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Monday, 5 November 2012

By Ogbebor Maxwell : An Article In Memory Of The Aluu 4

By Ogbebor Maxwell :

The Aluu Four

Once upon a time in Aluu Kingdom, lived free people. Free, loving, caring and happy people. The village had an aura of joy. If you were there for the first time, you'd think you were not on earth. The wind blowing, the sound of children playing, the aroma of sweet, fried fish all over the place. Although a heavenly place, this is not a happy story. Let me explain why.

The people of Aluu lived in peace for generations. But sometime in 1975, civilisation reached its peak in that area. A university was going to be opened there. What goood news! Proximity to the university meant many things; exposure the most important of all. The unfortunate thing was that exposure was a two-edged sword. It could mean better business and mentality of the people. On the other hand, it could also mean exposure to many societal vices. And so was the story when the University of Port-Harcourt was finally opened.

The Aluu people were delighted at the potential prospects facing the village. Access to good roads, pipe- borne water, electricity and other basic amenities. Shame all these weren't available prior to that time. The place was a perfect representation of a failed government and broken promises. Good that the university was situated in that area though. At last governmental presence was going to be felt there. It was all fine and dandy for some years before the real problems started.

The university attracted people from all works of life. Old and young, fair and Dark, rich and poor, good and bad. The good people mixed really well with the Aluu people. The problems were the bad ones.. Suddenly, the societal vices started to gain a hold on the community. Stealing, Cultism, Prostitution, oppression and other vices became the order of the day. The indigenes were slowly losing hold of their community. Law and order became hard to maintain. Peace became a stranger. Cries here and there. It was apparent that they had to do something to salvage the Aluu of old. And so one day, after delibrations, the Chief propounded a policy. If you were caught stealing, you were to be burnt to death. Harsh, but the Aluu people felt that was the sacrifice to be made to restore the tranquillity of old. And so from pillar to post, the word was spread, of the new policy. The consequences of such dreadful policy unthought of. Till it was one day implemented.

Tekena, Ugonna, Chidiaka and Lloyd were good friends. Each with his own dreams and aspirations. Each with proud parents that had children in the university. Each with loved ones that hoped they'd finish quick and come and help with the situations at home. Each with crushes and girlfriends that loved them wholeheartedly and wished they had a future together. Life seemed pretty straightforward to them. Get into school, get a good result, graduate with at least a 2-1, get a good job, and live the good life. Wasn't too much to ask by any standard, was it? Till they were caught on the wrong side of the Aluu chief's policy. Who ever knew life was this short? Whoever knew death was this cold? Whoever knew people were so inhuman? Whoever knew we always lived within a hair's breadth of our lives? Whoever knew that there were no guarantees in this life? Whoever knew anything? Beaten to a pulp, tyres round their necks, petrol on their bodies, they must've known that was the end. Some Aluu villagers proceeded to sing the victory songs of old. Some even proceeded to record the savage events. Then the defining moment came.. And the man from Aluu lit the match! The already battered body of one of the friends jumped in pain. Pain that he couldn't handle. Pain that he may not have deserved. Pain that was unquenchable. The fire spread. And truly.. That was the end… The end to a lifetime of dreams and hopes of four young boys. The end of four lives.

Is there any justice in this world? Are there any guarantees in this cruel world? Did the friends deserve to die without at least a fair trial? Did they deserve to die in such cruel and savage manner? What must have been going through their minds throughout the ordeal? Did the people of Aluu really want back their village; or was it just bloodthirst like that of a newly-turned vampire? Is there any recompense? Is there anything at all out there wortht dying for?
The friends have died. The circumstances surrounding their death unclear. We await news on further investigations. We hope their souls rest in peace. We hope their families have the fortitude to bear their loss. Above all, however; WE WANT JUSTICE. But in the search for true justice. Let us not lose ourselves. Its all we have.

By: maxwellogbebor@gmail.com

If you have any article or poem dedicated in memory of the boys, pls send to annealao@yahoo.co.uk. We will publish it on our blog immediately..

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