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Opinions of Friday, 29 December 2017

Columnist: Ahamed Yussif

The abuse of the word vigilantism

The NPP administration has come under critics for perpetrating violence through its vigilante groups The NPP administration has come under critics for perpetrating violence through its vigilante groups

If you turn your goat into a lion, it may make a meal out of you. If you applaud a criminal on the account of his criminality, you are an accomplice; a criminal. Wrong does not become right by a mere change of its name. A clothed monkey is still a monkey.

It is hard to fathom how clear criminals are being whitewashed and called vigilantes. I mean how? Who is a vigilante? A vigilante is a person who voluntarily takes up the responsibility of ensuring law and order in the absence of efficient legal system. Vigilantism is the enforcement of the law without a legal authority. Hello! This was the definition of who vigilante is the last time I checked. And that was few hours ago.

The questions are, how is locking up and chasing out legally employed public officers an act of vigilantism? How is besieging a court and freeing suspects an act of vigilantism? How is attacking a member of Parliament an act of vigilantism? Who is abetting in these crimes by fine tuning these acts of criminality? Whose interest is all these serving? Where is this nonchalant attitude to this vicious criminality taking us to?

These acts are obviously criminality and the weakness of this government in handling this issue is very clear for all us to see and the fact that journalists are fine tuning this clear criminality and calling it vigilantism makes it very scary and irritating at the same time.

This is because, those perpetrators are people loyal to the ruling party (NPP) and we have not been able to boldly define it as criminality as it is.

Thankfully, the journalists themselves are not even spared. Few days ago, some journalists were assaulted for merely trying to do their job. That is how posterity passes its judgment on us. It can be right because it has not been meted on you yourself. Morality cannot depend on who is involved.

Martin Luther King once said injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. He was right. If we keep on allowing barbarity to be meted on others whilst thinking we will be spared, we might be the next stop of this barbarism and we shall run helter and skelter seeking for answers and help and finding none. Nemesis is a factor that exact retribution on everyone and every act.

A society that has loose laws is not a society to belong and a society without laws is a jungle. Unfortunately, we gradually slipping into that state of lawlessness just a mere political correctness. Imagine a president who pride himself of been a human rights lawyer presiding over a state of lawlessness where the basic human rights of citizens are trampled on. Where is the law in the president?

So for the fact that they are perpetrating those acts in the name of their party now being in power is enough for any serious citizen of this country to detach the word vigilantism from their acts and refer to them as the criminals they are.

Instead of trying to convince ourselves that what they are doing can be justified. For God sake, let’s stop abusing the word vigilantism. Let’s stop referring to these criminals as vigilantes.

I rest my case.