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Friday, 24 May 2013

Woolwich and Statements of Fact

Trips were cut short, emergency meetings held: a soldier had been slaughtered in broad day light at Woolwich in London on Wednesday, 22nd of May, 2013. An off duty British soldier, on the right, (Lee Rigby) was brutally killed by two Islamic fundamentalists. After the shocking and gruesome act of barbarism, one of the blood soaked suspects even gave an impromptu press conference to a passerby who was recording, he shamefully brandished his weapons. It is believed the killings were an act of Islamic terrorism. Even before the identity of the first suspect was released, news wires went on overdrive trying to decipher who the killers were


There were a lot of speculations that the killers were Nigerians and then the template to be used by the media was formed. Then all the news stories and still read as Michael Adebolajo of Nigerian descent. It's understandable but also shameful for people to disassociate themselves from failure/shameful acts, as seen by statements like Michael Adeboloja (one of the suspect) is a British man with "Nigerian decent"...if we respect statement of FACTS then we shouldn't have a problem with the press reminding the world he is of "Nigerian decent", because one thing for sure is they have not lied. If Michael Adeboloja had won a Nobel prize or found the cure for cancer I believe then even Nigerians in Nigeria then would say he's Nigerian with a Nigerian name. My point is this, IT'S A STATEMENT OF FACT that the suspect is of Nigerian descent.

On the other hand, the counter-factual to that statement is this; If he had won a Nobel prize, he would have been called a British man. Nigerians would only have said he was of Nigerian descent, but Britain would have claimed him as a Brit and the award would have been tied to Britain. However, since it is counter-factual  we can never know. In other words, he was not born in Nigeria, he never lived here, he only has Nigerian parents. He is not Nigerian. He might still be Nigerian if he has a Nigerian passport – which he had the right to have –but the Nigerian High Commission have not released any statement yet. Who knows?


This suspect was born in the United Kingdom, never been to Nigeria, issued a birth certificate in the UK and held a British passport. Well he is not Chinwetel Ejiofor, John Fashanu, Shirley Bassey, Tinnie Tempah, Seal, Sade Adu, Gabriel Agbonlahor (Aston Villa) 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, Christine Ohuruogu, Beijing Olympic British Gold Medalist, Eniola Aluko, British Olympic Female Football star, Temi Fagbenle British Olympic basketballer. Statement of fact, these suspects were British but of Nigerian descent. But who cares? Maybe when anyone represents Britain anywhere, we should take our time to always mention their descent. It is indeed shameful.

Social media was inundated with messages like “send all them back” or "bring back our troops and send THEM back". The blogger struggled to see the logic in these statements but is well aware of the folly. But these questions seemed to gain a lot of ground after the killings. A counter question will be, send them where? This blogger suggests down the road, home, where they live. News reports then went as far ascertaining what the suspects parent did (his dad is a manager with the NHS) and valued the property in Lincolnshire that was being searched at £365,000. 

It is relevant and interesting to note that the two suspects were not just British citizens of Nigerian descent but that they were both muslim converts. That is to say they were both brought up as Christians (the British way of life) and then somewhere along the line they converted not just to Islam but to its most extreme and radical brand. As far as statements of facts go, Britain seems to be the perfect breeding ground. The country was where the underwear bomber, a Nigerian, got converted as a student in London. There have lots of several groups bred, ranging from nationalists to republicans.

What happened at Woolwich was a terrible thing. However, the Moors murder, Fred West, Jamie Bugler's killers, weren't these murderers who tortured their victims as well? However, it was not necessary to know where they descended from. FYI, by the time this blog went to press, the second suspect was identified as Michael Adebowale, a naturalized Bristish citizen of Nigerian descent; how ironic.