• Wednesday, February 28, 2024
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Beaten to death, burnt to death, perpetrators, and the rest of us

Beaten to death, burnt to death, perpetrators, and the rest of us

It’s too early in the year to speak in dark tones and mourn our people in different countries. I am deeply concerned that a Catholic Priest would be set ablaze in his own house while he was sleeping. The perpetrators determined to silence him by snuffing the life out of him. When I see stories like that of Father Achi holding the candle of burnt to death victim in Niger state, I am saddened. I have searched the inner recesses of my being and asked how these perpetrators sleep.

They wake up blood thirsty and cannot rest until they have carried out their inhuman acts. The tragedy is unfathomable but the collective pain of all of is always never doused. The words ring past our ears and we sit mummified by the very thought that some human beings are capable of an act so debasing, it can only be carried out by people who are no longer within the human realm. People whose thoughts have descended beneath their feet, themselves a tragedy unto their families, their community and to themselves.

The biggest tragedy being that they live among us, some we know, some we do not know what they get up to in the seedy darkness of their souls. We eat with them….cousins brothers…sisters, uncles. We think we know them. The others we don’t know but they sleep in our community and marry our daughters and sons. Our prayer is May we never encounter them…in-house or otherwise…Amen. But as 2023 berths, we as a nation have Father Achi to deal with. A man of the cloth…a priest of one of the oldest denominations in the world to which I belong. Truth they say is humility.

We live in a complex world where what would happen next is not given to any one person, no matter how highly placed

Here we are in a modern state like Nigeria being talked about across the world because of something so crude, so cruel. Achi will remain our burden as a nation until this descent is curbed. Whatever did this Catholic priest do to anyone to be cruelly burnt to death? All of a sudden, Catholic Priests are targets nationwide. The other day it was a Priests housekeeper who betrayed him to Kidnappers. It boggles the mind. May this too pass…Amen While we are asking for God’s intervention in this national tragedy, a clarion call should go to the church and security agents to place another layer of security over these vulnerable men of God whose only interest is service, selflessness , their flock and the nation. So next?

My heart goes out to a young man in the U.S., Nichols, who got beaten to death at a traffic stop. Five policemen, all black like the victim brutally beat him and he died of his wounds in hospital. I have seen his pictures. A seemingly genial young man with his life ahead him. What did he ever do? Five men. One young man and the beating of his life. Somethings are difficult to wrap one’s head around. Lots of noise coming from the authorities can certainly not explain how this happened.

A psychological profile perhaps? Had they been drinking? Are they all using or is there something the US authorities know that we don’t. I am even more desperate for answers when you encounter black on black violence. And this after George floyd is a travesty from the police force in the United States. With Floyd, they were white and Hispanic, with Achi, they are still unknown murderers, but for Tyre Nichols beaten to death by his own brethen is just too much to bear.

Read also: Raising boys (part 2)

How does one trust even the air we breathe if five men, five policemen…trusted with lives, can beat up someone anyone for that matter while the victim is restrained? In the meantime, Caucasians worldwide are clapping because with Nichols case, no one can claim racism. The colour of the skin of the perpetrators puts everything on the table and underscores the classic black on black violence. Sad but true. Those of us who have some psychology wait to hear what these five were thinking and how they thought all of this will end. Whose idea was it? Temporary insanity? Over what and this came over all five of them simultaneously?

We live in a complex world where what would happen next is not given to any one person, no matter how highly placed. In addition, our boys…our boys…our boys. Where are their fathers? Are they home to help bring them up? Are single female parents coping? Who is teaching the moral code? Whose company are they keeping? What is their radar…..how much pressure are they under? How have they always treated other human beings?

Their wives, their children. While this is not an excuse….how angry are the boys in our societies? How angry are they with the society? With their inability to pay rent, with ..a spouse who earns more, with the thought of an absent father. How did the darkness overwhelm our boys and how can we make it stop? Its time to interrogate the darkness, the causes, the run up to it, the drugs to fill the yawning emptiness….Will the rest of us please stand up for our boys before they plunge us into a needless Word War 3. The pain is unbearable.