More than a bumper harvest of crimes
If you are a regular reader of metro stories in newspapers across the country, you will see and know that we are having a bumper harvest of crimes, perhaps, the highest ever since recoverable memory. It is not just the regular occurrence of crimes of robberies and kidnappings, but the very vicious, cold and heartless dimension it has taken. You might also add the very benumbing escalation in social misbehaviours that are not only horrendous, but also incestuous and sadistic. And you begin to wonder what has gone wrong with our society.
The recent story of abduction, murder and burial of Mrs. Christiana Agbulu, a lecturer in the department of biological Sciences at the Federal University of agriculture (FUAM), Makurdi, is one I could not just read and let go.
According to the story, she was visiting a friend, Mr. Levi Asambe around Lokoja, but needed the assistance of commercial motorcyclists to get the precise location of her host. That was all. At that point, three suspects, who have been apprehended and are said to be giving useful information to the Police, then abducted her. They used her phone to make contact with her colleagues and demanded a ransom of N150, 000. They got N100, 000, which was what Agbulu’s colleagues at FUAM could put together at such short notice. But they did not let her go. Instead, they now subjected her to repeated rape for weeks, and when she died, they buried her in some shallow grave at the outskirts of Lokoja. That was how a journey made on November 26 2016, turned out to be the last, a brutal one at that, for Mrs. Christiana Agbulu. Good enough, the Police have tracked the crime and have recovered her remains. The dead brains that carried out the dastardly act exerted only brute force without cranium matter. They were so beastly and cheap to have left traces behind. They are now confessing their crime, after harm had been done to an innocent woman, a career woman, who for God’s sake had a great future. She was forced to abandon her classroom, students, colleagues, and perhaps, her professorial thesis.
If you think that was too much to take, what about this? A lady, identified as Aisha Alli-Balogun, who was presenter of the comedy show Stand-Up Nigeria, had left work on Friday, December 16, in company of her two children and two other family members or friends. They were going home towards Ikorodu, when some bandits took over the road at Asolo Bus Stop. In the bid to escape with her daughter, she was shot and that ended a bubbly life and thriving career. Apart from being cut in her prime and leaving behind two innocent children who needed her care, one of them, her two-year-old daughter was kidnapped by the assailants. It took days for them to let go of her, after some ransom had been paid, according to reports. Talk about cruelty in lowly places.
There was the other story of Miss Sophia Horsefall, good looking and promising. She was killed on November 8, 2016, at Rumukparale in Obio/Apkor local government of Rivers State. Hers was a story of a con lover, who was out to fleece her dry. She worked at the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), a good job. When she thought it was enough for the gold digger, the man went morbid and arranged for her to be killed. The matter is in court.
What else can I say? Beginning last Friday, the interment ceremony of late Mrs. Grace Omogui was flagged off. This elderly grand mother of 82 was shot by robbers, who chased her car as she emerged from a bank along Sapele road, Benin City, on November 19, 2016. She died a few days after. She is the mother of former chair of the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) Ifueko Okauru. If the robbers, who killed this woman, had the brains to study her history, they would know that they have offended God and all of us. This woman was a vice principal, after which she studied law and became a magistrate. She was a bundle of knowledge and asset to younger Nigerians. But the robbers were more interested in the money they stole from her. They have denied her grand children the care and nourishment of the elderly. They have murdered sleep.
One more before we discuss other things. Around June 2014, one so-called herbalist, who was more of a lunatic to me, and called himself Alhaji Olatunji Azeez, buried alive a former Customs officer, Angela Kerry, 68 and her adopted daughter, 10. The story was some kind of thriller, as the Police took time to trail and unveil the murderer. The man and the woman were in some client and doctor relationship. He promised to assist her get pregnant and she showered him with money. She trusted him and made land purchases through him. At a point, she probably felt being duped and demanded refund of several millions. The herbalist knew he couldn’t pay. So, he dug a manhole and led her and daughter into it. As they fell inside, he commenced shoveling sand to bury them alive. Their wailing did not stop him. When the little girl attempted to jump, he brought the shovel down hard on her head. He covered his tracks, but not well enough. His greed led him to dispose the car the woman drove to her death. That was how the fool was tracked. As we talk, I don’t know what has become of his miserable life.
So, what are we talking about? Has life become so crooked that genuine and hard working people are no longer safe to go about their legitimate duties? We are not even talking about the mass murders of Southern Kaduna and Agatu. We are talking about very deadly and heartless young men and women, who have become cold murderers in their search for food to eat. They are everywhere all over the country and nine times out of ten, they succeed in their crime before the law enforcement agencies begin to track and replay the tapes. It is commendable that when the Police is sincere about unravelling a crime, they smoke out the criminals no matter how long it takes, but after that, what happens?
The case of Cynthia Osokogu is one sore episode that should challenge our judiciary. This lady was lured by her supposed Facebook friends, from her Nasarawa base to some hotel in Festac town, Lagos, sometime in 2012. The Police presented a very good case and the evidences were glaring.
Justice delayed is justice denied, and before our very eyes, some smart lawyers are turning murder into some kind of joke. We are talking about lives of Nigerians. The absence of timely prosecutions and convictions seems to have emboldened killers to do whatever they like to precious lives.
Some state governments are doing their bit to assist Police with vehicles and all that to combat crime, but that has not led to a reduction in crime. Crime is actually bourgeoning alongside population explosion. The Ikorodu traffic robbery has happened again and again after the killing of Alli-Balogun. It is now an economy for the outlaws to carry out raids, steal phones and valuables and kidnap persons for ransom. Let governments invest more in farms and employ idle hands.
In 2017, we need better law enforcement for the homeland. We need a more proactive Police, and prosecution should be swift. Governors should summon courage to sign death sentences or commute such to life. We need more hands to carry out the local rice revolution that is ongoing in states. Convicted criminals in our prisons should be deployed to rice farms in Kebbi, Abakaliki, Ekpoma and Kogi. In 2017, we don’t want to hear of jailbreaks. We want to hear of rice booms, and cheap labour can be got from our prisons.
It is not only men who are killers. We have many women killers, too. I just used the gory nature of these examples to explain how low we have sunk as a country. Pardon me.