I listen to Fela’ quite a lot. I’m one of those weird people who can sing along to almost every of his track. In Sorrow, tears and blood, one of his songs, he posited that Nigerians fear too much. They never take action. They always have an excuse not to join a protest. Either they tell you of how many problems they have in their family or that they do not want “wahala”. He wondered why they fear to take actions or demand their basic rights and dividends from government.
Now this article seems to have a dissection. A theory that will help us understand why we are so lethargic in demanding justice for ourselves, for the imperious looting and thieving that goes on in government, but are lucidly wildlings and capable executioners when it comes to melting out “justice” to our fellow poor. It is reminiscent of the yore days where while the military and civilian governments robbed us blind they created a show of “justice” on the bar-beach where “petty-robbers” and bandits were brought under the firing squad and the people shouted and craved for more blood, shouting and smiling under the hot sun.
The Firing squads have been stopped, but Nigerians are not quite done with it. Public spilling of blood seems like a collective orgy to most Nigerians. Jungle Justice on petty-thieves in our community (not the ones responsible for our collective poverty, not the ones responsible for our under development, not the ones who starve our hospitals and schools of facilities that would make life better for us all) has become rife since then, all possible anger from our damaged psyche as Nigerians, who have been robbed blind by the “untouchable” political class are channeled to a particular human-being who errs in behaviour or act, whom we deny access to justice by law and whom we pronounce guilty as charge right there on the streets (as saints that we are).
The killing of the 7 year old in lagos has drawn ire and condemnations from numerous quarters, as usual, just like the Aluu4. It has turned to some sort of unhealthy cycle where we witness the gruelling video of everyday Nigerians venting their fury on a petty-thief, Armed robber or whatnot online, and we subsequently move to social media to hurl insensiblities of the perpertuators and onlookers alike, and possibly start hashtags.
It is sickening that in a country where the smallest of criticisms of pastors or imams draw irate and not-so-holy rejoinders and replies, a country where religiosity is taken to the core tenets, where we have submerged most of our cultures under religion, such barbaric acts still hold sway and thrive not behind closed doors but in public spaces.
Now a school of thought has said he wasn’t 7 years old. 17, 71, 117, Does it matter? Where is our humanity? The self proffesed “value of life” we have as Nigerians? If we behave like those that we despair, those that seek to harm us, how different are we?
The cowardice of the perpetrators must not go unpunished. We must move past jungle justice, but in doing so we need to do more than just punish. We must educate and re-educate our people. The holy houses now embolden and preach display of wealth and prosperity rather than love. His death is on all of us, everyone.Those who say #Notojunglejustice from the comfort of their beds. Those who brought him into the world and didn’t provide for him. Those who stole the Commonwealth of the country. Those who stood by and watched. Those who watched and thanked God it wasn’t their kindred. Those who recorded the incident with their mobiles. And finally those who carried out this dastardly act. May their last days not end like his. Hungry, broken, beaten then burnt.