October 5, 2012: We Must Not Forget Aluu 4! By Ayodele Daniel

0aluu_four_killingsOn the night of 5th October, 2012, I was out with a close friend of mine at a popular hotel somewhere in Kubwa – the largest satellite town in the Federal Capital Territory, FCT, and I’d just switched on my phone to copy out a friend’s contact when suddenly it rang – a call from the Publisher of Information Nigeria on some matters of importance.

I recall using the opportunity to send a friend of mine a message on Facebook and then I started seeing the news that would make everything else around me seem uninteresting.

Now, why do I recall the events of this particular night very vividly? One, it was the eve of my birthday and secondly, it was a night that would keep me wondering, crying inside and lamenting how we got to this point – the point where we can kill four fellow humans in one of the most brutal ways in broad daylight and on impulse.

Yes, I’m talking about the unforgettable and regrettable killings of four University of Port Harcourt (UNIPORT) undergraduate students by youths in Omuokiri-Aluu community, Obio-Akpor local government of Rivers State over a false allegation that they were thieves. The rest as they say is now history.

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Now reputedly known as ‘Aluu4’, the victims; Ugonna Kelechi Obuzor (aged 18, year two Geology), Biringa Chiadika Lordson (aged 20, year two Theatre Arts), Mike Lloyd Toku (aged 19, year two Civil Engineering) and Tekena Erikena (aged 20), who was said to have registered for a certificate programme with UNIPORT some days earlier, were stripped bare of their clothings, paraded unclad in the full glare of a cheering mob, tortured beyond description and then set ablaze by demon-possessed barbarians in human skin.

One year later, those fingered in the gruesome murder of these young men are still standing trial and to add insult to injury, their lawyers are asking for bail! In a first degree murder case? Are we alright? In saner climes this case wouldn’t drag on for so long as justice would’ve been served HOT and while the effects of their abominable deeds are still fresh.

While we remember these brilliant young men with dreams and many others, who have fallen victim of a society that has lost every respect for the sanctity of human life, it is pertinent to ask those of us still alive and kicking, how far?

As Wande Coal sang in one of his songs from the classic album Mushin 2 Mohits, “se na like dis we go de dey”? Is this how we want to continue living? In a society where there’s little or no law and order? A society that hangs a tire doused with petrol around the neck of a petty thief and sets him ablaze yet protects and celebrates the big thief? A society that ignores hard work but rewards pettiness and mediocrity? A society where the wheels of justice hardly grinds and when it does, takes forever? A society where people are more interested in recording an act of jungle justice than doing something about it? Is this the type of society we want to continue living in?

Societies, great societies have never been built on injustice or the blood of the innocent; especially when they are not martyrs. Rather, they’ve been reputed to be built on the ideals of justice, hardwork, equity, respect for rule of law, sanctity of human life and collective responsibility among others.

When we carry on with our lives as if everything is normal when everything around us screams otherwise, we soon lost our humanity and the compassion that comes with it. Or as some people posit, have Nigerians become ‘unshockable?’ have we developed shock absorbers so much that nothing shakes us anymore?

The other day over 60 students of the College of Agriculture, Gujba, Yobe State were murdered in cold blood, while they slept in a manner that suggests the perpetrators are nothing but heartless animals possessed by Keres, the Greek mythological female spirits of violent or cruel death.

Yet, the death of these young Nigerians meant nothing as we soon got on with our lives – afterall, they are not our kith and kin. But in faraway Kenya, while the Westgate mall siege lasted, Nigerians on social media acted like it was anything worse than what was happening right in their own backyards. What hypocrisy. This attitude needs to change!

We must return to the days of being our brothers’ keeper in every sense of the word. The belief that as long as we’re not directly affected, it is not our problem is not the way forward. We must begin to change our self-serving attitude for the greater good. The sooner we realized that our neighbours’ problems are ours as well, the better.

Let us all begin to act; to do something to make our society a better place. Is your fellow (wo)man being cheated, can you do something about it? Please act. Did you just stumble on a scene where a mob is taking law into their hands? Please, if you must bring out your smart phone, it shouldn’t be to snap pictures or record a video but to either place a call to the police or find the nearest police station and make a report. Do you belong to the class of Nigerians, who say the killings going on in the North is not your business because you live outside the region or afterall, they created the problems, let them deal with it? That attitude also needs to change; we cannot continue to preach love while we don’t show same in our words and deeds.

Our burdens are heavy and our plates filled with individual problems but please, let us not forget to spare a minute to remember and pray for those that our society has failed as well as the loved ones they left behind. One year is not such a long time to forget that something terrible and unforgettable happened in Aluu on this day. And that is why I seize this opportunity to say thank you to Linda Ikeji for not forgetting; for always reminding us every month for the last 12 months that the memory of #Aluu4 cannot be washed away by the tides of time and circumstances.

To not forgetting Ugonna Kelechi Obuzor, Biringa Chiadika Lordson, Mike Lloyd Toku and Tekena Erikena; may their souls continue to rest in perfect peace!

This piece is dedicated to all those Nigerians, who by no choice of theirs are victims of a failed leadership and an equally forgetful followership. May their souls rest in peace.

*Ayodele Daniel is a content creator at Information Nigeria

6 COMMENTS

  1. Hmmmmmm!!!!! May they rest in peace. Amen. Mr Dan,fanks for ur brotherly and inspiring script. God will vindicate Nigeria someday,my prayer is that we leave to see d changes. Amen

  2. May the souls of those young and vibrant boys that lives was cut short by some jungle animals and the souls of other innocent nigerians killed in their prime by evil doers rest in perfect peace. Our thoughts and prayer are with their families. They will always be in our mind. May God eternal peace be upon our dear beloved country Amen.

  3. May the good Lord grant the souls of all that has been a victim of the jungle justice in our country an eternal peace. And may he fight their battle for them. Lord we also pray for peace,love and oneness in our great country Nigeria,come and take absolute control oooooh.

  4. Its so so sad, that day was terrible, a day that should not be forgotten, a day of tears, and blood. The soul of the four innocent boys should continue to rest in bossom of their Lord Jesus

  5. Ayodele, welldone. I remember those guys everyday. And each time, I meditate on their death. Their killers shall know no peace for ever and their generations shall be visited With life sorrow. I know the guys feel no pain again as they are dead. Am a lawyer and I know how some lawyers see things. Ayodele,I will like us to partner in remembering these guys as I see their death as the most terrible so far. I don’t know these guys but I will like them to be immortalised so their will be life torment on the mind on their killers and their generations for ever. When the court give its judgement and found the accused guilty, I will personally list their names on the internet for the whole world to see and their pictures if possible. May their soul rest in peace. Amen. [email protected]

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