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"Have the courage to be humble."
— T.B. LaBerge // Go Now (via blissfulbeardsdoitbest)
(via lremington)1 month ago
I don’t give a fuck about what brand you are. I’m concerned about what type of man you are… what your principles and standards are.
"Looked through my archive, and this screamed at me again" -MM"
— Mos Def (via killdreamz)1 month ago
On the 5th of December 2013 a video went viral. In the video, two women were seen being beaten, sodomised and tortured by a group of men for stealing pepper. Videos like these are not uncommon on our social network sites, and my usual reaction to this is not to watch them. It is easier to read the captions or stories that illustrate the contents of the videos. But this time I watched it, and after which, my gaze stayed fixed on my screen for a good ten minutes. My mind raced quickly to another video which went viral on the 5th of October 2012 where Tekena Elkanah, Ugonna Obuzor, Chiadika Biringa and Lloyd Michael all students of the University of Port Harcourt were killed by a mob in Umuokiri-Aluu community in Rivers State. That video, I and some other Nigerians refused to view. For the first time the graphic reality of sodomising, torture, inhumane and degrading treatment and to crown it all murder met us in our bedrooms, offices, dining areas as Nigerians shrieked in horror at what we have become. Thanks to People with mobile phones who record and upload videos that reveal the reality of human rights abuses in real time and expose either the truth or lies behind the self-serving justifications or just justifications.
Watching these video unlike reading about these incidents ties the viewer to the victim in an unexplainable way best described with The African concept of ‘Ubuntu’ puts it most clearly: “I am because we are”. It connects us, not allowing borders, walls, seas, crimes, culture, tribes to pollute our natural sense of justice and human-hood. As Martin Luther King puts it, we are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly.” Now the digital world has truly connected us with information and consequently we are spurred to act.
A key element of human rights protection is the right of all people to be free from violence which includes torture. Section 34(1)(a) of the Nigerian constitution prohibits the use of torture and inhumane or degrading treatment. Nigeria has ratified the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) in 1993, the Convention against Torture (CAT) in 2001 and the Optional Protocol to the Convention against Torture (OPCAT) in 2009. The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) was also established for the promotion, protection and enforcement of human rights in Nigeria.
These statutes are but a few of many, however over half the Nigerian citizens for whom they exist to aid are oblivious of their existence. Torture is not merely a matter for legal principles, but also a matter for civilisation. This means that criminal investigation systems must develop concurrently with the legal system. Therefore it is not enough to have this on paper, but as an agreement in the society by interaction so that everyone will be accountable.
This need for concurrent development is clearly illustrated in the child witch cases. Nwanaokwo Edet was a Nigerian child accused of witchcraft by pastors. In Aug. 18, 2009 at Akwa Ibom state, he was beaten up and forced to drink acid by his father as an exorcism which spilled, burning his face and eyes, he died a month later. Pastors were involved in half of 200 cases of “witch children” reviewed by the Associated Press. These churches literally and practically observe the quote “Thou shalt not suffer a witch to live.” These families on the other hand are often too poor, and sometimes even relieved to be rid of one less mouth to feed. All this could be sourced from poverty, poor education and generally an uncivilised mentality.
But then, it takes two to tango. The men in the pepper theft video, the Aluu four killings, the likes of Nwanaokwos father and a host of Nigerians have taken to self-help. It is easy for us to stand aghast at these outrageously inhumane actions. However we need to ask ourselves mind bugging questions. Why have Nigerians decided to take justice into their hands? What has been the outcome when crimes are reported to appropriate authorities and are due process really taken by these authorities [the police]?
The answer to the first question is not farfetched. It is a tad bit difficult to say the least to expect law and order in a country where according to data available from the National Bureau of Statistics report in 2012 and as published by Premium Times on the 17th of December 2013, 54% of the Nigerian youths between the ages of 18 and 35 are idle and ready to mingle. Is the outcome puzzling where even after several years of graduating we have millions of young Nigerians who still ask daddy for transportation fares? Is it not too much to ask a society for stability in security where the basic needs are not obtainable after spending time and money in universities and attaining good grades in bachelors and masters. Is it not easy for Nwanaokwo’s dad who might be a pensioner and may have dedicated his life to serving Nigeria with no dues in return to blame the stars, the moon, the gods and even his own son?
Bit by bit our humanity slips away. The poverty of the majority, lack of opportunities, mixed with the frustration as a result of poor infrastructures, dysfunctional schools and healthcare all over the country have birthed seeds of hopelessness among our youths. The result is a salad of self-help attitude by citizens. A nation this desperate becomes a danger to itself.
To answer the second question is to illustrate using series of reports compiled by amnesty international 2010 - 2013.
Christian Onuigbo on 19 March 2009 was shot and injured by the police while he was parking his car in Jiwa, Abuja. He spent the night at Jiwa police station and was taken to the hospital the next morning. Staffs at the hospital refused to treat him without a police report, which was finally submitted at 4pm. Christian Onuigbo died the following day.
Three Okada riders were equally accused by community members of theft and handed over to the police. The men said their motorbikes had been stolen by the community. They were held for seven days by the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) in Borokiri, Port Harcourt, and beaten every night with the butt of a gun and an iron belt. They also said they were given water mixed with chemicals to drink, which caused internal wounds. The same water was poured over their bodies, causing pain and a rash. The list goes on and on.
