I have been closely following the news about the Woolwich attack in London. And before I go any further I’d like to state that, as with any other case of this nature, the events are still unfolding as to what, why, how this happened. Therefore, this write up is by no means wholesome. Rather it is based on the information I have access to at this present time.
I will be addressing a very important topic today… The Blame Culture of the world. When things like this happen, the first thing we all do is start to point fingers. We want to blame someone for the misfortune. We are quick to pass on the buck and claim only what we would like to be identified with. The world has a problem, a Blame culture, which we all need to eradicate fast if we are to progress.
The Nigerian/British saga
When this attack happened and the video footage was released online, the first thing I thought to myself was ‘I hope this guy’s not Nigerian’ and alas, few seconds later I find both suspects – Michael Oluwatobi Adebowole and Michael Olumide Adebolajo – are believed to be of Nigerian descent. But that didn’t make me say ‘Oh no, they can’t be Nigerian, they’re not Nigerian.’ I simply embraced the fact and focused on other more important aspects of the unfolding situation.
Let me first start by saying that I do not appreciate the message I have seen on social media stating that Michael is not Nigerian. The message reads;
Nigerians all over the world should speak out and condemn the beheading of a citizen yesterday in UK. The beheading was done by a British citizen and not a Nigerian as speculated, his name does not confirm his nationality.
British born Michael ‘Mujahid’ Adeboloja with an accomplice yesterday beheaded a British Soldier on a street in Woolwich, London. It is now being made to look like Nigeria has “shown itself again” in the action of this British boy who beheaded a soldier yesterday.
This lunatic was born in the United Kingdom, never been to nigeria, issued a birth certificate in the UK and held a British passport. He now commits a barbaric act and suddenly he is now a Nigerian?
Is it because he is not Gabriel Agbonlahor playing for Aston Villa and the Three Lions, or Andrew Osagie, UK’s reigning 800m champion, or Lawrence Okoye, British Discus Record Holder (68.24m), or Abiodun Oyepitan, British Olympic Silver and Gold Medalist, or Christine Ohuruogu, Beijing Olympic British Gold Medalist, or Eniola Aluko, British Olympic Female Football star, or Temi Fagbenle British Olympic Basketball queen, or several other thousands of British citizens with Nigerian connection who are making the country proud.
Nigeria should just be left out of this neo-colonial agenda. Please pass this on. Nigerians are a great people and they are usually positive additions to any culture they join.
When I saw this message, I got really upset because all of you broadcasting the message are no better than the media and the people you claim to condemn. All these great sporting heroes mentioned, we are quick to claim that they are Nigerian only because they have achieved greatness. The message states that there are ‘several other thousands of British citizens with Nigerian connection who are making the country proud’ which is very true. However, there are also some British citizens with Nigerian backgrounds who also do the exact opposite. That is a fact. The same applies to any other country, race, tribe, or culture.
There would never be a day when an entire tribe or group of people will be 100% pure or good. This doesn’t mean that they do not have the background or heritage that they clearly have. There will always be good and bad eggs in the society. Unfortunately, bad news spreads faster than good. The message should have only condemned the actions of the suspects and not gone on to state the other points.
Yes, he is British and probably holds a valid British passport, yes, he was born and schooled in the UK, yes, he probably has never been to Nigeria. But his parents are 100% Nigerian, Yoruba for that matter. Both suspects bear Yoruba names (Olumide and Oluwatobi), which have Nigerian roots. Does this then mean they cannot be linked to Nigeria in any way? No.
Before we are classed as British/Nigerian, Black/White, Fair/Dark, etc, we are all human beings first and foremost. Besides arguing about whether they are Nigerian or not is so pointless because they probably are qualified to hold or already hold Nigerian passports as well as British passports.
