My attention was drawn to the story, “MAN’S INHUMANITY TO MAN: MAN SET ABLAZE”, carried in the Ika Weekly Newspaper, edition 185, published last weekend.
The story was as bizarre as it was fictional! The man who stole the money and was set ablaze was not named, the amount of money he was alleged to have stolen was not mentioned, the Community in the Ika North Local government Area at which the event allegedly took place, was not mentioned, the Community Spokesperson who spoke to the Ika Weekly Newspaper was not named and the Community Leader whose money was stolen was also not mentioned. His Secretary who reported the loss of the money remained anonymous! What a story!
The question that crossed my mind was: “Did this event really take place or was the Ika Weekly newspaper taking us for a ride?”
One of the principles of Journalism is: “Publish and Be Damned!”
If the event had really taken place and the Weekly was sure of its facts and source of information, why not publish the whole story?
It is unacceptable by present day societal norms that a human being should be beaten to a pulp and his body set ablaze on the allegation that he had confessed to have stolen money that was suspected to have gone missing!
The thought of this mob action made by the people of the anonymous community look like mad men in an uncivilised society! Mad men who have no compassion for their fellow human being and no respect for the Laws of the Land!
The unnamed Community Leader was alleged to have dissociated himself from this brutal action by his people but he owes it to the Society at large to fish out those who committed this heinous crime, hand them over to the Police and cough up funds to pay for the hospital treatment of the affected miscreant instead of allowing him to be “writhing in pains” and die as a result of the serious burns he had received. If he survives his vicious burns, the police could take him into their custody!
A Community that is proud of its people and its heritage and culture, should not be associated with barbaric acts in the 21st Century!