Legal Drama

Advocacy: M.I Abaga Speaks on Murder of 4 UNIPORT College Students

The response of influential music industry professionals to the murder of the four college students at UNIPORT is one to be applauded. M. I Abaga issued a statement/penned the article below about the murdered students. Industry, your advocacy is helpful in letting Nigerians know they don’t have to take the law into their hands.  There is a long way to go with Nigeria’s criminal justice system but the answer cannot be every man for himself in righting injustice.

Please read M.I’s article/statement below

-Uduak
Twitter: @uduaklaw

“The way they lay there, beaten and broken, battered and bruised. Knowing their end had come for certain. Knowing that the crowd meant to see this through to the end. And yet, in the midst of all this certainty, in some small corner of their hearts, hoping. That something would happen, some miracle perhaps.

I am speaking of course, of the #Aluu4, students of University of Port Harcourt who were beaten and set ablaze last week.

I’d heard the news sometime last week and devoted all of 10 seconds of thought to it. I wondered briefly who the students were, and what could possibly have driven them to steal. I briefly wondered if they were really guilty but my mind quickly shied away from where that road could lead. I remembered all the stories I grew up hearing about thieves and the instant justice meted out to them, and mentally shook my head.

That would have been all, I suppose, but for the video. It is probably the most gruesome thing I have ever seen, and the worst I ever hope to see.

Hope.

There, I’ve said it again. Somehow it seems there is no escaping it.

Because when things like this happen, it seems our default reaction is to hope it will never happen to us or any one we know or love. Then we hope that our religion and hard work and luck will exempt us from senseless suffering. Sometimes we hope that right thing will be done, the wrong doers brought to book, and the victims receive some sort of justice.

Every day we hope the country we live in will be a better place for us and for our children.

And that is the problem with hope.

That we have allowed it to cripple us and render us inactive.

You, me, all of us who sit by hoping and doing nothing to change.

The question is not whether or not the 4 boys stole anything. That is quite besides the point.

Let us ask instead: What do I need to ensure my children do not grow up hearing stories like these?

What would it cost to make this country and are we willing to pay the price?

Because if I were there that day, would I have spoken up and done my best to put a stop to it? Or silently stood by, condemning the actions in my heart, but doing nothing? Would I have been seized by the bloodlust and fear and anger myself, and spurred them on with my shouts, and cries for blood, maybe tossed in a rock or two for good measure.

The society is a mirror of each of us. It is sad and sickening that this was allowed to happen. It shows us all what we are capable of, what we will each do given the right set of circumstances.

These 4 murdered men, their deaths should not be in vain. If anything good could come out of a mess so sordid, let it be that every Nigerian begins to think about the problem and what to do to solve it. Let it be that we understand the problem is ourselves and our failure to take a stand against injustice and lawlessness over the years. Let it be that we promise ourselves never to let this happen again. Not on our land. Not as long as we’re alive.

I hope this time we get it right.”

Africa Music Law™

AFRICA MUSIC LAW™ (AML) is a pioneering music business and entertainment law website, livestream and podcast show empowering the African artist and Africa's rapidly evolving entertainment industry through its brilliant music business and entertainment law commentary and analysis, industry news, and exclusive interviews.

For general inquiries, advertising, licensing, or to appear on the show as a guest, please email ([email protected]). Thank you for visiting.

ABOUT THE FOUNDER

Credited for several firsts in the fashion and entertainment industry, Uduak Oduok (Ms. Uduak) is a fashion and entertainment lawyer, speaker, visionary, gamechanger, trailblazer, and recognized thought leader, for her work on Africa’s emerging global fashion and entertainment markets, and the niche practice of fashion law in the United States. She is also the founder of ‘Africa Music Law,’ an industry go-to music business and law blog and podcast show empowering African artists. Her work in the creative and legal industries has earned her numerous awards and recognitions, including an award from the American University Washington College of Law for her “legal impact in the field of intellectual property in Africa." She has also taught as an Adjunct Professor at several institutions in the United States. For more information, visit her at https://msuduak.com.

You may also like...