As I watched the video of the University of Port Harcourt, UNIPORT, students that were meted a slow death and burnt because of their alleged involvement in the theft of laptops and phones, I was moved to tears not out of anger but out of questions: how did Nigerians get to this point? May it be because of the economic situation in Nigeria? The people that watched the death of those university students were they miseducated and disoriented.
The people that threw gas and hit the university students with planks did they experience some sort of joy from their act? Some of the university students struggling for their life in the face of death did they do it out of faith or instinct? Regardless of what may be the answer I call for peace; violence/retaliation will not solve this problem but leadership will. I have often heard here in the United States of America that the buck stops with the President but I beg for an exception in the peculiar situation of Nigeria, where this type of “Justice” predates President Jonathan’s administration. I say to President Jonathan, Governor Chibuike Amaechi, IGP Mohammed Abubakar, leaders in every sector of Nigeria, and well-meaning Nigerians home and abroad to join heads in order to help re-orient the minority of Nigerians that believe in this type of “justice” and for the Nigerian government to help set up a system where the priceless work of peaceful and lawful vigilante groups can be regulated along with other solutions by enterprising Nigerians.
This video should serve as a wakeup call to Nigeria as the video of the beating of Rodney King by Police Officers in the United States of America helped bend the trajectory of our common humanity towards progress.