School: Government College Umuahia, Abia State
16 Years. Male
The uproar for justice and freedom has become so deafening to be ignored by any man. Yes! I say “any man” because it is no longer an issue for just any arms of government. And lest one wonders what these two are really all about or undermine their necessities, justice in a concise review is not just a word for the court of law, but a call for duty to give voice to the voicelss rather than the influential, to let fairness and truth be the chief course of everyday life, and to frown vehemently at crimes and everything that tends to pervert justice, not even because it is our legal obligation, but because we desire to uphold and protect our beauty and integrity as humans. Freedom on the other hand, is so vast to be limited to the state of not being a prisoner or slave alone. It is a right to protect. Right to do or say something without fear or violent oppositions, minding the fact that in no way deprives the next person his.
To crown it all, these obligatory concepts are not towards gods or animals or machines, but humans like you and I: people with dignity no matter their state of existence. Therefore, their effects can be felt politically, economically, religious, socio-culturally, etc.
In a society like ours where democracy is still striving to survive, fairness for all ethnicity is necessary to vote men of virtue into power, rather than men of favourable tribe. When Uganda ushered idi amin dada as her third president in 1971 during the military times, they never imagined he would turn his back on them abusing human rights, persecuting other ethnic groups, killing, mismanaging fund grossly, and practising corruption and nepotism. In fact, considering his titles according to Radio Uganda in 1977, “His Excellency, President of life, Field Marshal, Alhaji Dr. Idi Amin Dada (VC, DSO, MC, CBE)”, the Rule of Law had nothing in him.
With this, one observes that with the wrong people in power, development is retarded, the few investments are based on selfish advantages alone, and the economy gets so bad that even the fairly rich seldom have three meals a day. What then be the fate nof the poor masses? And what else do we observe? The gap between the poor and the rich widens, creating more injustice and truncating the freedom of the poor masses whose voices and wealth cannot shield.
Furthermore, feudalism sets in – a system in which the vassals (otherwise called the poor or less influential) are forced to pledge allegiance with their lives and properties to people in government/authority. At the end, Bangledesh, Sark Island and Scotland practise this system with no economic freedom.
“The greatest threat to freedom is the absence of criticism”. These are the exact words of Professor Wole Soyinka himself. How free is the political freedom of such a country above since the vassals have no say? The government will certainly become dictative because of the absence of watchdogs. No criticism (freedom of expression), no government.
Educational freedom (not minding one’s wealth or religion) should be felt by everyone. A country with more or almost equal number of illiterates as literates finds advancement difficult. Just like in ancient Rome when human dignity was abused by barbarians’ slaves and visitors, such country is no different. Here lies such grief with us as wrong Muslim interpreters of the Quran – the Boko Haram sect – keep inflicting wounds on education. Carefully quoting Abubakar Shekau – the sect leader – according to his post on the internet on May 24, 2010, “western education should end. We will not allow adulterated conventional education replace Islamic teachings”. But I ask, what do we have today? Would we have had without education?
With this, one observes that the denial/rejection of one freedom leads to another inhaumane treatment. Ninety percent of the Boko Haram sect has rejected freedom to be educated and in turn deny others their freedom of choice of religion. Terrorising one’s life is no freedom at all.
Justice centered only on punishing law offenders who could not reverse the verdicts with their petty earnings is vague and inhumane. In our society today we see men set ablaze for stealing goods not worth than a thousand naira, while others embezzling millions of naira appease the judges with just ten percent of the millions and wipe their crime slates clean. The government; need I say more?
I say not to arbitrary punishment. I say no to jungle justice. It has rendered our socio-cultural values worthless. Not only in Nigeria, but globally. The Hindus in Japan till date have the Sati tradition of sacrificing humans annually. Netherlands ahs a law backing infanticide in form of euthanasia (granting someone a painless death usually because of certain deformities). This is wrong! Justice and freedom are open to all notwithstanding their state of health. Saudi Arabis still stone people alive and bury them alive as forms of punishments. In eastern Nigeria, so-called outcasts are denied the feedom of association, freedom to join an assembly and even restricted movement. This is where the government sets in to help.
Far be it from our society that has-to-be-bridged gap between the rich and the poor returns us to the days of colonialism and servitude when slaves suffered cruelty in the hands of their masters. What a big blow to humanity.
From the miscellaneous perspective, justice is power. Justice is benevolent. It tells everyone of his innegligibility in a society. It gives hope to democracy and development. It sweeps the wicked off their feet, thus, eliminating crimes and social vices. These are what make them essential for us.
For this reason men like the Mandelas, the Azikiwes, the Sarowiwas, the Lincolns, the Fredericks and the Luther king fought for a course they know was right-cutting justice and freedom across gender, age, ethnicity, race, religion, social class and nationality.
No more do we have a class called freedom fighters because we are freedom fighters defending each other’s. As Edmund Burke said, I quote, “the only thing necessary for thye triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing”.