Man, The Wildest Beast

I have often tried to reconstruct the scene in my mind: three Youth Corp members on their knees, scared out of their wits; fifty or more ferociously armed guys dancing round them, chanting “Allah Akhbar.” Minutes later, one of the corp members gets his throat slit while the other two are hacked to death with axes.

Or the man who was thrown to the very depths of helplessness as he stared horror in the face: the savages dancing round his house after setting it on fire, with him, his wife and three kids inside and no route of escape.

The Jos carnage exposes the bestiality in man.

An estimated 300 people dead and more than 500 still missing. This horror is supposed to have emanated from clashes between supporters of the various candidates in the just concluded local government elections. I hold a different opinion. The Jos massacre does not look like a spontaneous action, it smacks of premeditation. It is not even a religious issue, as has widely been canvassed. I think the bloodbath at Jos is an ethnic issue. How did the rampaging youths identify the religious inclinations of their victims before they struck? Did they verify that the corp members were not Muslims before butchering them? How did they know there were no Muslims inside the house before setting it on fire?

Those three corp members did not go to Jos for business, neither did they go for pleasure. They got posted to Jos for the mandatory one year National Youth Service; a scheme that was primarily established for purposes of strengthening relationships between the various ethnic groups within the country. They went to Jos; they served the people; and they got slaughtered. How will their parents and relations feel tomorrow, when someone else from the family gets a call up letter from the NYSC?

I shudder when I imagine that the earlier mentioned scene, or a similar one, will be recreated live again and again.

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