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The Looter And The Murderer.

By Remi Oyeyemi
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"For me, no ideological or political conviction would justify the sacrifice of a human life. For me, the value of life is absolute, with no concessions. It's not negotiable."

- Édgar Filiberto Ramírez, a Venezuelan actor and former journalist.

"The ultimate end of all revolutionary social change is to establish the sanctity of human life, the dignity of man, the right of every human being to liberty and well-being."

- Emma Goldman, a Lithuanian, North American activist

The Looter could steal as much as he or she wants and seek to enjoy the filthy wealth. When the Looter loots, he mortgages the lives of many. He forecloses the lives of many. He tampered with so many lives and their progress as well as their well being. He stagnates the society. It robs the society of comfort and prosperity.

With due process and using the Laws of the land, the Looter could be brought to book. When he has been brought to book, the stolen money would be retrieved and be forfeited to the country and be expended in the interest of the citizens. And the Looter would be sent to jail. That is if all things are equal.

Many of the damages done by the Looter could then be indemnified. Many injuries caused could then be healed. Reparations could then be made for the abrasions. All the bruises could then be balmed. Lives could then be reclaimed. They could then be put back on track.

In a worse scenario where all things are not equal, the Looter might still get away initially but he would be vulnerable to a variety of other variables. He could become a victim of attack of other desperate citizens, he could be duped, he could suffer some other social consequences. In fact, a thousand and one things could happen to him. Or her. But most importantly, he, the Looter has not tampered with one's life beyond one's ability to reclaim it.

But the Murderer is patently different. He is far more dangerous. Deadlier than deadly. Perilously portentous. When he murders, he does not just tamper with one's life, he takes it from one. He foreclosed not one's future but one's life. He has taken away every opportunity from one to reclaim and rebuild. He has put a full stop to everything. Everything. Everything.

Even, when the Murderer is brought to book, one's life could still not be reclaimed unlike the case with the Looter.

Life is the most precious thing that everyone of us have. It is irreplaceable. It is irrecoverable. It is irredeemable. It is irretrievable. It is irreversible. Its value, immeasurable.

There is the common saying, "Where there is life, there is hope." With the Looter, there is life and there is hope. There are opportunities to reclaim and rebuild. With the Murderer, who has taken one's life, there could never have been any hope. Yes, with the Murderer, there is nothing. Nothing. Nothing. Absolutely nothing.

With the Looter, there are more than second chances with one's life. There are the third, fourth and fifth chances. And many more. But with the Murderer who takes one's life, there is no second chance at all. With one's life, one has only one chance. And when one is murdered, that is it.

Looting is hurtful. Looting is unacceptable. It should not be encouraged. We all ought to do everything to mitigate it. But put on the same table with being murdered, I will pick looting so I can still have my life and another chance to live; another chance to reclaim and another chance to rebuild.

In the present situation of this country, there are many characters on the stage, joggling to seize the batons of power, or trying to hold on to the aprons of power. Whatever we do; whatever choices we make; whatever decisions we settle with, we must choose the sanctity and dignity of human life.

We all would be able to discuss looting and how to curb it when we are alive, not when we are murdered.

Those who have proved incompetent and or incapable of preserving our lives and properties have to be chased out of power for our collective interest.

It is time to put an end to the murdering of innocent souls. It is time to put an end to the disemboweling of our pregnant women. It is time to put a stop to the dismembering of the innocent citizens. It is time we put an end to the raping of our women. It is time to stop the burning of our farms and villages. It is time to stop the carnage.

We all need a second chance. It is something that the murderer has permanently foreclosed for thousands of Nigerians. It is time we preserve ourselves. Our lives.

"Civilization is built on a number of ultimate principles... respect for human life, the punishment of crimes against property and persons, the equality of all good citizens before the law... or, in a word justice."

- Max Simon Nordau, a Zionist leader, physician, author, and social critic.

“In the long history of the world, only a few generations have been granted the role of defending freedom in its hour of maximum danger. I do not shrink from this responsibility – I welcome it.”

- John F. Kennedy, in his Inaugural Address January 20, 1961

Please, follow me on Twitter: @OyeyemiRemi.