Answer me this….

….does it make you feel better? This constant assertion that because he had never been to Nigeria, he is not Nigerian?

….does the colour of his passport lessen the heinousness of his murderous act? The cold-blooded hacking down of a fellow human being in broad daylight?

….would you have cared about his nationality if that had been your brother, son, cousin, father or friend cut down so savagely in the prime of his life?

….are the reports of Boko Haram extremism in almost every part of Nigeria an exaggeration, a cruel invention of the British press merely out to malign a nation?

I ask these questions because I fail to see the point of all the denunciations of Michael Adebolajo winging their way across Facebook, Twitter, Whatsapp, and I dare say, BBM.

The facts as I know them are this.

Two men, at least one of whom has been identified as being a British citizen of Nigerian descent, attacked and killed a serving British soldier on a street in Woolwich, London yesterday. One of them was making statements on camera as to why they carried out this horrific act. They made no attempt to run away or evade capture. They urged witnesses to call the police. Allegedly, one or both of them ran towards the policemen with meat cleavers/machetes in both hands. T o my mind, they were seeking to commit suicide by cop. Their desire was to be mown down in a hail of bullets and thus achieve martyrdom, their Nirvana. But this is Britain, where the rule of law prevails.

I am proud of our British police force, who in spite of extreme provocation, were disciplined enough to restrain themselves and not shoot to kill. Instead, they used reasonable force to disarm and thus neutralise the deadly force of the duo who will recover, stand trial, and be made to pay for their dastardly act according to the laws of the land. For that is what makes Britain great, our refusal to sink to the levels of the depraved, the zeros.

As for you, my fellow Nigerian by virtue of descent, I know you will sleep better tonight. Because you have have helped in your own small way. You have disowned the culprit(s) in the most public way you can think of (via social media). And all is well with your world, you have proven you are not ignorant.

Adieu Lee Rigby, our fallen hero. You died in the service of Queen and country. For this, we thank you, rest well.

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About Joxy

When I'm not cooking or thinking about cooking, then I'm writing, or thinking about writing. I love misdirection....nothing is ever what it seems!
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16 Responses to Answer me this….

  1. Peter Sola says:

    I don’t think any reasonable person is at home with the heinous crime and no matter who might have done it, it remains an intrinsically evil act which is to be denounced and condemned in totality. But then, it is also morally right that same measurement be used in all circumstances; nothing stops the British Press from applying a general rule for foreigners and not to only refer to their background when the matter is negative. They either refer to it, or leave it out in all and every situation. Once again, I pray that the soul of Lee Rigby will rest in perfect peace and animals in human skin have a conversion of heart.

    • naijabrit88 says:

      Peter Sola, I agree with you completely. It is the fact that he is Nigerian that is brought up when something negative has happened even though he grew up in Britain and was indoctrinated as a teenager. The crime that he and his fellow killer committed was disgusting and it is definitely not enough for a fellow Nigerian to say, “He is not Nigerian.” I believe that most Nigerians are opposed to the fact that the media are bringing to attention his nationality when the fact that he his Nigerian may have little or no relevance to the terrorist act he committed. I read on the Daily Mail that he is not linked to Boko Haram, however, if he is linked to them and they are the reason he committed this offence then his being Nigerian is of relevance. My condolences go out to Lee Rigby’s family. No one deserves to die like that. As a human being, I am disgusted and as a Nigerian, I am ashamed. I understand that of course the media should bring up his nationality but they should bring some clarity. Unfortunately, when a lot of people see Nigerian, they will automatically assume things the same way it happened for the Boston Bombers.

      • Joxy says:

        The report I read said he was a British citizen of Nigerian origin. That is a correct statement of facts as far as I am aware. It is not the time to be hand-wringing over his perceived nationality, but a time for collective alertness. In my humble opinion.

        • naijabrit88 says:

          I agree. I read the same thing. The issue is the perception of the fact that he is Nigerian and the effect, the same way Muslims unfortunately bear the brunt of acts like this. The fact that a soldier was murdered is of course the main and important thing. Never will say otherwise.

    • Joxy says:

      They merely stated the facts. Both killers are now confirmed to be of Nigerian descent. That does not add or take away from what happened. It is called investigative journalism.

  2. Scaly says:

    I cannot even begin to comprehend the brazenness of this horrid incident. Words fail me. May Lee Rigby’s soul rest in peace & may GOD’S comfort be upon his family.

  3. Scaly says:

    I have struggled to find a logical basis or rational explanation for yesterday’s events. I’ve failed to. You listen to Jihadists, and your blood curls as to the depths human can sink to in order to justify a point of view they want to impose on the rest of us.

    I shudder.

  4. naijabrit88 says:

    I can see what you are saying. Denouncing him does not take away from the heinous act. What he did was the most disgusting thing anyone can ever do. It seems stupid that instead of focusing on the crime, Nigerians are focusing on how it may look that his nationality has come to light, however, this is someone that grew up in Britain. I grew up in Britain and will be moving back to Nigeria soon. If I committed a terrorist attack of course it would be broadcasted that I am Nigerian and unfortunately people may not look past that and see that I may have been influenced not by Nigeria but from people within Britain. I cannot disown a person by saying it out loud and even if anyone does it, it does not mean they will sleep easier. We might

    • naijabrit88 says:

      We might debate the level of influence that Nigeria had on him to commit this attack but we still have in mind the serious level of this crime.

