Since the beginning, evil has permeated the world. History is replete with stories of wicked people who have committed horrifying acts against fellow beings. There are serial killers who just kill for nothing. Some are obsessed with power and believe killing others is the best way to sustain themselves in position. There are racist, ritual and sectarian killers. There are also those who just cut short the earthly journeys of others just so to make money for themselves. Some just kill simply out of jealousy or hatred. These wicked people are all over the world. They are in our country. Among them are Boko Haram; killer herdsmen, armed robbers and kidnappers.
Have you ever had a close encounter with a killer? I once did in Ondo State in 1994. The police arrested an armed robber. He was paraded before journalists at the police headquarters in Igbatoro Road at Akure and I was there with my colleagues to report his evil exploits, which would remain in my mind forever.
I’ll share the story here. The robber, a young man, had a most bizarre modus operandi.
He specialized in dispossessing people of their cars and most of his victims were cab drivers. He operated from Ore. Anytime he found a car that could fetch him good money, he would hire it for a trip to Sagamu in Ogun State. For the unsuspecting driver, it would be a journey of no return. On arrival at Sagamu, he usually told his victims to stop over, eat and have some drinks, but he would have laced their drinks with sleeping pills. As soon as the innocent victim consumed the drink, he would sleep off and the robber would dispossess him of not only his car, but his life.
The evil man eliminated his victims by putting them in sacks, while still asleep and tying up the bags. Next, he disposed the sacks with the victim by throwing them into a river or setting them ablaze. Their stolen cars were usually driven to the North for sale.
He perpetrated the evil with ease for years until his cup became full.
I asked him why he was so wicked, preserving his own life and denying others the right to live because he wanted to make money.
I wanted to ask the same question when recently the Department of State Services in Osun State arrested a herbalist, identified simply as Jelili and a commercial bus driver, Elijah Oyebode, for killing a 400-level student of the Osun State University, Miss Rofiat Adebisi.
The driver confessed that the herbalist had contracted him to bring any young woman who had not given birth to a child and given him a charm for the purpose. He used the charm to hypnotize Miss Adebisi, who had boarded his vehicle from Ipetu Ijesa to Osogbo.
He subsequently delivered her to the herbalist at Ikirun, who paid him N10,000 for the evil act. He also made N20,000 from the sale of the student’s phone.
The driver said his conscience pricked him when leaving the herbalist’s home, knowing that their victim was not going to leave the place alive.
The student’s corpse was found at Iragbiji, where it was dumped five days after she left home for school.
I would have loved to know why the driver chose to deliver another man’s daughter, a human being like himself to be offered for money-making ritual, when he would never allow anyone to terminate his life.
Incidents like the ones recalled above are on the rise in spite of the plethora of churches and mosques in our neighbourhoods. While acknowledging that evil would persist till the end of time, it must be noted that religion appears to have failed in checking the killings of the innocent only where lip service is paid to faiths. In countries where religious codes are still practiced to the letter, the rate of crimes, including murders is very low.
If in our country, religion has not sufficiently deterred the wicked from killing fellow beings, then our laws must.
Government must place premium on the lives of citizens. Prosecution of anyone found to have killed another must be swift and when conviction is established, the guilty must be publicly executed to serve as deterrent to others. Murders of all forms are still being perpetrated in our communities because the laws and administration of justice are flawed.
It’s really disappointing how low the value we place on human life. And which government agency is consciously educating Nigerians that the life of a fellow citizen is priceless and must not be taken for whatever reason? Until we reorient the citizenry, killing for whatever reason would be a recurring experience.
And to underscore that we place low premium on life, when any family loses a member like in the case of Miss Adebisi, the matter ends in either the culprits escaping justice or justice not being well-served.
The victims’ families are left in the lurch. How can a family just lose a child they struggled to train up to final year in the university to some deranged fellows and they won’t be compensated. Our justice system must be reworked for government to pay compensation to relations of victims of heinous crimes.
For God’s sake, these willful killings diminish us. All of us must join hands to discourage murders of fellow citizens for whatever reasons.
Re: How much is the life of a Nigerian worth?
It’s worth nothing and where do we begin to check? Is it life to work without pay, to retire without gratuity and pension, to lock a hall built and equipped by an International body where pensioners while away time by government that don’t value works of heroes past? To force pensioners to sign off what government owe them and get 40%? To keep silent when herdsmen kill citizens who complain of destroying their farms? What of high profile killings in the land that can’t be unraveled? Indeed life is worth nothing, as leaders are enjoying themselves while the common folks suffer!
–Tony Enyinta, Isuikwuato
Abdulfatah, if one considers handling of rampaging “foreign” fulani herdsmen by President Buhari’s government, it is rather worrisome. It gives the impression that there is more to it than meets the eye. It becomes more disturbing when even NASS remains numb on presidency’s failure to respond to the murderous acts of Fulani herdsmen promptly. A few days back, a Southern Kaduna pastor of Northern extraction was on a television programme where he was asked to comment on the recent massacre in Southern Kaduna. He claimed that the whole idea was religious because some people want to wipe out the Christian-dominated Southern Kaduna.
In conclusion, he said that the killings were senseless and those responsible “would be punished by God at last”. If one considers some religious incidents that consumed lives in the Northern axis recently which were brushed aside or culprits discharged by the court on flimsy grounds, one might tend to sympathize with that pastor’s stance on the issue. Many Nigerians might doubt his claim, which could be seen as an unimaginable dream because of its negative international consequences. It is however necessary to advise anyone in government who might be nursing a devilish idea of “religionizing” Nigeria to drop the insane dream before he sets the universe on fire.
If 90 percent of Nigerian Moslems had Christian parenthood, many of them would be Christians today. Same goes for Christians now born into Muslim homes being Islam faithful today. Only in few cases do people switch to other religions they were not born into. If the massacre in Southern Kaduna was religious, those behind it should adopt winning people into Islam through preaching the faith. No religion approves killing therefore,the faithful should stop such act now. It leads to hell. May we all make heaven, Amen.
The rate at which killings taking place in some parts of this country is becoming alarming and painfull.The government and security agencies should take proactive action against killers and their sponsors to deter others in future.It is embrassing to the country and must stop to move Nigeria forward.If these ugly acts are not checked now, investors that intend to come Nigeria will not come for fear of their lives and investment.Let everybody be security-conscious. God bless Nigeria
–Gordon Chika Nnorom, Umukabia
Happy New Year, Abdulfatah and may Almighty God bless the works of your hands.
Talking about the worth a Nigerian life, you just consider the reaction of our leaders and those whose duties it is constitutionally to protect the citizenry to the dastardly mass murder in Southern Kaduna to figure out the answer by yourself. For a top official of an arm of government that is charged with policing the entire nation to check crime to be disputing the number of people who lost their lives in a senseless episode of mass slaughter with those who were affected by the wanton act instead of apologizing to Nigerians and throwing in the towel afterwards for such an act to have happened under his watch, confirms the feeling that a Nigerian life means nothing, even to our leaders. In the same breath, a group without any expression of pity for lives lost and the grieving relatives, gleefully informed us that it was a reprisal attack by foreign invaders who were attacked way back in 2011. What a rationale.
These are in addition to all other funny statements credited to people thought to be responsible before now. Looking at these wicked killings and the seeming helplessness of the authorities, it appears that some of us don’t want neighbors but slaves around them. But God has already rejected that idea. Thanks.