Nigerian blogger and entrepreneur, Linda Ifeoma Ikeji, has come under fire for the production and release of the movie, ‘Dark October’.
Recall that the parents of the four students of the University of Port Harcourt, who were killed by a mob in the Aluu Community in 2012, had asked the popular blogger, Linda Ikeji and Netflix, to suspend the planned premiere of their movie, Dark October.
The movie, which was released on 3 February, tells the story of the murder of the four students codenamed Aluu-4 in October 2012.
The Aluu4 lynching was a necklace lynching that involved four young men, Ugonna Obuzor, Lloyd Toku, Chiadika Biringa, and Tekena Elkanah, all students of the University of Port Harcourt.
They were all lynched after they were falsely accused of theft in Aluu, a community in Obio/Akpor local government area, Rivers State, Nigeria, on 5 October, 2012.
Ugonna had a debtor called Bright who was owing him some undisclosed amount of money which bothered him much.
In time, Ugonna managed to find out Bright’s particular location.
He sought the help of his fellow rapper Lloyd, childhood and longtime friend Tekena and roommate Chiadika. Together, four of them ventured into a journey of no return.
The four students finally arrived in the house of the debtor at about midnight, a time that seemed odd for anyone to move about, carrying axe, pen knife, and cutlass in order to scare the debtor. In the cause of settling the debt, a misunderstanding ensued which turned sour and eventually turned into a fight.
The debtor whose name was Bright raised a false alarm and started screaming, claiming that the men were there to steal laptops and mobile phones.
The vigilante group from Aluu, was alerted with the impression that the students were the criminals disturbing the community.
Before the Vigilante group from Aluu would arrive, angry mobs has started chasing the four men through the streets with stick and stone-wielding, caught them, stripped naked, beaten and tortured until they were almost unconscious.
Afterwards, in the presence of a crowd, the Nigerian police officers and some Nigerians, they were dragged through mud, had concrete slabs dropped on their heads and car tires filled with petrol wrapped around their necks (thus “necklacing”) in order to burn them. Nobody could stop it, not even the Nigerian Police force.
The family through a rights group, The Integrity Friends for Truth and Peace The initiative (TIFPI), said Linda Ikeji made the movie about their late children without consulting them.
It said that the movie has reawakened the already doused trauma caused by the tragic killing of their children.
Given that the movie was released, Linda Ikeji does not appear to have complied with their request.
On social media, the development has elicited a variety of responses.
Some Twitter users shamed her, while others applauded her for highlighting the unfairness the boys endured.
@DanielRegha said: “Linda Ikeji making a movie about the Aluu 4 victims isn’t a problem, cos anyone can make a movie about people, living or dead; But since the affected families disapproved, Linda should’ve canceled the movie. She’s profiting from other people’s misfortune & that’s truly evil.”
@peekaymila said: “Linda Ikeji is a despicable human.
“She made a movie about the Aluu 4 victims without the consent of the parents.
“Went ahead to release the movie on @netflix, even after the parents expressed their dissatisfaction and opposed the idea.
“How could @netflix let this happen?”
Meanwhile, some tweeps disagree with those who said the popular blogger released the movie to profit off the misfortune of the victims’ families.
@OlujuwonBabs said: “How does this make Linda Ikeji despicable? Does the family own the right to a public story? Are we being emotional because it’s Linda or cos it involves money? It’s a public story and it can be told by anyone. I dislike this faux outrage.”
@StanleyEzihie said: “Lol, even people that start recording dying victims of an accident without trying to help save their life first, are shouting Linda Ikeji shouldn’t have produced a movie about Aluu 4 without consent. The irony of this woke Twitter users.”
@rukevwejacobs, while commenting, also wrote: “The Aluu 4 story had to be told in film. Thanks, Linda Ikeji. True, this story may not be welcome by the families concerned. But for the sake of them, for the sake of Deborah and many others, we need to remember. This film is the most useful film I have watched from Nigeria.”
“I think we should all give Linda ikeji a break out problem is that we play emotion too much in the country u see that Aluu 4 story if a Nigerian don’t tell it a white man will steal it and tell it the way it suits them and nothing will happen,” @Lithmike noted.