Nigerians excusing villains, blaming victims: shirking responsibility since 19-kpiridim!


The video of a woman who had stolen items from a church has been circulating. The first thought that came to my mind was “she looks so responsible, who would imagine?” I flipped to the comment sections and it was a total mess, Nigerians were busy “church bashing.”

Most of the comments held the sentiment that since it was a church, she should not have been exposed. As per “Jesus is the lover of all” so the church should have even dashed her the items. Yes! Someone actually said she should have been given the items as Jesus would have done. I don’t understand how Jesus suddenly became mumu but that’s Naija logic for you.

The last thought that crossed my mind was “what if this were a man?” I did not know there would be opportunity to test this. The next few hours produced a video with a man thief. This man works in a fish factory from the video and he is seen stuffing a long fish into his overall pants. Wawuu!


Honestly, I don’t understand how he intends to handle the wriggling and wet fish till closing hours. That dude is MVP! He is shown looking around, fidgeting and scared. This time Nigerians are up in arms, claiming he should be sacked and locked up.

This is how we miss it. A woman drives on the wrong lane but the traffic police waves her on. “She is just a woman,” he says. But try this break dance as a man and see what will happen to you. You would think a crime is a crime is a crime, but not in my Naija o. Different rules for different people at different times.

This is not even about the gender issues. It is about how we find opportunity to excuse wrongdoing if it ‘doesn’t sit well with us’.

If it’s exam malpractice, we remind people that students are victims of a faulty education system. When a lecturer is caught harassing a girl, we ask for his head on a plate of Akamu. Who told you that this student who you excused will not end up as your child’s lecturer tomorrow?

Women are victims of an imbalanced society, no doubt about it. Equality, however, means paying the same consequences for actions carried out. Do the crime, do the time. Women are not victims of their own criminal choices. If a thief is caught, they should be put on a public record of criminals, that is what sane societies do.

Do we really need to have videos before people recognise that going after other people’s property is shameful and wrong? Should the venue of the church make a difference to our judgement? Personally, I think the police should share mugshots of convicted criminals on their social feeds and not leave that work to private citizens.

Nigerians need to start learning that gender, circumstance or familiarity (family member, colleague, same faith etc) is not a cover for crime. Just as much as we look forward to a society that favours everyone irrespective of gender, we want a justice system that works without sentiment.

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