When It Becomes Bad To Be Good

We had just finished our catechism and I heading home on foot; you see our house was a stone throw literally from the church. So it was as I had just come out of the church’s gate that I saw a little kid; a boy crying while following his elder sister who was walking a remarkable distance in front of him. As I came up to the little boy, I noticed that not only was he crying, his nose was bleeding!
‘Na your sister be that?’ I asked and he nodded. So I grabbed his hand while calling out to his big sister to stop; she didn’t if I might add.
I did my best to console the kid as I tried to catch up with his big sister who was both stone deaf and a long distance runner.
We had just come to the front of my house when the big sister all of a sudden stopped and walked back to us. Wearing a shocked look, she bent down to ask something in a language I didn’t understand and the little boy at my side pointed up at me, in a blink of an eye the big sister was at my throat, grabbing hold of my collar, shoving me about like a rag doll and accusing me of causing her brother’s nose bleed! I was shocked, I was probably 8 or 9 and up till then that was the most traumatic encounters I’d ever experienced.
I just kept saying, ‘No be me!’, but the girl with fire in her eyes and her hands around my collar wouldn’t have none of that. I remember thinking ‘what type of trouble I had gotten myself into. Was it bad to be good?’
Luck was on my side for at that same moment Mama Oby; my neighbor happened to be passing by and noticed what was happening and came to release me from the evil strangle hold and diffused the situation.
I don’t know what triggered this memory, because it happened so long ago! I guess it has something to do with the story of a woman who was lynched as she tried to ‘kidnap’ some kids read here and here. It got me thinking that if what had happened to me that fateful Saturday had happened in today’s world, there might have being no Mama Obinna to come to my aid, instead I might have being beaten and set ablaze by some overzealous mob.
The Aluu 4 really brought to fore the danger of extra judicial killings and woke up in Nigerians the fact that not only is it wrong on all counts but also that innocents lives are lost because an angry mob decided to play judge, jury and executioner.
Think about it, if that girl had started screaming and a crowd had gathered, I might not have being here to write this today. I would have being a story at the corner of a newspaper, forgotten after a time, remembered only by family or by burn marks by the side of the road.
After the tragedy that put the Aluu community of Obi-akpo Local Government on the world map, I thought Nigerians would have learnt their lessons but alas that is not the case as extra judicial killings are still being carried out with impunity! And the danger of this is that these people are not given an opportunity to defend themselves; innocent until proven guilty. Yet same people curse and condemn Boko haram! Isn’t what they do the same?
Another danger of people taking the law into their hands is that it might deter people from doing the right thing like helping a kid cross the road, not when you might be mistaken for a kidnapper or ritualist! See a kid crying on the side of road, what do you do? A. Stop and ask what the problem is or B. Walk away? Unfortunately in the Nigerian society today, a great percentage would go for B, because like that crying kid on the side of the road so many years, another kid might get confused and point you out as a kidnapper.
Lynching witches and wizards, ritualists and armed robbers, it sad to see but it is wrong!
The government needs to make an example of people who take the laws in their hands, that’s why it is imperative that the culprits of the Aluu murder be treated accordingly and the case not be swept under the rug. It will set a tone that the government does not take kindly to extra judicial killings.


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