Chief Okoi Obono-Obla’s Whistle and the List
If cult-related murders could be murdered by publishing a list of murderers, I would have reported that Chief Okoi Obono-Obla has murdered 46 ”murderers”.
Chief Obono-Obla disclosed that the ”murderers” belong to a cult group which is allegedly supported by the Obol Lopon of Ugep, Obol Ofem Ubana, in their quarrel against a rival cult group in that town. Obon Lopon of Ugep is the traditional ruler of that town. My report would have added that Chief Obono-Obla committed this ”murder” when he published a list of ”murderers” yesterday on Facebook, in an open letter to Prof Ben Ayade, Governor of Cross River State.
Chief Obono-Obla is President Muhammadu Buhari’s Special Assistant on Prosecution. He is an indigene of Ugep, headquarters of Yakurr Local Government Area and a village head of a community in that town. Considering his experience as a Lawyer and his exalted status in society, I believe that Chief Obono-Obla knows the implications of that publication. It cannot be taken lightly.
According to him, these ”murderers” killed his nephew, Jude Iroegbu Junior, on June 29, 2017. The ”murderers” allegedly belong to a cult group known as Axemen. To the best of my knowledge, Chief Obono-Obla’s disclosure is unprecedented in the history of Cross River State. In this state and in most parts of Nigeria, people speak about cultists in hushed tones. Cultists are seldom publicly named and shamed. They seem to be dreaded.
Surely, the brutal murder of Chief Obono-Obla’s nephew prompted him to take this bold step. While I sympathize with him on the death of his nephew, I also think that the young man’s sad exit would not be in vain if it leads to the arrest, prosecution and conviction of murderous cultists. This could help in abating the trend in our society.
“Our prime purpose in life is to help others.
And if you can’t help them, at least don’t hurt them.” – Dalai Lama
Meanwhile, I am thinking of the Federal Government of Nigeria’s whistle blowing policy, against the backdrop of Chief Obono-Obla’s publication. Surely, he has blown the whistle on those he describes as ”murderers”. Murder is wrongdoing. Restitution for it comes from God, not from man, but man can prevent it.
According to the Minister of Finance, Mrs Kemi Adeosun, the primary goal of the whistle blowing policy is to support the fight against financial crimes and corruption, by increasing exposure of crimes and rewarding whistle blowers. The policy is domiciled in the Federal Ministry of Finance. Specifically, it rewards those who disclose information on stolen public funds, financial malpractice or fraud, theft and diversion of revenue. It does not mention anything about disclosure of information on murder, yet, murder is wrongdoing.
When murder thrives as it is gradually thriving during cult-related clashes in Cross River State, insecurity heightens. Sorrow deepens. When people live in fear and sorrow, productivity and investment suffer setbacks.
Therefore, it would be good if the Federal Government of Nigeria’s whistle blowing policy extends beyond the realms of finance. It should also reward those who provide information that protects the citizenry from assault and murder. When this is guaranteed, the general public would be encouraged to take a cue from Chief Obono-Obla’s step. When this is not guaranteed, cult-related murder may never be murdered.
“The only way to live is to let others live.”
– Mahatma Gandhi
- Cornelius Ellah
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