ABOUT BAD PEOPLE TURNING GOOD, AND THE RESPONSIBILITY OF FORGIVENESS

ABOUT BAD PEOPLE TURNING GOOD, AND THE RESPONSIBILITY OF FORGIVENESS

I once read a story about a man who killed his wife and unborn child. He was a drunk and usually beat his wife. So, a mob came together and wanted to kill him too. A witch (really just a very wise woman with a little bit of magic) made it possible for him to escape to another land, but not before he got the taste of some very bitter medicine. Her reason for enabling his escape was so that the mob would not have blood on their hands in a bid for justice. An eye for an eye, yes? Well, maybe not all the time, because sometimes, in a bid for justice, we end up bloodying our hands too. I think for justice to be justice, it has to come from a clear place, a balance between head and heart. That mob had more heart than head, their bloodlust was from a primal place. There wouldn’t have been justice. Just another murder.

I read the story that was published here a few days ago, of the cultist who used to victimize gay people, then found someone and the person helped him face the truth of what he was doing, how he’d been hurting people. And so, he reached out to ask for forgiveness. When I started reading this story, I was already scoffing. After I finished, I was not entirely convinced he was remorseful. But I was sure that this was someone who had started to see – if not already seen – the error of his ways.

The comments section, as expected, teemed with people who were angry. It’s safe to say a majority of the LGBT in Nigeria have been kitoed in one form or the other. If you haven’t been, then you most likely know someone who has been. That experience leaves behind scars that may never heal. It can lead to PTSD, depression, suicidal tendencies and lower the already-deplorable quality of living as a gay man in Nigeria. The anger in the comments section was appropriate, in my opinion. My friends have been kitoed; it is very possible it was even a member of the community who ratted them out to the police. And yes, it is one thing for a straight homophobe to do this to a gay man. But when it’s someone who you’re in this shit with together… It’s a different, more painful kind of hurt.

Many people told the writer to shove his apology where the sun doesn’t shine. He was insulted and abused. His remorsefulness was called into question too. Did he really mean all he wrote or he just wanted to get with the person who seemed to have his heart? If he was so remorseful, why should he just stop at no longer kitoing people? He should list names, locations, expose the cultists!

I agree to a large extent. A written apology feels flimsy when steps aren’t put into place to right wrongs. However, something else bothers me. And that is the reaction toward people who have been bad and are trying to be good.

I personally believe people can change. If people can’t change, then we are really doomed and our existence is meaningless. I also believe that people are very good at hiding their faces from the objective truth. They will lie to themselves and make excuses (I was bullied. She made me do it. I did it to help other people). Sometimes, it takes someone else’s hand to make them see the truth. The source of that hand doesn’t really matter; whether it’s a loved one or a booty call – as much as change comes from within, it can also come from without. Imagine a sliver of light breaking through the cracks and filtering into the darkened heart, illuminating it till it is no longer dark.

In fact, I think that’s how a lot of change happens. Through external factors.

And I also think that people need to be told how to be better people a lot of times. It’s frustrating. It’s hard work. And you certainly are not anybody’s mama. But if that’s the collective approach towards someone who is genuinely trying to (learn to) be better, then aren’t we still making things complex for ourselves as well?

Amidst the deserved anger, different ways he could restitute were said. I hope he takes them. I hope he realizes that people on the internet hurling insults at him and bruising his ego is a lot tamer than the damage he wreaked on the people who apparently trusted him. I hope this spurs him on to keep on doing the right thing. Let’s not all pretend like cultism in Nigeria is something you can say that you’re no more doing and that would be the end of that. But he needs to be brave and do what is right, even if it’s little steps. Even if it’s to convince his guys to stop hurting innocent people or at least, letting Kito Diaries know that a certain area is a no-go area.

Apologies are a part of the process of getting better, but it cannot end there. Not in this case.

