off the fact that a creation of God could be such a monster and a dare-devil.

    Again, I pray and hope that we can all understand the gravity of jungle justive or the gravity of harming others in the first place, so we can really edit our character for the better nad live our true purpose.

  5. J

    June 20, 2017 at 12:19 pm

    I guess people have gone through so much that they have no regards again or sympathy for crime perpetuators. Ultimately thought, we really should let the law take its course because some people just might be innocent victims.
    Really sad situation.

  6. nunulicious

    June 20, 2017 at 1:31 pm

    Its just gruesome news on social media everyday. I hardly visit linda ikeji’s anymore because its just so depressing. and those disgusting violent pictures on facebook that come into news feed without you even clicking on it nko?! kai. evil!

    I once read a scary story where a guy was mobbed and almost lynched in Abuja because a woman mistook him for someone else and falsely accused him of TRYING to steal from her. It gave me the chills because it could have easily have been my brother or even me!

    I think a solution is for the police to start holding the ward councillors and the traditional rulers responsible. If a ward councillor/traditional ruler know they will come under pressure for allowing such lynching to take palce in their domain, they would prevent it from happening. They are the ones who control the thugs who incite the crowd or who can salvage the situation.

    That said, I also think that people are resorting to this because they don’t trust our judicial and legal systems and they feel powerless against the “big-man and woman” who plunders them so they take out their frustrations and execute swift punishment to those who err who they can lay hands on.

    Finally, those gruesome murders in Ikorodu are just a diversion. There is more to it than meets the eye, keep watching.

  7. Bee

    June 20, 2017 at 2:26 pm

    Thank you for this Moses. I start with ALUU 4. If we continue this Jungle Justice in the name of avenging the wrong deeds of people, there will still be many instances of wrong judgement. Recall these boys were innocent. As much as their are obvious failings in our criminal justice system, we must not act like we are “of the Jungle” Let us look at how it makes children more depraved in their perception of life,dignity and the Law, besides there is always that high possibility of mistaken identity.

  8. Honiilols

    June 20, 2017 at 2:50 pm

    There is hope yet if majority of comments here, albeit little, do not agree with jungle justice. It’s just unfortunate that we humans have become machete and stick-wielders at mere shouts of “thief,” “rapist,” and so on. Sheathe your swords people, our judicial system may have failed us too many times but let it still run its course. You may just be saving someone who is actually innocent.

  9. Ariere

    June 20, 2017 at 3:40 pm

    When Jungle Justice is performed on a Criminal, Society May have Lost the Criminal(S) , However, Society haS Gained Many Sociopathic Cold Blooded Murderers.

  10. ib

    June 20, 2017 at 6:49 pm

    True talk……well done

  11. loma

    June 22, 2017 at 12:19 pm

    Oh dear…what a nightmare. We truly have lost our humanity.

  12. Exceptionalstar

    June 25, 2017 at 7:17 pm

    Well stated.
    exceptionalstar.wordpress.com

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