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Marilyn Oma Anona writes: No to jungle justice.

It was 5:45am on Tuesday, he woke up having an unusual tight feeling in his chest. A feeling he couldn’t explain being a mere human. But he was ill at ease. He knelt down and prayed as is his morning tradition. After his prayers, he brought out his “MacBook” to do some work, send his mails before heading out for his morning jogging/power walk. When he was done, he put on his sneakers and jogging suit and made for the door. But on a second thought, he decided to call his precious wife. Normally he should do that when he comes back from his morning exercise but on that day, it was different. He called her and they spoke before he hit the road of the small and remote community he had been posted to for his assignment as a military man in a west African country.

He bolted the door of his apartment, and made for the road. For more than 4 weeks, he has been doing his work out on regular basis. Often greeting the villagers as he passed them. But on this fateful day, he decided to take another route in a bid to get used to other parts of the community. He got confused as he couldn’t find his way back. He decided to ask a woman he saw by the road for directions. He came close to her and in a friendly manner asked her for directions back to his abode.

But on seeing the pistol fastened to his belt, the woman raised an alarm calling on the villagers to come and see a thief an armed robber in their land.
He was confident and therefore didn’t take to his heels because he wasn’t a robber. He patiently tried to explain to the woman that he is an army officer but in a space of seconds, a large crowd not eager to hear him out had drowned his voice and are more concerned with harming him than listen to him or take him to the police station as should be the case even if an armed robber was caught in the scene of a crime.

No they didn’t listen to him and even handing the pistol over to them couldn’t stop them from the task which they were bent on accomplishing. He pleaded, he showed his “IDENTITY CARD” but the responses he got were hard beatings descending on him, people beating him with big planks and sticks, and then others carrying blocks and hurling them directly on his head and chest.
In just a minute, he was dead!
And as if that was not enough, they dragged him on the rough ground to the road and set him ablaze!!!

In less than 3 minutes, the deed was done. A promising future and an entire generation wiped out of the surface of the earth for no just cause. A harmless man who was on assignment to protect was killed for absolutely no reason.
They didn’t know him, at least that’s their claim.
But an entire village showed the actual practice of “DIVISION OF LABOUR” in committing this act against humanity.

After the deed was done, they were all satisfied.

But soon, they realised they had made a horrible mistake and they had killed an innocent man for nothing. Even if he was indeed a thief, he didn’t deserve to be treated that way. But he was not a thief and not close to one. He was a noble man, he was so young, he had a young wife and kids, he had a great future but all that was cut short because of the irrationality, anger and rage of men.

Jungle justice…
There is absolutely no justification!

There has been so many incidents of jungle justice and mobbing in Africa and it’s so disturbing as it seems to be a daily affair now.
There is no day we don’t wake up to hear very disturbing stories of people being beaten and set ablaze for reasons that can’t be justified. The worst part of it is that some of these people are very innocent.

Many cases come to our mind when we think jungle justice.

The ALUU 4.
This shook Nigeria. It was a very sad one. 4 young men were paraded, beaten to death and burnt for absolutely nothing. They were not thieves, they were not murderers. They were young men with none amongst them older than 23 as at that time. One was even an only child but a group of angry villagers descended on them and today, they are history.

The Bakassi.
This was a group known to use all sorts of barbaric activities to destroy thieves and criminals but as always, a lot of people who were innocent fell prey to their practices.
With Bakassi, there was nothing like judgement. You are killed immediately their detection matches flashes red the moment you pass them. That alone shows you are guilty. Imagine that.

And the instances go on and on!!!

Jungle justice is very unacceptable and we cannot sit back and watch it become a culture and tradition.

We must all say no to jungle justice.

Being present in the scene and being a spectator makes you as guilty. It is something to be frowned at and condemned.

Thieves are very evil and destructive. I have had my terrible experiences with them but then, the police and the courts are there for a reason even though I know the system has some reforms to do.

Jungle justice is a no no!

We must say no to it at all levels.

Orientation
Re-Orientation
Sensitisation
Awareness
Education
Can go a long way to help curb this menace.

It’s not something to be neglected, ignored or overlooked.

NO TO JUNGLE JUSTICE.