Finally, I’ll say this – and please, this is just a philosophy I try to adhere to: Anger can be a rational emotion, but when it gets in the way of healing, then it may be time to begin letting go. Withholding forgiveness may make you feel powerful, but in the end, you’re still carrying a weight you’d be better off discarding.

Written by IBK

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19 Comments

  1. Al_leeman
    November 28, 05:53 Reply

    At the end of it all, I can only pray and wish that we all find peace.

    I pray we all heal completely.

    I pray we are not wholly consumed by our rage.

    And I pray JUSTICE is truly served!

  2. Mitch
    November 28, 06:27 Reply

    I’m sorry, NO!
    For us to accept that you’ve changed and are now a better person, we need to see a whole lot of accountability. You don’t just say you’re sorry and waltz back to living your life while having done nothing to accept the responsibility of your actions or to mitigate the consequences of your actions in people’s lives.

    I’m all for forgiveness.
    But not at the expense of Justice and rationale and accountability.

    Honestly, I felt some of the comments were a bit overboard, especially those telling him to kill himself and stuff like that. But, in all honesty, I wouldn’t bat an eyelid or reprimand them. Because I know, first-hand, what being kitoed does to people.

    You and I both know I’ve always been salty. However, like you’ve told me on countless occasions since ‘017, I’ve morphed from salty to downright vicious. And I know it. And we both know it started after that night in March and the days of being hunted that followed it.

    Kito damages people.
    So, you’d pardon me when I say I don’t believe he’s changed; that his article about letter was just a self serving attempt to ingratiate himself further with his boo; that – deep down – the monster who was capable of doing all those atrocious things without batting an eyelid is, as a matter of fact, still very alive and waiting for the slightest opportunity to rear its head again.

    I’m not going to sacrifice reason and logic and what is right over emotions. Sorry, not sorry!

    • Rexy
      November 29, 01:11 Reply

      Thank you Mitch.
      In 2008 my friends mum heard her some was gay from a kitoer who actually had sex with him and she suddenly had a stroke, this my friend couldn’t bear the damage he had caused and after 3 days committed suicide.
      How do we apologize to this family is to the victim???
      Being woke doesn’t take away hurt.
      Forgiveness isnt a piece of cake…..
      It’s won by hard work. And unfortunately none is shown here.

      THE VICTIMS ACTUALLY ARE THE ONES TO FORGIVE HIM.

  3. Mitch
    November 28, 06:29 Reply

    BTW, Pink Panther, where’s my trophy?
    First to comment on all 3 blog posts today.😎😎

    • Pink Panther
      November 28, 07:25 Reply

      😂😂😂😂 We are dusting out the gold on it as we speak.

  4. Andy
    November 28, 06:42 Reply

    I just want to understand why the wronged are always burdened with the perspective of trying to understand and forgive their oppressors. it’s so tiring, a wrong equals consequences and isn’t entitled to forgiveness
    My empathy remains with his victims and that’s that on that,they say two wrongs don’t make a right but it sure does Balance the scale though.

    • IBK
      November 28, 10:32 Reply

      I agree. People need to bear the consequences of their actions. Refer to the first paragraph on what I think about that.
      As for forgiveness… I think it’s something you do for yourself. You don’t need to like the person after forgiving or be chummy or whatever.. But you need to let it go… Not for the other person’s sake but yours.

      • Andy
        November 28, 16:16 Reply

        This narrative of unforgiveness being a burden is not necessarily true,deciding not to forgive a person doesn’t necessarily mean I can’t heal from the cruelty of their actions and reach a place of not holding them to a high level of contempt that affects my mental and emotional well being……it just means I don’t want to alleviate them of their guilt which should prompt them to make better choices in the future.
        Anyways this leniency will always want to extend to transgressors in nigeria is one of the biggest detriment to progress cause we see it as some sort of virtue which continuously leads people to easily cause harm to others cause no sense of accountability,we should amplify the need for justice more that is how we progress

        • trystham
          November 28, 22:10 Reply

          👏👏👏👏👏
          I even enjoyed the Nigeria situation analogy

  5. Black Dynasty
    November 28, 07:05 Reply

    Forgiveness is earned, not requested. His words were hollow and there were no actions mentioned to suggest atonement of any sort.

