Friday 6 July 2007

Reasoning out the girl's kidnap

Irrational vengefulness

I stopped over at the African Shop on my way home this evening when I ran into another patron who had a view of the 3-year old girl's kidnapping in Port Harcourt, Nigeria I could not countenance.

As far as I am concerned, there is nothing that can justify the kidnapping of a child no matter how aggrieved you might be.

His view was that there might be mitigating factors that we do not know of that would have lead to the girl's kidnapping and what we all should be wary of, is situations where we cause offence to others leading the offended to react or seek revenge in an extremely irrational way.

He went on to say that if he was one of the people apprehended at the Grand Café and summarily deported as some were; any Caucasian he meets back in Nigeria would definitely bear the wrath of the actions in Amsterdam to their harm. That is definitely irrational.

I then said, if ever this kidnapping issue gets resolved in some amicable way, would the kidnappers be able to present their case in court to justify the kidnapping of the girl? I doubt it.

Prevent through restraint

But our man was more concerned with the mantra - "prevention is better than the cure" or later "to obey is better than sacrifice" - now what is preventable is probably preventable, but how do you prevent a situation where a deal, a business, an agreement or even indifference leads to your child being kidnapped violently at gunpoint?

I was exasperated and perplexed; I want to believe I live in a better world than one that accommodates that kind of view.

For instance, the same analogy could be extended to say, after I was beaten up by three drunken Moroccan guys, I get a gun and shoot any Moroccan in sight - No; the human race has really come a long way from that kind of unpersuadable and intemperate attitude.

Accepting the unacceptable

Unfortunately, there are some who would welcome that view as trying to see beyond the prevailing circumstances to understand the motivation for such actions - I see this in one of two shades, black or white.

Nothing and nothing ever can justify the kidnapping of a 3-year old at gun point - not in a jungle where cannibals and savages thrive, not in highly civilized societies and not in the Niger Delta region where criminals rule as laws unto themselves answerable to no formal authority.

We parted ways agreeing to disagree - I cannot convince myself more of the fact that this thinking must not be tolerated and for all the prevention and sacrifice; if you have been so aggrieved to the point of uncontrollable anger and seething for pay back, revenge and having the biggest last laugh - the Good Book says - Vengeance is mine, saith the Lord.

What you plan to do would probably be criminal and the law would not be sympathetic to the wrongs you feel you have suffered. How did I get embroiled in such a conversation?

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