Opinion: Let me be clear – Aluu is not the problem

by Solomon Okorie

Therefore, by all means let us punish those beasts that had the heart to take any human being, beat them senseless with brick and wood, and then set them on fire – which they did with four young men who may or may not have been guilty of petty theft or even of cultism.  

You’ve probably heard this kind of story many times before – a friend or an uncle or a colleague got robbed somewhere on the Third Mainland Bridge, perhaps a few metres away from a police checkpoint. She was confronted with a gun, robbed and left helpless.

Or maybe it happened at the airport, or perhaps down the road from where you live. Eyewitnesses tell you however, it is a common occurrence. The robbers come here everyday, and yet no one has caught them. The people leave their homes every morning knowing they might be robbed, knowing they live in a country that should protect from that insecurity, but also knowing that nothing will be done about it.

That is the country we live in. It’s a country where those who live in urban communities find themselves subject to primitive interruptions. But even they are lucky. For those who live in the rural parts, life is nasty, brutish and short.

They are raped, they are killed, they are stolen from – and no one is punished. They live in a country whose leaders rob them blind and no one is punished, and they haven’t come out to protest that. All they ask for is a right to live quiet, simple lives – secure. But even that they do not get. They report to the police and are responded to with silence. No one listens to them. No one cares about them.

Aluu stands as only the latest symbol of that forgotten Nigeria. It is impossible to forgive its people who came out and murdered fellow Nigerians in the name of jungle justice, but perhaps somewhere, somehow we can understand them. You see, Aluu is not isolated; not some unbelievable out-of-this-world backwater – what happened there happens all across Nigeria. It has happened more than once in the markets of Yaba and elsewhere, and a few more times in campuses across Nigeria.

Powered by people who are tired of their lives being destroyed, and who make the costly – dastardly – error of thinking it is okay to help themselves, and to take the law into their own hands. They buy candles because PHCN won’t provide power; they buy machetes because the courts won’t provide justice.

They are the ones who descended to the level of animals and killed four human beings. They are ones who panicked, thinking that these ones too might get away scot free, and decided to help themselves by doing the unforgivable. Driven by hopeless desperation; emboldened by relentless helplessness.

They might not have parents who wear Chris Aire jewellery and move from directorship of oil companies to administration of oil resources, and they might not belong to the family of those who own estates on Bourdillion and rule infinitely over South-West politics, but they too are human beings.

They deserve a country that works – so that they are not defined by a few animals amongst them, who are bloodthirsty and looking for an excuse. They need to believe in something; to have faith that the primary duty of government, which is to secure life and property, can actually mean something.

But, time and again, Nigeria fails them.

Therefore, by all means let us punish those beasts that had the heart to take any human being, beat them senseless with brick and wood, and then set them on fire – which they did with four young men who may or may not have been guilty of petty theft or even of cultism.

It doesn’t matter what their offense was – their murderers crossed the boundaries of all humanity and offended everything that makes us people and a civilization, and they must be punished to the full extent of the law so this kind of heartless barbarism doesn’t at all find a place amongst Nigerians.

But after we are done, let us remind ourselves that they are not the problem. The problem isn’t angry, poor people in some remote abandoned village, left to fend for themselves and to give in to the worst of themselves. The problem is with those animals in government whose desperate incompetence and thievery had led to the existence of those remote abandoned villagers. Those are the ones that deserved to be punished – and we need to punish them soon.

Sadly, some of them don’t even give a damn.

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Op-ed pieces and contributions are the opinions of the writers only and do not represent the opinions of Y!/YNaija.

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Comments (8)

  1. The writer has said those who perpetuated this act should be punished to the full extent of the law. The question he is posing is "after that what next"? Should we wait for another frustrated community to commit a barbaric act first and then we all begin to cast stones?
    In the words of the writer, "But after we are done (punishing the murderers), let us remind ourselves that they are not the problem. The problem isn’t angry, poor people in some remote abandoned village, left to fend for themselves and to give in to the worst of themselves. The problem is with those animals (I prefer unconcerned people )in
    government whose desperate incompetence and thievery had led to the existence of those remote abandoned villagers. Those are the ones that deserved to be punished (too) – and we need to punish them soon."

  2. There is no justification for what these evil Aluu people have done. What the writer and virtually all Nigerians had forgotten is that God Almighty the creator of all things and all men never intended equality and sameness of purpose for men. He created some as masters & servants,rich & poor, blessed & cursed! Let us stop playing God,our wisdom is foolishness in His sight! If some people are stealing or running d nation down,all we d (very very righteous ones) should do is our own part of building it up. Nobody has the right to kill anybody for any darn reason.Nobody has d right to run down d govt of a land.These are crimes punishable by death ! Therefore these aluu offenders have not only committed murder but treason and they should be punished for both crimes accordingly.

  3. I am afraid that we have assumed this fatalistic tendency in approaching public issues. We will rather blame the society and those in government about decay and therefore excuse the little issues even when we should accept responsibility at the micro level. We will rather engage in beating out the macro issues while we neglect the real issues. The lack of personal commitment brought us to where we are today.

    1. I am sorry, I do not agree with this writer! I am tired of people attributing animalistic behaviour to "they do not have parents who sit on boards of oil companies!!!" That excuse is now as lame as it is useless! I did not have parents who sat on any board, I did not grow up in the elitist neighbourhoods and there are so many millions out there who have had to go without food and the basic necessities!!! Do we all go out to become animals at the sign of the slightest provocation? Please!!!! The people who have perpetrated this gruesome, as those who have done before in different parts of this Country should not plead hopelessness and helplessness, the larger percentage of this Country is swimming in hopelessness and helplessness. Truth be told, it is when a man is hard done by that you begin to see the real person behind the mask! Mr. Okorie, how many times have you felt hopeless about the situation you live in, do you unleash animal instincts simply because you feel some people have it better than you? I bet you don't. People are taking the laws into their own hands and then you come out to plead hopelessness and lawlessness! Real men learn to rise above their situations with or without the help of Government!!!

    2. And might I add, the only reason that people like the ones who did this act in Aluu can still rise up like this is because the people who have tread this path before did not experience the full weight of the Law! Let them go to the law courts and plead hopelessness, helplessness and an uncaring Government!!!!

  4. They buy candles because PHCN won’t provide power; they buy machetes because the courts won’t provide justice.

  5. Dat is medicine after death. Some of youths of dis nation has totally lost hope in dis nation. I was told dat there was a police station J̲̥̅̊u̶̲̥̅̊s̶̲̥̅̊t̲̥̅̊ 5 meters to the alu4 hhhhhhhh l weep for dis nation.

  6. Yes,I totally agree with you.Even after ensuring all those involved are punished according to the law,the Government,Law enforcement & the judiciary should also be well looked into so the peoples confidence in them will return

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