A Most Painful Tragedy

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Our hearts and those of all Liberians everywhere cry out to God for comfort, strength and hope for the bereaved families of the two lads who died in the Nigerian man’s car last week.

May the good Lord grant these tragically stricken families comfort, renewed faith in Him and hope to overcome this irreparable loss and, though it is hard, move on positively with life, knowing that He is able to lift His people out of all their troubles and bring them to higher ground.

There they can stand and continue to say like Job, “The Lord giveth and the Lord taketh away. Blessed be the name of the Lord!”

This affirmation of faith, however, cannot, we are sure, stop the parents, relatives and neighbors from asking, ‘Why?’ What really happened to these two innocent boys who, like all children, were simply trying to find a place to play, which is absolutely their right.

Remember there is a whole international organization established just for that purpose. It is called “Right to Play” and has a branch in Liberia, too.

According to the story, written by our Health Correspondent, Alaskai Moore Johnson, the children, Rueben Joe, 7, and Alvin Moses, 4, were found in a Nigerian neighbor’s car at the Voice of America (VOA) Field Community along the Robertsfield/ELWA Highway in Paynesville.

The distressed and angry neighbors, immediately suspected foul play on the part of the Nigerian, identified as “OJ,” and they set his house and car ablaze.

Several questions arise. When, how and why did the children enter the car? Were they actually killed by someone, or did they simply suffocate to death? But suffocation is questionable since the car was not completely locked. One of the youth involved in the search for Ruben and Alvin opened the front door of the car and found both of them in the back seat, dead. So since the front door was unlocked, suffocation is questionable because the lads did have an avenue of escape.

So how did they die? Did anyone kill them? Who and why? Was there a ritualistic motive? If perchance the Nigerian was involved, what interest had he in this kind of thing in Liberia? Had he been hired by some Liberian politician to do it? Or was it done by some remote demand in Nigeria?

Only an autopsy will tell the cause of Reuben and Alvin’s death.

We urge the Liberia National Police (LNP) to investigate this tragedy thoroughly and deliver to the Liberian government and people, especially the parents and the community, a swift and comprehensive report, so that anyone suspected of involvement will be apprehended, investigated and prosecuted before it is too late.

It is indeed coincidental that “OJ,” the man in whose car the two boys died, hails from the same ethnic group in Nigeria as the drug dealer apprehended last week and accused of bringing into the country illicit drug manufacturing equipment. That man’s name was Damain Obi, who bears the same last name of Justin Obi, the Nigerian chemistry professor from Cuttington who shot and killed Episcopal Bishop Dillard Brown in 1969 in Monrovia.

In this latest tragedy, in whose car were the two boys found? That of a Nigerian named Ojuku Nmardi, commonly called “OJ.” His name is Ojuku, the same name of the Ibo coup leader who in 1966 overthrew the elected Nigerian officials six years after independence. It was a coup that led the country to a bloody and extended civil war. We can, therefore, reckon that “OJ,” like Damain Obi, is also Ibo, just like Justin who killed the Episcopal bishop.

We have no intention of implying anything here—only making connections with names of people who happen to be connected with violence and crime. It must further be emphasized that it has not yet been established that OJ had anything to do with the two boys’ deaths, except that he was their next door neighbor whose home they had visited, and that they died in his car.

We pray that Police Commissioner Chris Massaquoi and his team of forensic experts have gotten busy and will shortly come forward with some information that will explain the cause of death of these two very young, precious lives.

The public is also anxious to know the outcome of the investigation into the second Obi’s alleged importation into Liberia of equipment to manufacture dangerous, illicit drugs.

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