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THE PAIN ON THE PLATEAU
Where is one completely safe in Nigeria? Where in Nigeria can one live and be sure that death or grievous bodily harm does not lurk in the nearest corner looking for someone to devour?
Just what manner of life has insecurity and a scandalously inefficient criminal justice system conspired to foist on Nigerians?
One of the starkest signs of the struggles of the Giant of Africa to really take off is that insecurity has successfully reduced the country to a state of constant fear. These days, those who manage to catch any sleep at all do so with one eye open.
A chief contributor to the painfully parlous state of insecurity in Nigeria is that many of those who kill or grievously harm others, or destroy their properties thereby compromising their safety, usually escape justice. When they are caught, more often than not, they are merely slapped on the wrists before they are let loose to hide themselves and attack more people.
So, in Nigeria today, many people have lost their lives or limbs and have watched as their agony was compounded by a failure to get justice. That appears to be the story unfolding for Ruth Yakadi, an English graduate of the University of Jos whose lifeless body was recently found at the Farin Gada area of Jos, Plateau State.
Her death which shocked many Nigerians and led to a bit of restiveness in the area also drew the attention of the police which immediately pledged it was going to investigate the heinous crime.
But given what little has come of such investigations in the past, there is little reason to be optimistic.
But what is truly disturbing is the nature of iniquitous crimes that go on from time to time in parts of Nigeria and end with very little being done by apprehending those who perpetrate them and thus subject others to great suffering. How efficient is Nigeria’s criminal justice system, and just how difficult is it to apprehend those who commit chilling crimes against others in the country?
Some reports have it that Ms. Yakadi’s life was snuffed out by her cultist boyfriend after a disagreement. If that is true then there is no telling just how much unsafe Nigeria has become because those who parade themselves as cultists unaccountably come into the possession of the most dangerous of weapons and make life unbearable for others in Nigeria.
Ms. Yakadi was also said to have been raped. For how long would crimes be committed against women and girls in Nigeria for no other reason but because of their tender, and for how long would Nigeria continue to tolerate such abominable attacks against women and girls by its failure to take definitive action?
Ms. Yakadi deserves justice as have all those whose lives have been claimed by the insecurity rippling through Nigeria. Until those who do these things are apprehended, prosecuted and incarcerated, Nigeria will remain distinctly unsafe especially for women, girls and children.
Kene Obiezu, firstname.lastname@example.org