by Cheta Nwanze
Let us talk about a young ‘un called Bala Chinda. He just got sent to nga in Jand, for a period of no less than 18 years. (A quick aside, I love the way the Yanks tell you “life”. You know that life means life, unlike in Jand…)
The reason young Bala got nabbed was that he killed a woman, Jessica McGraa.
One thing that I am quite certain would have happened, if Bala had killed Jessica in his native country, Nigeria, is that he will not have gone to jail. That his father is a government official here, as pointed out by The Mail, would have stood him in good stead with the judge. Then, considering the proclivities of Bala’s countrymen, the fact that Jessica was going to provide certain, err, services for Bala at £200 an hour, would have horrified the moralistic denizens of Bala’s native land, leading to many to assure the world that Jessica deserved what she got, and somewhere along the line, leading to a mistrial. Bala would have walked. As matter of fact, a pertinent question we should be asking, is given the confidence with which he did what he did, has he done it before in Nigeria? I think he has, and this is not even asking the next question of where the heck he got £200 (₦119,600) per hour for cavorting!
Bala Chinda’s tale, is the prism through which we can view the injustices being meted out to certain, “enemies of the state” in Nigeria. The Islamic Movement of Nigeria, the Indigenous Peoples of Biafra, are the most prominent current examples of the tyranny of the majority in Nigeria, because what they stand for, is not popular.
What we forget is that even the least popular views have a fundamental right to be aired. Think about the tenth man principle, and how important it is, to critical thinking.
Nigeria loves to avoid doing the hard work necessary to build a nation. We have had governments that have always offered band-aid solutions rather than systematically address issues, and the current proposals of new army battalions in Kaduna is just another of such band-aids. Our security infrastructure is under tremendous strain, adding to it will lead to more attacks in other places, and even more mistrust between communities, and the security services. Attacked communities picking up weapons to defend themselves is a natural consequence of this growing mistrust, but yet another band-aid solution.
We need to empower the security agencies to ensure that any Nigerian, regardless of creed, ethnicity, sex or social standing, who picks up a weapon against another is brought to book. This, is the most fundamental block, of nation building. Justice, must always be seen to be done. Without that illusion of equal rights and justice, there can never be peace. Without peace, there can never be progress.
Op–ed pieces and contributions are the opinions of the writers only and do not represent the opinions of Y!/YNaija