#JusticeForRinji: Will the Nigerian Army act or will it end up like other ‘all trends, no action?’

#JusticeForRinji

On Twitter, #JusticeForRinji is currently trending, and what comes to mind immediately after a trend like this starts is: ‘The police have probably shot someone dead’ or ‘Someone has been raped or manhandled’ – While the trend is very provoking and disheartening, Nigerians are used to the culture of starting a trend and watching it die like that. The story of Rinji is not different from Kolade Johnson and a host of others who have been victims of police brutality or extreme abuse of power.

Rinji was reportedly shot in Jos by some members of the Nigerian Army after he was suspected to be a member of a gang of robbers. Rinji was later freed to leave only to be shot by the said security personnel.

On Twitter, many human rights activists as well other Nigerians have identified with members of his family, consoling and berating the yet to be identified men who were responsible for the death of the young man. It is no news that the average Nigerian lives in fear of the authority of the Army; with many reports of excessive abuse of power, outrageous brutality and repeated reminder of how ‘above us’ they are, Nigerian Army officers have become nobody’s friends, and no one wants to readily identify or clash with them.

With Rinji’s story, could it be a classic case of being at the right place at the wrong time? Many Twitter users have expressed their fears with the army as some others call for a deep look into the matter. However pressing the matter may appear, Nigerians are used to the culture of trends with no action.

Once an issue like this comes up, everyone jumps on it and blow the trumpets as loud as they can be, but no one really stands at attention. There are many examples of cases like this that got much attention like this but ended just as they started. A few Nigerians are also of the opinion that the media, celebrities, and public figures have the potential to bring these concerns to the point they wish it will go – changing the system.

The Nigerian Army is yet to say anything about this report, but the guess is, just like in the past, they would release a statement with series of contact helpline for Nigerians to reach in cases of harassments. Many Nigerians on Twitter are hoping for a change as they call on authorities to keep the soldiers and their guns in check, we surely hope that this trend doesn’t flow with the culture of trend and no actions that Nigerians are used to.

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