Who was not touched and pained on seeing the picture of the very good-looking teenage undergraduate of the University of Abuja, Emmanuel Balogun, who drowned in the swimming pool of a popular hotel in the FCT, while his friends deliberately watched without doing anything to call for help from the staff of the facility?
Now, go over to Cross River State, where another undergraduate, Ugbe Dominic a.k.a ‘Paperboi’, a 200-Level student of Guidance and Counselling at the Cross River State University of Technology (CRUTECH) died during a pool party. Ugbe was involved in a swimming competition organised by students of the department, just for fun.
These two deaths were too much to bear as both victims were youngsters with bright future. Anybody who has a teenage son or daughter, about to go to the university would definitely have felt the deep pain and sorrow of the parents of these young lads. What a waste of youthful life, what a waste of human capital, what a setback for their families, especially parents and siblings. Woven around the reports of their deaths were unpalatable issues such as envy and bitterness.
News reports based on the CCTV footage shockingly revealed what happened that night at the hotel. Police officers who were quoted in one of the reports said: “From the CCTV footage, we noticed that Emmanuel entered the pool with three of his friends, and around 3:33a.m he started struggling in the pool. His friends all watched him until he stopped struggling and drowned. They all left the pool immediately and one of them took his handset; the other took his trousers and brought out the money from his pocket and wore his shoes. They left the hotel around 4:18a.m, according to the footage we saw.
“One of the boys said he wanted to raise alarm to save the boy, but the other two boys asked him not to because the deceased was always doing ‘shakara’ because of his father’s wealth. Again, that all the girls always admired him so he should let him be.”
These heartless boys are aged 17 and 18. Yes, this is the height of it all. Those boys are devil’s incarnates, callous and heartless. They shamefully made away with his belongings knowing he had died. What an inhuman and appalling act coming from those who are supposed to be called his friends. A friend in need, they say, is a friend indeed, but Emmanuel Balogun’s friends were not friends indeed, they proved to be envious youngsters who pretended to be his friends. They betrayed him when he needed them most, at the very moment he could not help himself. They became Brutus of their generation. With stone-hearts, the two boys who stopped one of them from shouting for help watched him drowned.
Imagine if his supposed friends had rendered little assistance by raising the alarm to attract members of staff of the hotel, probably Emmanuel would have been alive today. And he and his parents would have been indescribably grateful.
Similarly, in a scenario where female students live normally in the same room on campus, just like what transpired between the late Emmanuel and his friends, jealousy and animosity crept in gradually without this particular student knowing. When her guests come and asked, where is Agatha? Her roommates would respond ‘It’ has gone out instead of ‘she’ has gone out. What was her offence? The so-called roommates claimed her ‘ako’aka ‘shakara’ is too much. This is nothing other than envy that is high on tramadol. Envy and bitterness were the reasons for the girl’s roommates to refer to her as animal by the use of the word ‘it’ instead of saying ‘she.’
Also, a young secondary school student returned to one of the Unity Schools on resumption day and within five minutes after clearance and checking into her dormitory, she was seen in tears. On inquiry, she told her mother that a senior student said to her: “I feel like strangling you because you lost my torch last term.”
Imagine the youth using such a slanderous language. The news also trended in town when a secondary school male student poisoned his female classmate’s water with acid he got from their Chemistry laboratory. The school rang the bell for break time and the boy went in to perpetrate his devilish act. It took the intervention of other boys in the class to stop the thirsty girl from drinking the poisoned water. That was how that imminent death was averted as the school management swung into action immediately.
Now, from all nooks and crannies, the shout out there is ‘crucify them, crucify them’. They are wicked, callous, inhuman, and insensitive. Many of the people casting aspersion on these boys are worse than them. The only thing is that the sins of the shouters have not yet been exposed. So, many people are not exempted from the sin of bitterness and jealousy, including the born-again and yet-to-be born-again men and women, boys and girls; envy is evil.
When envy tore apart two pastors of a church, members could not believe it because they were perceived as ‘earthly saints,’ but that was until the junior pastor confessed that he had been envied because of his anointing for visions. A full church had issues from the altar, envy and acrimony made them haughty enemies till date. Envy had even caused some pastors planning the killing of their colleagues.
In like manner, a sister poisoned her blood sister because she was more attracted to men than herself? The story had it that from their young years, the younger girl was more attractive, articulate and outgoing. As the sisters grew into women, their various destinies followed them and envy crept in. Instead of her to celebrate her sister, she got it wrong and was blinded by envy. She thought of what to do to get rid of the state-of-the-art car that comes to look out for her sister. She targeted and poisoned her bottle of Fanta, which she kept on a table and felt at home. Now, if one does not feel at home as a family member, where else should she relax better.
Also, a well-known lady won several awards in her primary school, where she is a subject teacher because of her punctuality and intelligence. Instead of her colleagues to congratulate her, they twisted the story out of envy and credited it to her being single while they were married with children.
Envy can lead to disastrous destructions like death, which is the final word. A dead man is a dead man, no matter the extent of legal battle; the life lost can never be recovered. Bitterness is worse than rat poison. Except a man or woman decides to eradicate envy from his or her mindset, not even the preacher can change him or her. When some people expect good things for ‘me, myself and I, when it reaches to another person, it amounts to envy. Why? It becomes difficult for envious people to figure out what has happened in the life of the victim before envy takes place.
Also, there is no exemption of envy, from high places to low places. It exists among businessmen and women, school proprietors, general overseers and their young pastors, factory workers, corporate offices, food vendors and families; the list is endless. Most big religious enthusiasts who sit in front rows of worship centers might not be free from envious lives. But we forget that in life, all fingers are not equal and can never be equal. Some will be wealthier, more intelligent, prettier, more fortunate, and slimmer with greater qualities than others. Life is an examination with different question papers. Instead of envying others, work hard, be focused and look unto God, the Creator of all good things.
Ordinarily, I would heap the blame on the homes, thinking that the parents are not doing enough, but progress is being made in schools, churches and homes; such institutions are not keeping quiet. They are creating much awareness, talking and correcting these teenage youths, yet, envy and bitterness raise their ugly heads in the society. It is as if nothing is being done. The social media will not be ruled out completely in the delinquencies of the youth. Envy is evil. It should be discouraged, punished and abhorred.