Jungle Justice In Nigeria, An Highlight.
Jungle justice in Nigeria is dreadful, you would not want to witness the horror.
Nigeria, home to one of the most populous nations in the world. We are an extremely passionate people and when we do come together for a cause, our unity becomes a force to be reckoned with.
One cause that unites us all is football. When we have our team representing us at the World Cup, Nations Cup or even the Olympics, they play with the support of over 170 million people.
There are no tribal sentiments, no gender discrimination and no regards given to religious affiliation. Every roar from the crowd, be it in excitement or in disappointment is unanimous. We can do a flashback to Atlanta 96; the year that Nigeria dominated the world.
On the other extreme end, another cause that unites us and excites to a state of frenzy is jungle justice.
WHAT IS JUNGLE JUSTICE?
The phrase jungle justice has been thrown around in the media and table conversations for so long that it appears to have lost its meaning and consequently, the severity of what it implicates.
So, let us go back to the basics; what is jungle justice? A quick Wikipedia search would tell you that Jungle justice is a form of extra-judicial killing where an alleged thief, murderer or a person suspected of some sort of crime is humiliated, tortured within an inch of their life and sometimes murdered in public. Jungle justice in Nigeria should be seen and labeled a cankerworm, a societal malaise.
This execution is carried out by an irate mob who decide the fate of the accused without any regard given to proper judicial proceedings. Wikipedia even goes further to say that this dastardly act is prevalent in Nigeria [jungle justice in Cameroon is also featured].
As a witness of jungle justice in Lagos, all it takes to set things in motion is for someone to point fingers at a suspected person and yell, “Olé!!!”. The crowd takes over. No consideration is given to the accused.
There are no tribal sentiments, no gender discrimination and no regards given to religious affiliation.
The crowd decides who is guilty and the cry for the blood of the “convicted” is unanimous.
Jungle Justice In Nigeria: ALUU 4
We can do a flashback to the jungle justice in Aluu community in 2012; the year the world witnessed the brutal killings of four young men in Rivers State.
Given the media attention this case received, you would think that this would at least reduce mob killings [jungle justice]. But in the years following ALUU 4, it the spate of mob killings has not abated.
If nothing else, people are quick to take front row seats to the action and share it on the internet through their phones.
Silently observing terror
Not too long ago, photos of a 7year old boy who was beaten and burnt to death in Lagos went viral. We view these images on whatever sites they are posted on and comment on the horror of it. But in private conversations, we debate the victim’s fate. Was it justified or not?
Did they deserve it or not? While these questions temporarily satisfy our curiosity [and conscience], in the long run, it serves no purpose. The questions we should be asking is why. Why does a country with a functional judicial system still need the help of the mob to serve justice?
Why have we kept mum on public killings and in so doing consented to the murder of several people?
While we ponder on that, let us consider another pertinent question. Do we really think that this cannot happen to any of us?
Do we really think that this cannot happen to any of us?
You think you are safe from jungle justice in Nigeria?
If you believe you are immune to jungle justice in Nigeria and you are Nigerian, consider this incident that happened somewhere in Surulere, Lagos. A young man was driving his car. He came to a spot where a group of school children was attempting to cross the road. Noting the busy nature of the area, he decided to park his car and help the kids get to the other side of the road. A woman selling her wares on the roadside saw him, did a poor arithmetical sum [1 + 1= 5] and without much thought yelled “kidnapper”. And true to form, a small mob quickly gathered, ready to serve justice.
Thankfully, this particular crowd was a reasonable one and the man left the scene unharmed. In an area where the crowd had the same intellectual reasoning as the seller who cried kidnap, that young man could have ended up as the subject in a viral photo of another jungle justice executed by the “people”.
It is very sad, but we have to do better. Let us allow reason and civility take charge in our society.