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The horrific murder last month of four students in the Nigerian city of Port Harcourt galvanised dozens of iReporters to demand action from authorities -- and to call on CNN to cover the story.
The four men, who studied at the University of Port Harcourt, were caught up in a frenzy of violence in circumstances that remain unclear.
It is thought one of them may have been trying to collect a debt, however, word somehow spread that the men were thieves.
In response, a mob beat and dragged the men through the city’s streets, before setting them on fire.
The men’s murders were captured in graphic footage on at least one cell phone and disseminated widely through social media networks.
Soon, appalled Nigerians were sending the video in to iReport, imploring CNN to cover the story.
“After watching the video of the lynching of those students, I was completely terrified,” said iReporter Oladayo Oladimeji Sadiku, originally from the Nigerian city of Lagos but now living in Germany.
“I couldn't just keep quiet and I felt I had to do something by raising awareness.”
Although it was not the first time such a terrible crime had happened in the country and nor was it the first time such videos had been seen, the sheer brutality of the crime against the young men, now known as the Aluu Four, sparked condemnation in Nigeria and beyond.
Such killings in Nigeria are often described as “jungle justice”, and some iReporters said they were ashamed that such acts were the face of "justice" in their country.
“To be frank, I wept,” said iReporter Ogechukwu Nna, a student in Lagos. “They are people's brothers. I have lots of friends at the University of Port Harcourt and every one of them I called said the same thing: ‘Those boys were innocent’.”
Many iReporters expressed anger that little had been done to protect the men by those in positions of authority who had the power to intercede.
Oladokun Olanrewaju, an IT consultant from Lagos, said the government must take stringent measures to stop “this crazy public menace”:
“First, the government should enact strict laws to punish those guilty of illegal killings. Secondly, there should be a nationwide sensitization campaigns to re-orientate the people against such acts and leave justice to the judiciary,” he said. “Lastly, the police should wake up to their duty in protecting the lives of the people.”
iReporter Sandra Sopuluchukwu Ezekwesili said she shared the video in the hope that it would galvanise Nigerians from all areas of society to act against such brutal murders.
“I spoke out because I felt if the world knew what the order of the day was, maybe our security and justice system will sit up,” she said. “Maybe it will sow the seed of remorse in the hearts of Nigerians and further deter them from taking laws into their hands.”
Nigerian police have since arrested and charged 13 people in relation to the case, and online petitions calling for justice have circulated online.
Thanks to some determined iReporters, the tragic story of the Aluu Four -- and the fight for justice -- has reached a global audience.
Outrage this one,how they allow to happen to young students??
As an Ameican I am outraged at the Libya attacks. I want justice and I want answers and all Americans should be writing their congres and all media outlets demanding answers. Do you know who Barry Sorento is? I do he has two birth certifcates and their is no record of him on ancestry.com. He is Obama. He applied and received foreign financial aid for college and to do that you have to be a foreign student! Americans should be outraged that the mainstream media will not report who and where he came from! Please help me find the truth.
How can people be so cruel to each other? Where is the empathy? This sort of thing should NEVER happen, especially not over something so insignificant as money or material things! This is life -- human life -- and so young, so much potential lost. Where was the brave hero among the crowd to jump up and yell, "STOP THIS MADNESS!" These vigilantes are rash and immoral. The onlookers are gutless. If you ever see someone being brutalized, do not be a coward; stand up and throw yourself into the ring to save a life.
CNN report on the story...what a joke!
You see CNN, point in case "doby123" is just a sampling of the ludicrous post you allow!
doby123, we are all outraged about Libya, as for the president, give it up, if he was not born in this country, there are thousands of people that are smarter and more knowledgeable than both of us that searched and failed to find out that he was born abroad. Going back to find out about Libya, I support you.
It is a shame that in this day and age, violent mobs are still around. May god be with their families.
This is too bad, totally unacceptable..
This story is the saddest thing ever. I watched the video and quite frankly its hunted me ever since; how other human beings stood around and watched 4 young boys be beaten, smashed with concrete slab, necklaced with car tyres and set ablaze. And as for the actual culprits; they deserve CAPITAL PUNISHMENT. So sad as one of the boy's sister was in the crowd and pleaded for boy's lives but they threaten to kill her also. There has not been much said about the culprits of this atrocity; except for speculations on the number of arrests. We want to know and see regular updates on those arrested and the punishment they get. The Nigeria government is rather flimsy with their responses, these practices of necklacing is not uncommon in Nigeria (I guess other parts of Africa). Corruption is so thrive in the country, those that actually steal millions and billions of Naira get away it score free and live lavishly and yet when a small time individual is suspected of a petty crime; they were dealt with such evil. Where is the justice here? It is hard to even reason or accept what happened. We want to see campaigns across the country re-educating the people's orientation on such public ill lynching, new laws and legislation on ALUU 4 enacted and foundations set up in these boys' cause, then maybe something positive can come out of these story.
I watched a documentary on terrestrial TV in which a child who stole from a woman was, according to the victim of the theft, beaten and placed under the wheels of a bus and repeatedly ran over by the bus until he was dead.
A large crowd had gathered and all present had participated in encouraging and cheering on the impromptu execution. The female tourist who raised the Hue and Cry was in shock and said that she wished that she had kept her mouth shut. The African country it happened in is lost to me as it was more than a few years ago that it was reported.
The people at the market that it took place cheerfully returned the money that the child stole to the woman and boasted that this was a good system of justice. Police officials apprehended the child in the first instance before allowing the mob to deliver justice.
Im very much concerned about liberation in the growth of criminal activities especially amongst Universities students in Nigeria ranging from cultism to execution and murder of innocent students who enrolled in school with the conviction of building a bright future for themselves and society. Whats even more disturbing is the fact that most of these Fraternities are being sponsored by fellow members of state who are themselves members of the various fraternities making it even difficult to curb down on the perpetrators. Something has to be done before Nigerian Universities totally be converted to Blood spilling terrains..!!
No mother should have to watch her son suffer in such a brutal way. Even if they were thieves, they shouldn't have had to pay the crime with their lives! That is just wrong and unnecessary.
This just shows that Nigeria is country of wild animals left behind by selfish Britain.
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Many thanks in advance, very truly yours
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