When this story broke, the news was that from the University of Port Harcourt (UNIPORT) four students named Ugonna, Ilyod, Tekana and Chidiaka were roughly beaten and then burnt alive by indigenes of ALUU community for allegedly stealing cell phones and laptops in an off campus hostel.
The whole country went agog with the news. The pictures and videos of the despicable crime went viral. Different stories began to surface, one of them went thus:
That one of the victims actually went to collect the money owed to him by a friend and somehow, during the course of collecting the money, an argument ensued. The debtor then raised a false alarm alerting the indigenes of the community to come to his rescue, and sadly, there had been reports of incessant thefts/robbery in that community. And so the boys were rounded-up, taken to the chief’s and even though they pleaded their innocence, were then stripped, paraded as robbers, beaten and subsequently burned to death.
After that story, the chiefs and elders of the community who vetoed the attack on the boys were rounded up for questioning and full on investigation has begun to get to the real story behind the barbaric, hair-raising and blood-curdling act. It has been reported that the Chief of Aluu community has been arrested and is in police custody. This was confirmed by the of Rivers State Commissioner of Police. There are also reports that at least 12 others have been arrested and more arrests will be made in the coming days. The students of the school have also gone on a rampage and are destroying things and setting them on fire. I have also heard that there have been some violent attacks on the villagers as well. Jeez! This has spiraled out of control.
Students and Journalists alike have begun to delve deeper on their own to uncover the true story and these are some of the opinions and investigative reports culled from the Latest Nigerian University and Polytechnic News, word for word:
Anderson Ezekiel Hart
As a journalist I went on an investigative journalism and my findings was that the guys are not thieves but cultist on a mission to kill the leader of their cult group. These guys are from rich homes, two of them move on jeeps. They were incensed by the overbearing attitude of their cult leader and decided to topple him. Not knowing that the place was in the radar by some resolute vigilante boys following persistent handset theft and rape, five of them embarked on a journey around 3am with their axe and knife on hand trying to gain entry into their targets abode. The target who is their cult leader was however sensitive enough to notice their presence and started screaming – ‘thief, thief’ which attracted the attention of the vigilante who rounded them off. One out of the five cult guys escaped albeit with a gunshot wound he sustained from the vigilante while trying to escape. It was this 5th cult guy that escaped but later died in Agip that narrated the ordeal before he died that gave us the tip that they were set up as thieves instead of an equally bad CULTIST. The things they claim was stolen was never found on them and perhaps some persons wanted them dead all their confessions were waved. I agree Cultism itself is a social problem, but to take a life on the guise of what he did not do is injustice. Perhaps it’s God’s way of giving the cult leader another chance to renounce an embrace God, who knows he would have been the one dead had he not employed the false accusation alarm. I think all relevant investigative agencies should come into this matter especially why some group of persons should defy police order to hand over a criminal. Don’t get me wrong, for attempting to take a soul they deserve to be paid in their coin but this should be done within the arm bit of the law not unsubstantiated accusations and taken laws into our hand in the name of vigilante. One of the major militia groups in Rivers state started with a vigilante and we will not want a repetition of that. THANKS!
Some students had this to say:
Nekii Deedee Kosa:I’m a student of uniport,and if you have an iota of idea what students and the locals of Aluu community experience in the hands of robbers on a daily basis, even in broad day light, then you will not be quick to judge the perpetrators of this act. My classmate was killed month’s ago in this same community on his way to his room,by a group of guys who wanted his phone. He wouldn’t oblige and he was murdered in cold blood. What did the police do? Nothing. Did you hear of it? Of course not,cause nobody put it up on Facebook?
On two different occasions,my female friends,were abused and robbed on their way to their off campus rooms after school, at about 8pm. What did the police do? Did you hear about that? I personally came back from school one day and everything in my room was gone! My refrigerator,laptop,tv,everything! That was the day i made a resolve never to stay off campus for the rest of my stay in school. I took what was left of my properties straight to the campus hostel. I didn’t even bother reporting nothing to no police cause i knew it would be useless. Numerous and i mean numerous of such crimes happen in Aluu on a DAILY basis. These people have cried to the govt and yet nothing is done. Police,police everyday,yet a criminal is never caught. So what do you expect? I’m in no support of this evil killing of these young men,don’t misunderstand me,but maybe this cruel vigilante system is the only way these people have deemed fit to protect themselves. It reminds me of the”bakassi boys” of the eastern communities of the old. This is an outcry to the government. They should expect much more of such dastardly acts. If they won’t protect the people,the people will protect themselves.
AMAKA: Aluu enjoys stoning and burning people to death. I’m from Rivers state and I have always heard of their cruelty when they themselves are robbers and kidnappers. Some time ago they almost lynched a hungry widow for stealing an onion in the market. They derive joy in killing. I pity those from that land or anyone that intends to marry from there.