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COWARDS LYNCH THE POOR & HUNGRY FOR THE SINS OF LOOTERS

If you are so daring and angry enough to take human life of the poor and hungry, why don't you confront those that bleed you left, right and center: cowards? When, out of ranging anger you administer punishment that is totally disproportionate to the crime, especially to the point of death, it is cruel and inhuman. Most of us are angry no doubt, at the selfish politicians that loot everything in sight. We can only take so much, but not the poor lynching the poor and hungry.

Misplaced fury of stealing what is not yours is twisted anger without appropriate target. There is no way coward brutes can explain projection of cruel and unusual sodomy of ladies and little girls for stealing pepper or justify tire necklace. The fear is that this misplaced outrage will soon be forgotten until a worse one rear its ugly head again. We went through these many times.

There is no justification for the poor to be lynching the poor and hungry. It is misplaced anger that does not fit the crime. When people steal in the market, make them work, like sweeping the market or if they eat without paying, make them wash the dishes where many can see them. If they refuse, hand them over to police. Facing angry crowd, most of them would comply. It takes more out of our human dignity to kill the poor and hungry for little crime than the rich.

Out of the abominable sight of inhuman treatment of petty thieves comes a realization that we may not have lost our sense of morality but we have lost our sense of justice. Fairness and honesty are so ingrained in humans that even dogs know the difference between a kick and being tripped over. Children know when we are not right. As they get older, we corrupt some of them with - do what I say, not what I do.

This was how we turn desperate youths into kidnappers of grannies and children while political fanatics turn youths into religious fanatics. The sad part is that when negotiations break down between home grown kidnappers or religious fanatics and the political godfathers that sponsor them, innocent people are sacrificed to death to demonstrate their brutality. The poor cannot keep on killing the hungry. It is hard enough being poor, it is even worse being poor and hungry.

Well-protected looters cannot escape the anger of those daring enough to kill. We always muse about everybody wants to go to heaven but nobody wants to die. That is, nobody wants to bare the cat except those willing to die. Those daring enough to take the lives of the poor and hungry must be willing to direct their anger to where it belongs at the risk of death to justified the fury.

So many times, our politicians have come out and tell us they steal because we let them and we aggrandize them and sing their praises. Another governor told us how easy it is to rig elections by “accommodating” the chief electoral officer. We have at least one head of state that cannot understand how our Country still stands after stealing so much and another one expecting Arab Spring. Ruthlessness on the poor and hungry petty thieves in the markets can't cure the looters.

In fairness to our young people, we had our Nzeogwu, Rawlings, Ribadu, Steve Biko etc. But we have taken many more strides backwards and our young people are either contented with the status quo or given up. Moreover, those brave young folks have not enjoyed bandwagon effect of what they dreamed of, because they were betrayed. Some later became politicians, joining them if they couldn't beat them. Tinubu and Bode George now use Ribadu to clear their names.

Some people claimed during Abacha regime, nobody dared steal except him. After Abacha, we promised to fix the loopholes that made it easy to steal directly from the Central Bank. Nigeria still remembers Buhari/Idiagbon era. It was stressful because that was a military government but necessary because harsh discipline could not have been done democratically. Then came Obasanjo era when all the military politicians were retired and EFCC developed some teeth.

Humans tend not to take the law into their hands when they know most crooks will be caught and punished. But if they get the feeling that nothing would be done unless they administer jungle justice themselves, we bred anarchy, Oyenusi, Aninih and copycats. Unfortunately, the poor and the hungry are at the receiving end while the looters and armed robbers go free if they steal enough to buy the lawyers and the judges.

There are many Nigerians willing to speak out and even risk their lives in exposing corruption at the leadership level. What they lack is the support of the people to see them through reprisals. The last one, Dino Malaye regardless of his personal affairs, lost his seat after he took on his colleagues in the House. Before him were others that could not garner support since 2000.

Dr. Haruna Yerima, exposed chairmen of the House committees that demanded and received bribes from government ministries and parastatals; Adams Jagaba exposed N4 million offered as bribe to impeach speaker, Alhaji Umar Ghali Na'Abba; Mallam Nasir el-Rufai, named Senator Mantu that demanded N54m bribe for his appointment; Sen. Wabara demanded bribe from Education minister Dr. Osuji; and Sen. Uche Chukwumerije exposed N500,000 bribe to declare state of emergency in Anambra State. Today those are petty cash in Abuja. See Bribery.

This is the root of our anger on the street, but it must not demonize us into a beast taking it out on the poor and hungry because they cannot fight back. Ask why we misplace so much of our anger, instead of reserving it for the deserving rich stealing with impunity. Even when they are not securely protected by body guards and hustlers at parties, we sing their praises.

Do you believe justice is in heaven? Increasing number of us want it on earth before we get to heaven. Please let the poor and hungry breath before we eliminate one another for the rich.

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