      • Joxy says:

        There is a time and place for debating relevant issues. To my mind, this outcry over nationality is neither timely, nor relevant to the issues at hand.

        • naijabrit88 says:

          I agree. There is a time and a place. A man was killed and that is the most important thing and the way it was done was horrific. Like it or not, there are other issues that go hand in hand with it and people will still discuss them whether others deem it appropriate or not.

  5. livelytwist says:

    Joxy, a heinous crime has been committed that people everywhere, no matter their land of descent, condemn and our hearts go out to the families involved.

    I like the title of your post, Answer me this… It makes me believe that you are open to different views, which is why I have taken the time to comment.

    My comments will focus on the issue of the perpetrator’s country of origin. I beg to differ with your statement in one of the comments that, “There is a time and place for debating relevant issues. To my mind, this outcry over nationality is neither timely, nor relevant to the issues at hand.”

    Why do I disagree? Because law-abiding Nigerians living in Britain, Britons of Nigerian descent, and I dare say people with dark skin, are afraid of a possible backlash…

    I culled the following opening statement from a BBC article with a similar headline on the BBC news website (www.bbc.co.uk)- “There has been a huge increase in anti-Muslim incidents since the murder of a British soldier in Woolwich, an inter-faith charity has said.”

    We do not need to wait until there are anti-Nigerian incidents before we ‘talk’.

    This is the time to ‘sensitively’ and ‘intelligently’ cry out over nationality before some aggrieved groups go out and lynch Britons of Nigerian descent (and I must commend the public for not carrying out ‘jungle justice’. It is also good that the police are alert & ready to stop rioters). I have not read widely about the incident, so someone correct me if I am wrong, but I have not read about an organized Nigerian group condemning the crime, the way I have read that Muslim groups are condemning the crime. These are sensitive and intelligent actions…

    This is the time for an outcry over nationality because whether we care to admit or not, race is still a factor.

    This is the time for an outcry over nationality before the issue cools and gets swept under the rug.

    Investigative journalism goes hand-in-hand with responsible journalism. Again, I have not read all the reports on the incident, but I would expect a balanced editorial that states the facts including his country of origin. After all his skin colour is different and everyone would wonder. If a man of Caucasian descent committed a crime in Nigeria for example, even if he was born in Nigeria and had become a Nigerian citizen, his country of origin would still be reported because people would naturally be curious.

    I would expect the editorial to mention something about his upbringing and maybe the predisposing factors that culminated in the perpetrators barbaric display and actions. This is instructive and helps parents and society at large look at how we can take preventive measures.

    I would expect the editorial to capture statements from the Muslim and Nigerian communities (among others,) which condemn the attacks and dissociate themselves from it.

    All this is part of investigative and responsible journalism that helps people have a ‘balanced’ view of things. Of course facts are still emerging, but this ‘hot story’ (please pardon my expression, I do not mean to be insensitive) can be quickly overtaken by other events and it is good to get the word in while the kettle is boiling.

    As the saying goes the pen is mightier than the sword…. Britons of Nigerian descent are concerned, afraid, angry, outraged, and rightly so… because they know the danger of a single story.

    • Joxy says:

      Thank you for you detailed comment. The point that I was trying to make is that some Nigerians are taking the reference to the perpetuators’ origin as being intended to malign Nigeria as a country. I disagree with this point of view. The Queen of England is of Germanic descent, and this fact is referenced from time to time in the British press. No big deal, it is merely a statement of fact. I was referring to a statement making the rounds, which cites some Britons who are also of Nigerian descent who have achieved plaudits in their respective fields. This is what I had in mind when I said it was neither timely nor relevant. Yes, there will be knee-jerk reactions by the less-informed members of our society, which have already resulted in the destruction of property. Yes, there might be reprisals against black people, and not necessarily just those of Nigerian origin. However, this is only to be expected, as the people ignorant enough to carry out such attacks are most likely incapable of differentiating between someone of Caribbean origin and an African, and really do not care. All they want is a target.

      By all means, Nigerians should speak out deploring the tragic event, but the emphasis should not be on the baseless ground that.. ‘The Deranged Killer is NOT NIGERIAN… He is BRITISH! Born and raised in the UK. He is not Nigerian and certainly not British Nigerian. He is British. We need to send the right message quickly. He carries a British passport, born and bred in the UK, Educated in the UK and has probably never been to Nigeria. The British press will do all that is required and necessary to make this look like this is a “Nigerian Terrorist”. We have a responsibility to let the world know that this is a “British terrorist”….That is just a part of the statement that inspired my blog post.

      When a white Briton commits a crime in Leicester, the papers report that he was originally from Cumbria. Are they being irresponsible? No, merely stating the facts as they stand. And the fact remains that religious extremism has gained ground in Nigeria in recent years in the form of Boko Haram. So are the papers wrong in pointing out the fact that the culprits are of Nigerian origin? I for one do not think so.

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