By now, you must have heard of the story that went viral about a 7 year old boy who was beaten and burnt to death for allegedly stealing garri two days ago. I was out with my sister when she mentioned it to me, it was so shocking that I started screaming in the car and almost stopped driving. But after a while, life happened and I continued on my quest, 7 year old pushed to the back of my mind.
Fast-forward to 3 hours later and I was back home checking twitter whilst waiting for my dinner and I saw a tweet about the same boy and this time with a heart wrenching photo with a car tyre round his body! You know what they say about a picture saying more than a thousand words? Yes, that photo was the last straw for me, the tears started falling uncontrollably as different scenarios played in my head, my dinner forgotten and I got sick to my stomach. I felt like leaving the earth and moving to another planet where hate didn’t rule and reign (still feel that way).
Several stories have come up that he wasn’t a 7 year old after all but a young man of 17 and that he didn’t steal garri but was about to break into someone’s shop, whilst others say he stole a phone and hurt someone. Now the real issue for me, whether he was 7 months old, 7, 17 or 70 years old is that, the boy did not deserve to be killed! Even the devil won’t kill anyone this way
I believe there are several people culpable in this matter and I will list them out:
- Where were the boy’s parents? It is your responsibility as parents to protect and provide for your child. This may sound callous but I strongly believe that people who cannot care for their kids should not have children in the first place. This children didn’t beg to come to the world, there is no point bringing them to suffer
- For a child to be hungry to the point that he had to go steal food in Nigeria tells you how bad the economy is for a so-called “Giant of Africa”! With all the resources we have, everybody should at least be able to feed. The government and his economic advisers, ministers etc. need to sit up and get a plan to get us out of this mess else, more robberies will crop up.
- I have a huge problem with the people who stood to watch this evil take place without doing anything but take photos and videos. Like I said on my twitter page, these ones are worse than the people who killed Jesus many centuries ago. How did we get here as a nation? Nigerians are gradually losing whatever is left of our ability to empathize with others. Nobody cares anymore; we just shrug it off and move on like nothing happened. When can we really start loving our neighbors as ourselves? How come the crowd watching couldn’t come together to stop this jungle justice from happening?
- The police and judiciary have failed us on many counts. If people who carry out jungle justice are fetched out and punished severely, the wicked act would stop. Sadly, the reverse is the case; nobody gets punished for taking laws into their hands and killing people in the most inhumane way.
WHERE DO WE GO FROM HERE?
We have to constantly check ourselves, “How did we get here as a people and what can we do to change this?” We cannot sit down and fold our arms like things are okay because they are not. We must all come together and demand that the perpetrators are sought out and made to face the brunt of the law. The senate and the law makers must put laws in place that prohibits jungle justice.
We must find a way for the police and the ‘area boys’ to work seamlessly for the common goal of protecting our environment. Thieves when caught must be arrested and punished according to the law so people know that they do not have to take matters into their own hands for justice to be served.
In all, may God rest this poor child’s soul and may He give his parents and loved ones the heart and comfort needed to deal with this insanity.
I’d like to read your thoughts about this, please share with me and let’s keep the conversation going. I hope we can find ways to do more than just talk too. Martin Luther King Jr. said it best, injustice anywhere, is a threat to justice everywhere.
Written by EIC, Omawumi O.