In the early morning of today, I heard a chaotic shouts outside my compound; as I tried to see what was going wrong, I realized it was a repeat of a ‘free-for-all’ fight that ones broke out four days ago between the youths in my street and those of the adjacent street.
On sunday evening when it started I thought we have seen it all, as the timely intervention of the put an end to the fifteen minutes of destructive violence that led to breaking of bottles, throwing of stones, and using of cutlasses and knives among youths between age 15 and 25 years who had scattered the whole street.
The fight broke out as a result of a disagreement that ensued during the final match of an inter-street footbal competition which the two streets were playing, and before anyone could say ‘Jack’, the ones friendly atmoshere had turned into a war front. From the government beautification-garden turned footbal field, they pursued themselves through the streets and ended in my street, which then became the battle field.
To the surprise of the residents of my street who thought they’ve seen the last episode of the film; at about 8am today (Thursday 6th March, 2014), the arguement ensued again at the house of one of the footballers who lives on the street, and was also involved in the last sunday fight, and before anyone could say ‘what?’, youths who should be today’s leaders- leading in technological researches, politics and socio-economic activities, had formed two groups, taking strategic position at the two estremes of the street, breaking and throwing bottles at each other, matcheting one another and perpetrating all sought of unimaginable attrocities.
During the 19 minutes of this ‘war’, the street typify a war front, and no one could stay in his or her compound to watch, as bottles, sticks, plastic crates, stones etc. were flying everywhere in tiny streets. Everyone had to lock their shops and doors abruptly. I had to hide beside a water drum so I could take a video footage of the mad drama. Doing that was a great risk for me, because if any of them catch me, I could be attacked. However, I thank God I did that, as the video shows the faces of some of them especially, the one who was largely instrumental to the destruction of a car packed in front of my house and belonging to my neighbor. In less than 20 minutes, two cars and one tricycle with many other valuables had been partially condemned in a street that is less than a 100metres.
The truth is, we all came into the world harmless. We were born without a preconcieved notion about anything. Ofcourse we came through a mother who introduces us to our father. Unfortunately, some were not shown their father. And then we began to grow, learning from the good and the bad together. Some were thought to choose the good while some didn’t have that luxury. Some children came through poor, bad and irresponsible parent, so they have no choice than to learn violence, evil and rescality from their parents and peers.
Now, to whose fault??
Poverty, irresponsibility on the part of the parents, bad peer presure, hostile economy and community are some of the causes of youth restiveness.
To round up my story; it was the police that helped to stopped the war, by firing into the air immediately they arrived, and before that, the fighters had took off on hearing the police siren.
When the police came around, they paraded the two streets involved but could not make any arrest as the two warring groups had disappeared.
As the police were reporting back to their base, without a single arrest from the over 30 boys involved in the fracas, then I said to myself ”Really, who should be arrested?”
Sincerely, I think, since the guys had fled, then their parents should be arrested. Afterall, if the children had won an award in absential; their parents would receive it on their behalf and be proud of them.
We must always be RESPONSIBLE for our actions.
Yorubas have an adage that says ”Eni ba bi’mo oran, oran ni pon.”, meaning; whoever give birth to a criminal, must be ready to bear the cross.
Since no arrest was made, considering the monstrousity of the unfortunate event, we can only prepare for another bad day. God forbid!
Thursday 6th March, 2014. 21:09GMT