The police to whom have a duty to serve and protect and the supposed friends of the citizens are shockingly guilty of a wide range of human rights violations, including unlawful killings, torture and other ill-treatment, not to mention they can magically make inmates disappear.
Furthermore, the “do me I do you” incidents between the police and the Boko Haram group best illustrate the authorities failure to follow due process. Attacks between Christians and Muslims resulted in the death of a lot of civilians. Nigeria’s security forces perpetrated serious human rights violations in their response to Boko Haram including enforced disappearance, extrajudicial executions and unlawful detention. Boko Haram’s leader, Muhammad Yusuf, was arrested on 30 July 2009 in Maiduguri. Later On 13th August, Michael Kaase Aondoakaa, the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, stated that Muhammad Yusuf had been killed in police custody. The government announced it would investigate all the killings, but no further developments were made public.
In accordance with El Rufai’s speech at Aka-Bashorun Memorial Lecture May 23rd 2013, he stated Boko Haram claimed that their leaders had been arrested and executed in cold blood and therefore demanded an apology from government. They asked for the release from police custody of their wives and children who had been detained for months (now years) without trial and also compensation. The group’s initial demand was justice, which is what our legal system owes every citizen, immaterial of whatever crime he or she is accused of. `
Now, although, one far from forms a common consensus or agrees with the ideology behind Boko Haram. However, what is wrong is wrong. The extra-judicial murder of their leaders was wrong without due process; this is no crime different from the ALUU-four and is equally a breach of our constitution. On the 30th of September 2013 allegations were made concerning some members of the State Security Services who massacred 8 men as a result of a tip off alleging that they were members of Boko Haram group. This was done without due investigation as to the tip off. During the public hearing which was held on the 19th of December 2013 the Department of State Services were summoned to no avail.
No one in Nigeria should be killed without a consequence. Ronald Dworkin said, “No government is legitimate unless it subscribes to two reigning principles. First, it must show equal concern for the fate of every person over whom it claims dominion. Second, it must respect fully the responsibility and right of each person to decide for himself how to make something valuable of his life.”
In accordance to criminal litigation every suspect is innocent until proven guilty beyond reasonable doubt in a law court and this should apply to all. Most individuals in Nigeria are taking the law into their hands because the state has failed to practice the rule of law. As justice breaks down, and law enforcement officers kill suspects in custody, it is inevitable that the rest of the society would emulate the “ogas at the top”.
Before peace there must be justice, but if we want justice, all hands must be on deck. Pen on paper, grasps on microphones, wigs and robes straightened, handcuffs prepared. Because this struggle is more moral than it is physical. We should not forget “e fit be u” and if it isn’t what about your children or relatives. No one is immune from being a victim of circumstance or being in the wrong place at the wrong time. If this occurs, the roar of the crowd may be tyre, matches before they realise they have the wrong man.
Islam is not an evil religion with evil people neither is Christianity. We should recognize that that there are only two types of people in the world “The good and bad”. These are found in every religion, ethnicity, tribe and colour. There are no group of angels and demons, God did not categorise the world in that manner. It is a mixture and we are left to sort out with the aid of justice and in observation of the rule of law who belongs to what category.
In conclusion, to free our street of martyrs, we have to say that torture should be prohibited and criminal investigation should be improved. Police officers must be trained and not only on how to use their hands and feet lest the society would be in danger. The criminal justice system should not be run by thugs in uniform. The starting point is both top and bottom to meet in the centre. The authorities and the common man need to be re-educated to remind ourselves of what we are. We are not merely beings but are Human beings and should act accordingly.
By Jennifer Kaja" 1 month ago
"Gentlemen. This is what rape culture is like:
Imagine you have a Rolex watch. Nice fancy Rolex, you bought it because you like the way it looks and you wanted to treat yourself. And then you get beaten and mugged and your Rolex is stolen. So you go to the police. Only, instead of investigating the crime, the police want to know why you were wearing a Rolex instead of a regular watch. Have you ever given a Rolex to anyone else? Is it possible you wanted to be mugged? Why didn’t you wear long sleeves to cover up the Rolex if you didn’t want to be mugged?
And then after that, everywhere you go, there are constant jokes about stealing your Rolex. People you don’t even know whistle at your Rolex and make jokes about cutting your hand off to get it. The media doesn’t help either; it portrays people who wear Rolexes as flamboyant assholes who secretly just want someone to come along and take that Rolex off their hands. When damn, all you wanted was to wear a nice watch without getting harassed for it. When you complain that you are starting to feel unsafe, people laugh you off and say that you are too uptight. Never mind you got violently attacked for the crime of wearing a friggin time piece.
Imagining all that? It sucks, doesn’t it.
Now imagine you could never take the Rolex off."
— The Wretched of the Earth: On Rape Culture (via exoticwild)
(via starfuzsse)1 month ago
3 months ago
Photo by Ian Berry, South Africa, 1994.
“When a man is denied the right to live the life he believes in, he has no choice but to become an outlaw.” - Nelson Mandela.
RIP Madiba. Hamba kahle, Tata Madiba. Go well.
(via blackfashion)3 months ago
LEGACY….THREE GENERATIONS OF MARTIN LUTHER KING.
Martin Luther King Sr. (1897-1984), Martin Luther King Jr.(1929-1968), Martin Luther King III (1957 - Present)
(via urban-meraki)3 months ago