Saturday, April 14, 2012


A restaurant attendant, Bright Effiong, for killing his customer, Chibuike Onyekachi, over an argument of a difference of ten naira (N10) in his bill, will have to face a one-count charge of murder. The restaurant where he is employed will probably be under lock and key while he awaits May 5, the day of his trial.

Misplaced priorities, when confused for poverty and ignorance, can be costly. Bright Effiong has learnt this the hard way.

What could make two young men fight over a difference of ten naira (N10)? If none of them could be indifferent to the difference, then nothing but biting poverty. But poverty or ignorance is no justification for one man to take the life of another.

As he sits in prison for the murder of Chibuike Onyekachi, Effiong will be moaning his loss of liberty and possibly life for going so far as to take another life. But unfortunately for him, he had all the opportunity in the world to have prevented this sorry state of affairs.

Like Judas, regrets cannot bring back the clock.
Credit: Almeida Junior on Wikimedia Commons

First of all, there is no justification for violence, especially murderous violence. Violence is very costly to everyone concerned. No nation in history has ever gone to war without making use of every window of opportunity for peaceful resolution.

The window was open for Effiong but he did not use it.

He could have decided that if the difference of ten naira was so capital to the running of his restaurant, he would have allowed the devil be and split it between him and Onyekachi. Where both men were staunch in their belief that they were right, then the probability was that 50-50, one was right and the other was wrong and they could have agreed to share the loss for a settlement of five naira (N5) each.

On the other hand, if that sharing formula was calling for too much, then Effiong should have considered the time and public relations cost, vis-à-vis other restaurants at Ijeshatedo where this took place, of engaging in a lengthy quarrel with Onyekachi when other customers were watching, and eventually to a fight. The highest reward he would have gained from this monumental loss was only ten naira (N10). As people say, ignorance is a disease, and crass ignorance should be a deeply entrenched syndrome.

All I can say is that, since the window of peace was wide open for him, then where he chose the “pieces” option, then he will have to sit down in the dark pits of the prison and await his fate come May 5.

Never forget the essentials. No matter the amount involved, always remember that peace is an option which opportunity cost is very low when you count the loss in time, people, trust, faith, loyalty, money etc. So, make for peace and pursue it.

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