“… so a disaster like this could never happen again.” When the BBC Newsround got to this point, it sums up so many thoughts in my head. I thought to myself, “that’s it, that’s why we share stories, the not so good stories so that they’re open for debates, so we can identify the culprit/s, so that law of the land could be enforced to teach lessons and to discourage the unwanted behaviour.”
I have heard about Hillsborough disaster many times before, it is always on the news. I didn’t know much about all that went on after these footie fans were crushed to death, but I read about the families and their cries for justice, for closure.
Most importantly, they wanted all that failed to do their job properly to be identified and held accountable. Almost three decades after 96 people met their untimely death, the relentless campaigners can now see the light at the end of the tunnel: jury rule that fatality was due to police errors.
Hillsborough case reminds me of Nigerian immigration staff recruitment that left 15 applicants dead across the country in 2014 (7 Abuja, 2 Minna, 5 PH and 1 in Benin City). 520,000 people paid ₦1000 each to secure application for non-existent jobs.
The closest justice for the families in this stampede was that the government promised to offer jobs to victims’ family.
As for the Oga at the top the ex Minister of Interior, Abba Moro – his case is still at the court, he blames the stampede on the job seekers and the incompetence of the centres.
Prior to 2014 immigration saga was another stampede at St Dominic’s Catholic Church, Enugu whereby 28 people were trampled to death after a night vigil. The church was filled beyond capacity to begin with, then they had a local politician joining with his entourage.
Most of the people at the church were there to show their gratitude for being alive and to ask God to protect them from all the devils of the day – May their soul rest in peace.
Justice for them? God giveth and taketh at will.
For the Owambe politicians, they were warned not to attend church services anymore.
If we can stop and think about these issues, maybe people outside don’t think too much about us anyway, it is our actions to certain issues that speak volume.
I am glad that Hillsborough victims and families received justice they worked hard for so that this sort of disaster never happens again.
As for my Naija people, I really do hope we learn that the reason we sometimes talk about disasters and the need for justice isn’t really to just ‘pick’ on something, it is more that in the absence of punishment for perpetrators, we are in for more of the same.