A Must Read! Bike Man Buried Alive In Onitcha. Reason Will Shock You

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Notwithstanding my phone was taken from me in broad day light and I was deprived of connectivity for more than a month, I still don’t think this was the best way to mete out punishment on him, even if he was the ‘culprit’. I’ve heard lots about ‘Jungle Justice’, but on Sunday, the 30th of June; I not only saw, but was also at  the centre of this justice.

I decided to go straight from a 9:30am Mass at St Joseph the Worker Catholic Chaplaincy Awka, to somewhere at Issele Ukwu, Delta State; in order to deliver a package at a location where a movie was being shot. It was obviously my first time going to that area, so I’d have to ask my way through to the location. Of course, “One who asks, will always find his way”.

Getting to a particular junction at Issele Ukwu, I knew it would only take an ‘Okada’ ride to get to my destination. So I waved down an Okada. I told him where I was healed for, but the place sounded rather too esoteric to him, that he suggested I called whomever I was going to see so that he’d speak with the person for a better direction to the place. I did as he said. On giving him the phone. It was like a flash of lightning the way the collection of the phone and the zooming of the Okada took place. Which left me forlorn, with mouth agape.

Luckily for me, there was another Okada man who observed what took place and instantaneously followed him with shouts of “Ole! Ole! Ole!”. This also drew the onlookers’ attention as some of them also joined the outcry. Within a few seconds, I could then hear the intermingling of languages as they screamed “Ochi!” “Ohi!” “Barawo!” “Ole!” “Thief!”. The crowd seemed to be gathering more momentum as they kept on stressing and adjectivizing the word “Okada” in their clamour for the grasping of the thief.

From a far distance, I noticed that the thief had finally been caught. In gratefulness to the heroic crowd, I quickly made my steps closer to the scene to at least have my phone back from the thief who thought he was smart. As I was getting closer, I observed that they were already dragging the thief by his both legs to a scantily bushy part nearby. So I decided to hasten up in order to get there in time to retrieve my phone. As I was walking faster, I saw that people were buzzing from behind to my front with way quicker steps. I then added a bit of running, yet again people seemed to be running way faster from behind, to far ahead of me with same shouts of “Thief!”.
I then realized that I was already in the midst of an angry mob. So I decided to maneuver my way through them and take a chill with slower steps, because I was actually not going there for the thief just as the mob were, I supposed, but for my phone.

As I got there, people were just so much that if a grain of sand was thrown up, it wouldn’t find it’s way to the earth again. I was actually marvelled at the people’s ‘heroic’ acts towards my phone. I could hear some agitating and vociferous words from the already angry mob, but what tickled my aural stimulus the most was the battering and blows that were unleashed on this thief. I had to let go of the empathetic feeling, and drew closer to the scene to know if I could talk to anyone about my phone.

Angry mob

Angry mob at the scene of the incidence

I had a great hiccup of words, as every word that seemed to come out was sent back with chilly spines all over my body, when I looked and realized that the ‘thief’ who was being brutalized was actually the second Okada man who drove heroically after the first Okada man who made away with my phone. Yes, I was certain of my vision, because the first had a red helmet fixed by the handle of his Okada, while this other brutalized one had a blue helmet on; and I could see the blue helmet lying helplessly on the floor just beside the mob that had rounded up the supposed ‘thief’.

In my thoughts about how this ‘thief swap’ came about, I saw the helmet picked up by one of the mob and thrown so fiercely at the face of the victim that it punctured his right eye. This then got accompanied with a random cast of heavy stones and sharp objects that kept on hitting in agonizing turns, the victim who already gnashed his teeth in pains after a plea of “No be me o!”, “The thief don run o!” “Abeg make una hear me small o!”, was rendered mischievously defensive and thereby fiendishly futile by the then very much aggrieved mob.

After a while, they stopped. I thought it was already over, but they tied him up with chains as he was stripped down his clothes and dragged into an already dug pit. I only wondered what they were up to that time, until I saw the same men refilling the pit with sand.

“Oh no, this is not happening”, I said to myself as I ran towards the men covering up the pit. I had to push my way through the impenetrable crowd – some of which were already taking snapshots of the scenario before I got there. I explained to the men who were adamantly covering up the man that “This Okada man” was not “The Okada man”. I explained over and over again, but they kept on saying that this particular incident of phone snatching had been repeating its ugly self at that “Ikpo…” (I wasn’t able to recoil the exact town mentioned) for many years; that this one had to serve as a lesson to all of them. I knew how much I tried making them hear me out, but my words seemed to be adding catalyst to catastrophe, as the victim was already almost covered up.

The man was then held motionless by the sand that was almost up his neck. I looked at the innocent hero turned villain, as I felt a cloud just beneath my eyebrows that only a careless twinkle of an eye would make tears rain. I couldn’t bear my sight any longer, especially as I couldn’t relate the dear life struggles of one being buried alive – how he’d be alive to have a substantial taste of his inevitable death. The motionless struggle amidst the sand and the brutal mob. The slow and steady path to an inhumane death. What other worse way was there to die!
Soaked in these thoughts, I had to retreat a bit from the scenario.

“This is jungle justice”, I said to myself. “A justice done in an unjustifiable manner”.

I then heard the roar of the crowd and I looked up to see the crisscross movements of the crowd like it was about to rain heavily. I then knew that even natural justice is again jungle justice.

I decided to have a quick glance at the innocent victim whose head I could barely see above the sand, and it looked like he also had a swift glance towards me and said, “Oga abeg to something”. I didn’t know if it was an imposed statement into my imagination, or he really did utter those words. I immediately had to go to one of those taking some snapshots and gave her my number asking her to send an images of the scenario to my WhatsApp line because I believed the only thing I could do lied in my fingers on my touchscreen.

This supposed hero was then completely beneath mother earth. I then walked out in silence amidst the vividly satiated crowd. I then looked back to know if I could catch a final glance of the scenario, only to see a muscular man ferociously pierce a machete through the sand into where I supposed the victim’s head was, and I saw a pump of blood through a tiny opening made by the fixed machete.

“Hmm” was the deep sigh I made as my eyes gleamed with tears. I continued waking even slower as it started raining in slanting showers.

In tears mixed with rain racing down my cheeks, I remembered what Obierika told Okonkwo in Chinua Achebe’s “Things Fall Apart”. I borrowed a leaf and said within myself – “The Jungle has put a knife on the laws that held us together, and justice has fallen apart!”.

#Say_No_To_Jungle_Justice

A chronological figment of Comely Reasoning From Charles Charjoe  Chukaokeke

 

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