by Isi Esene
Plenty has been said about the tragic mob murder of four undergraduate students of the University of Port Harcourt. Nigerians are gradually settling down to the familiar routine; putting it all behind and moving on… until it happens again.
This edition of Rubbin’ Minds set out to put answers to nagging questions like: Shouldn’t the suspects allegedly arrested by the police be paraded? Is there a likelihood that there would ever be a conviction(s) in this case? Are we all Nigerians like the Aluu mob, waiting to show our true colours? Or is it a one-off incident?
In the studio to discuss the issue were Johnson Abbaly, president, Change League International; Atom Lim, publications and web editor at Africa Leadership Forum; Kathleen Ndongmo, project management professional, and Michael Lestat, entrepreneur and manager of two of the murdered students.
Shade Ladipo and Ferdinand Adimefe, the anchors of the programme, threw thoughtful questions to guests with a view to sampling their reaction to the Aluu murder.
Michael Lestat was quick off the block correcting the impression that referring to the murdered University of Port Harcourt (UNIPORT) students as ‘Aluu4‘ is a misnomer since none of the students were from the Aluu community.
He said, “I’ll like to clear the air… I think it’s an insult to refer to them as Aluu4… none of them is from Aluu”
Lestat went on to add that the unfortunate incident was not a mob action but a carefully planned premeditated murder.
According to him, “It was a carefully laid out planned murder. It wasn’t mob action. Everything that has been going around is mere speculation… I saw people who were just ready to kill.”
Kathleen Ndongmo called on the public to do something within their capacities to fight injustice saying, “We should hang our heads in shame because we have failed one another.”
Johnson Abbaly spoke about the remarkable impact of social media in sensitizing the people to take action. According to him, “Social Media has come to stay… I think Nigerians are learning how to use it for social works.”
All the guests, however agreed that the Aluu killing does not represent the disposition of majority of Nigerians but expressed concern that we are gradually gravitating towards resorting to mob action in addressing issues.