By Ovundah Nyeche
Years ago, when I was serving as a corps member, I saw a disturbing news online. In my house state, some boys where caught in a locality close a university.
The area was notorious for cultism and criminality at that time and they had apparently gone to collect a debt owed one of them in the community, and the accusation of “Thief oh… Thief oh” at a time when thieves were rampant meant they were branded guilty by labeling and that was is…They were thieves, because a majority of people accused them of been thieves.
In minutes they were stripped naked, paraded around the community and executed in a painful and horrible way… They did not live to tell their story.
When the dust settled, it was found out that they were not thieves and they were innocent men, caught at the wrong place at the wrong time, branded criminals, proclaimed criminals and their lives snuffed away, due to an accusation with evidence gathered solely from hear say, emotions and sentiments.
Recently also in my city, a “Thief oh.. thief oh” accusation was shouted in a market place and an innocent woman was in the center of the whole scary situation… And she was dehumanized and dealt with ruthlessly, she was lucky she lived to tell her story, as it was later revealed she was not a thief and the accusation was false.
Recently online, a story filtered of two young men, who were saved by the grace of God. The two brothers were carrying a restrained woman, who happened to be the wife of the driver of the car, to a psychiatric hospital.
When onlookers noticed the restrained woman who was also saying she was been kidnapped, the men were rounded up and given the beating of their lives only to saved by the timely intervention of the police, who found out they were actually taking the woman to a psychiatry home.
Also do you remember all those cases of people been accused of stealing people’s private parts in marketplaces and the gist of how there were several male sex organs in their bag and how the beaten person kept replacing the organs until it matched with that of the person he or she stole an organ from.
“Did you see him taking the organs? … No… Where you there? No… But I saw when they were beating the man”.
With a mob, an accusation is many times as good as a verdict and a statement of fact… Like a playwright said “A cockroach can never be innocent in the gathering of chickens”.
While it is true many people who were caught by a mob were guilty of a crime, it is also very true that many accusations are false and many times even those guilty, receive punishments greater than their crime, and receive punishments from people not authorized or vested with the power to enforce verdicts.
Which brings me to an important point… Whether on social media, virtual world or in real life, no one deserves to be a victim of a mob justice. It is scary, it is life altering, you will likely never be innocent. Even Jesus was found guilty by a mob… In a mob the louder the shout, the more likely the mob will have their way and justice will be far.
Imagine being accused for a crime you did not commit even on social media and see how a band wagon will gather, even those who have never interacted with you before may even accuse you as well, and amplifiers will take the accusation to the next level.
As you go this week and in life… I pray you never be part of a mob justice in real life… Jumping into matters you have no details about, because they are popular, or trending and you wish not to run against the track of popularity. May you never be a false accuser or an amplifier of a false accusation.
May we seek justice the right way and the right way only.
#SELAH #hearword #OvdSpeaks #hearwordseries