Nigerians are not the only ones to blame here, the rest of the UK have also blamed MI5 for not keeping Michael Adebolajo on 24 hour surveillance after they found reason to believe he was an extremist. These same people would probably have said MI5 were being ‘racist’ if they had done so. People are also blaming the armed police officers for arriving late. Everybody’s blaming someone for something
The only people who should be blamed here are the two individuals who decided to behead a soldier on a bright sunny afternoon because they believed they were fighting a cause. Not their religion or their backgrounds, or their history. It is simply these two individuals and anyone who worked with them. I support Boris Johnson’s statement;
The fault lies wholly and exclusively in the warped and deluded mindset of the people who did it. What we need to do now, for the sake of the victim and the sake of his family, is for these killers to be brought to justice. People should take their cue from the behaviour of people of Woolwich who showed such natural courage and stood up to those killers. That’s the spirit of London.”
I believe that the world needs a change; a change from the Blame culture to a Praise culture. In situations like this, we should all remember people who were brave enough to do what others couldn’t do at that particular point in time and ponder on it. Once we’re done, ask ourselves if we’d have done the same if we were in the same situation
The Woolwich Angels
48 year old mother of two, Ingrid Loyau-Kennett confronted the Woolwich attackers, asking them to hand over their weapons and warning them: “It is only you versus many people, you are going to lose”. She told the Daily Telegraph that one of the attackers said to her that they “want to start a war in London tonight”. The mother of two, a Cub Scout leader from Cornwall, added: “Being a Cub leader I have my first aid so when I saw this guy on the floor (since named as Drummer Lee Rigsby) I thought it was an accident – then I saw the guy was dead and I could not feel any pulse. Ingrid engaged one of the suspects in a conversation while she waited for the police officers to arrive at the scene.
Gemini Donnelly-Martin, 20, and her mother Amanda Donnelly, confronted the suspected killers and asked the attackers if they could be by Drummer Lee Rigby’s side because they believed ‘no man should die alone. Although other bystanders watched in horror and police waited helplessly for armed officers to arrive, Gemini modestly insisted her and her mother were not heroes and had done what anyone else would do.
Amanda’s son Simeon, 22, said the two women acted out of love. He said:
My mother was just driving past and she saw something and wanted to try and help. She just showed a bit of motherly love. She just did what any mother would have done. She felt that could have been me lying down there in the street. She just felt for the poor guy. No man should have to die like that in the street with no-one around him. She came home afterwards and she just sat down and had a cup of coffee. But she doesn’t want to talk about it. She did what she did and wants to get on with her life again. Of course she is upset, it was a gory thing for anyone to see. But she just wants to get on with things.
Gemini said that they had simply done what they thought was right. She told the Daily Mirror:
We did what anyone would do. We just wanted to take care of the man. It wasn’t brave. Anyone would have done it. It had to be done. They (the killers) said women could pass. The only thing people need to worry about is that poor man’s mum. We are grateful, though, for what people are saying about us.
When it became apparent Drummer Lee Rigby was beyond their help, they shielded his body from further desecration by his savage attackers. Amanda, 44, insisted she be allowed to pray for the dead man even when confronted by one of the killer. Kneeling at his side, she cradled him gently, seemingly unfazed by his horrific wounds.
These women showed extreme bravery in a very very difficult situation and should be praised.
The Police Officers
I know it’s their job and they get paid bla bla bla. We all get paid to work but there are still some situations where we would not be willing to throw ourselves into; maybe because we worry about our loved ones or we love ourselves too much or maybe we are just a bit too selfish. It doesn’t change the fact that we get paid at the end of the month. The police officers went there and did what they were supposed to do and also very importantly ensured there were no casualties. With the number of people around the scene, I believe it would have been really easy for someone to aim for a passerby. Basically, the handled the situation well.
The Armed Forces
Bearing in mind the fact that Drummer Lee Rigby was killed close to his barracks. This situation could have been bloody and very messy. What would have happened if another soldier had decided we need to intervene because the police aren’t here yet? Or what would have happened if they decided to take laws into their own hands and avenge the death of their fellow colleague? But they didn’t, they remained calm and peaceful through it all. That should be praised.
Drummer Lee Rigby and his family
Drummer Lee Rigby was unfortunate to have been the target of this attack. It probably could have been any other soldier. His family is now left to continue their lives without him. It is really sad and difficult not only because they have lost their dear son, father and husband but they have to mourn him in the eyes of over a billion people and not privately. Our prayers are with them in this very difficult time and I hope and pray that God grants them the fortitude to bear the loss.