Aluu Four: Using social media to fight crime in Nigeria by Kemi Omololu-Olunloyo

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A year ago tomorrow, Saturday, October 5th, four young men by the names of Ugo, Tekena, Lloyd and Chidiaka were murdered in a vigilante justice fashion by villagers in the Port-Harcourt area of Nigeria. The garden city became the dark city. A song originally rapped by American rapper Jay-Z “Aint no love in the heart of the city” became a symbol of how you can’t trust anyone in any city in Nigeria. There is no longer a sense of community in this country. As a well known award winning proven community activist in Baltimore, USA and Toronto, Canada, I have seen so many communities gripped by crime in Nigeria. From the insurgents in Boko Haram to the Godogodo style armed robbers to the everyday villagers who can do such a thing, criminals must be caught and locked up.

Ironically last year, when these young men accused of stealing laptops and blackberries were accidentally taken for thieves after a woman shouted ,“thief, thief” in the middle of trying to collect a debt while, using some sort of loan shark who supposed to use his muscle to get the money owed. This was how vigilante villagers made citizen arrests and stripped the young men naked and began beating them bloody. They were later beaten to death, splashed with gasoline and burned to death. All four died a gruesome death that was viewed by millions around the world on YouTube. Is there a limit to what can be captured on social media? NO, I need all the faces of the victims and the killers if possible. Some of these murderers were caught red handed on tape doing their ugly deeds in that video. Even accomplices were videotaping as well. The trial for the #Aluu4, a twitter hashtag coined for this case is still going on. So disturbing that the judge said last summer that he was “sitting beside the devil and the deep blue sea.”

As a former victim advocate in Canada, a lot of crimes were solved using surveillance and social media. Facebook, Twitter and YouTube have been used to solve cases. Canadian aspiring rapper Capitol P allegedly killed a teen named Keyon Campbell and then rapped it all out in a YouTube video. Homicide detectives got a hold of it. Even the alleged shooters at the mass shooting of 25 people killing two at Toronto’s Danzig street BBQ in 2012 tweeted that since they weren’t invited to the BBQ, they would come over anyway to show the organisers “how bodies are piled up.” Nigerian Police Force need to get on social media fast. One cop I met online at the Toronto Police Facebook page, Officer Saheed Apesin Omosanya stationed in Kebbi State Seems to be the only one visible on social media learning innovations and technology we need at the NPF. Omosanya is an NPF officer of the future with a law degree as well. The IG needs to send him and a delegation to Toronto to learn how modern policing is done with the aid of social media. I was a volunteer for the TPS as a Community Police Liason member helping get rid of guns off the streets and saving lives. During that time, I got to witness all the work Constable Scott Mills did as the force’s Social Media officer. The Toronto Police service coined TPS, trains cops from all over the region, United States and even European countries like the Dutch Police. The Toronto Sun’s Chris Doucette did a special on the Top Crime Fighting twitter handles in Canada and my crime fighting handle @Snitchlady and @TorontoPolice were both on the list. Shouldn’t @PoliceNg be on there too? Time we start using social media to fight crime in Nigeria.

If you have the faces of any of the victims in Nigeria since the Boko Haram insurgency began in 2009, please send it to HipHossip Newsnet at [email protected] or post it on the wall at my new page Facebook.com/HNNChannel. The faces of the victims must never be forgotten and must remain in the news. Many killed in churches, mosques and even 72 students in Yobe last week as we mourned the 40 gunned down in on Adamawa Independence day last year at the same time. In a typical gun massacre in the United States, a collage of pictures of the victims is on the news by 6pm the same day in America. It seems that we are immune to slaughter in Nigeria till it arrives at our doorsteps, something nobody wants. We want to know who the victims were. #RIP to Ugo, Tekena, Lloyd and Chidiaka and I hope they get justice. Follow me @HipHossip for all your World News.

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