ColumnsOpinionPress * MediaAttacking People Instead of Issues Leaves Us With Trailers

Recently, the shocking, mischievous, and costly act carried out by a nine-year-old girl, has evoked rage from Nigerians. People’s loss of their source of income and livelihood is not to be made light of; therefore, a thorough and appropriate investigation should be carried out for justice and fairness. Different people have evaluated the situation from different perspectives. Some attributed the act to a mental illness; some, to demonic powers; while some believed that she was sent by someone.

The shunning questioning in an online video has an underlying tone of suspicion towards the child’s mother. Questions like: ‘Who took you to that place? I said who took you there?… hello, I will give you a very dirty slap. I’m asking you a direct question and…you, as small as you are,… who took you to that place? and then, why did your mom allow you to follow her to that place? On what premise? On what purpose?…were you supposed to pick a shoe that she wants you to size it or cloth or what? What was the purpose your mom took you along?

Also, some public comments and headlines are worthy of concern on the level of our effectiveness in attacking issues successfully. On, Lee99 commented: ‘just like the devil stands back to watch you fall into his trap after tempting you. Now more importantly I strongly believe her mother is culpable in this act, it seems too premeditated, I can’t even start to fathom what would make a 9yr old act that way if she wasn’t sent, watch the CCTV, the so-called sister that the mother wants to buy sanitary p@d for is old enough to go get p@ds for herself, mind you Ebeano is at lokogoma, the road to it is quite off that’s to say not many residential houses are in its direct vicinity, I’m not talking about Efab, because there are tons of small shops and supermarkets you can easily buy p@ds at, why go all the way to Ebeano? For free ac breeze? Come on now there’s more to this than we know. On a final note, the child should be held by two grown strong men and whipped 5 billion heavy strokes with a 4-mouth koboko. Future is Female indeed.’

Another name, Pocohantas(f), at the beginning of their comment, wrote: ‘The time they are using to do voice over, they would have used it to put off the fire before it escalated…’ Paxxcarl, in an attempt to correct Pocohantas, replied: ‘mumu the voice-over was done after the whole incidence You go school at all?’

Report headlines surfaced such as: ‘9-year-old evil girl’, ‘evil small girl burnt down supermarket’, ‘face of the devil-the 9-year-old girl who set ablaze Ebeano supermarket’, and so on.

One may ask: what has the statement ‘future is female’ got to do with the incident?  What was the aim of inserting such a statement? Was being female a determining factor in the offensive act? Was the statement meant to attack her action or the gender she embodies? Was it an avenue to objectively criticize the process of the incident or downplay the social goal in empowering women? Is it some foreign knowledge that humans, irrespective of gender, indulge in crimes?

For Paxxcarl, it can be deduced that their comment was to correct Pocohantas(f). Since the focus is on tackling the wrong impression, the statement ‘(No), the voice-over was done after the whole incident would be more direct than ‘mumu, the voice-over was done after the whole incident. You go school at all?’
The ”nine-year-old evil girl’ headline and the likes clearly reveal our consistent behaviour in attacking people in place of issues. A child fails terribly in school, we curse. A child steals, we almost, if not, kill. A child offends; we nail them without any hope of redemption.
There is no justification, at all, for a nine-year-old setting ablaze a business enterprise; however, we have generated systems swift to punish, but how swift are we to endorse and collaborate with systems to reorientate?
Attacking people instead of issues leaves us with trailers. Day in, day out, we keep getting updates of bewildering and grievous acts. We rant, label, and swear,- our ‘fast food’ verdict to criminals whom we declare will rot, suffer and die in hell, not realising that the ideology behind crimes outlives the criminal, so, we are most likely, pacifying our burning hearts under the irony of laying a curse. A year goes, another passes, and we are caught up in recent occurrences without seeing the ‘whole movie’ of the previous ‘trailers’, yet we keep repeating patterns and do not recognise them.
This is what I think attacking people instead of issues does to us. It weakens our mental capability and strengthens our mental blockage. Rather than taking the mud out of our palace, we soil our hands in it and begin to taint our walls. We should, consciously, begin to change the narrative in our society.
♦ Favour Chiagozie Ebubechukwu is an Editorial  Staff Writer and columnist with the WAP
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