    He may feel some regret and rightfully so, however he doesn’t seem to show genuine remorse with the list of excuses made for his actions.

    Two wrongs don’t make a right and I agree but again, forgiveness is earned by fixing mistakes…apologies are empty words without this.

  6. Higwe
    November 28, 08:09 Reply

    It’s always whimsical seeing humans trying to play God .

    Like I always tell people * we all are sinners , the magnitude makes all the difference *
    *****************

    You may not have kitoed anyone , but you’ve slept with your friend’s man … damaging relationship , breaking trust and imprinting a lifelong scar.

    You may not have kitoed anyone but you’ve sexually assaulted a straight/ gay friend that trusted you .

    You’ve had sex with a minor ( a criminal offence in any civilised country with a prison sentence of at least 10 years 😎)

    You abuse people randomly , spread negativity and toxicity with intent to damage other people psychologically .

    You lie , steal , cheat , prey on the weak , take advantage of other people .

    You hide your health status and have sex with people who wouldn’t have sex with you if they knew ( another criminal offence with at least ten years imprisonment in civilised nations ) putting not only yourself but others at risk.

    You’re malicious , rancorous , conniving , unforgiving and uppity .😁

    *****************

    Yet , you don your moral cloak of hypocrisy and issue out judgement just because in your very shallow mind , you’ve assumed your own evil is much less malignant than “theirs” ?

    Perhaps yes , perhaps no …I don’t know exactly ..

    But one thing I do know for sure is that karma is a prepackaged “gift ” box and guess what , it delivers to everyone .

    The bigger your order the more gigantic it delivers 😁 *

    I scoff at the people thinking the ex cultist wants to get off easily …he’s going to spend his whole life atoning for his crimes .
    Maybe not now , but sooner or later , he’s going to answer for all his sins in the merciless , all seeing law court of the evilest bitch called – Karma.

    But you , yes I’m talking to you , withholding forgiveness… what are you going to gain by burdening yourself with another person’s impending trepidation ?

    You already have your own gift package being prepared for you , shouldn’t you be working on making it lighter ? 😂

    But I’m not the one to tell people what to do , so guess what , let’s take the stones and hurl at the adulteress or in this case the repentant ex cultist …

    Then we can rustle back into our very sheltered comfort zone – the tent of hypocrisy .😎

  7. Malik
    November 28, 08:41 Reply

    My IBK… 😍

    I read the original story and my knee jerk reaction was “Nope; not accepting this.” I was too upset with James St Patrick to punch a comment. The worst of it was setting up his friends… His friends!!! The betrayal!

    But I know how important forgiveness is for not only the offender but also the offended; I know all the times I’ve wronged people and have needed their forgiveness. I also believe people can change, even radically.

    We know what justice demands in this case but if I, we, got justice for all wrongdoing there may be no one left in the community or in the world.

    That said, I can’t speak for everyone, especially not for those whose kito wounds are still oozing. But from my end, my arms are open.

  8. Chizzie
    November 28, 10:36 Reply

    I one of the major problems we continue to have as Nigerians and in Nigeria is our lack of accountability. Its almost completely absent. No one holds anyone accountable or responsible, no one wants to be held to any of those things either. Far more often than not we have seen people essentially get away with blatant crime and we have come to see this as nolmalcy. Infact to demand justice now, or any from or unwavering accountability will quickly have you branded as wicked or difficult.

    Forgiveness is one thing, justice is another. The more Nigerians are made see that there consequences for their actions, and they will have to take full responsibility for them, the more they would make better choices.

    It’s not a matter of any one changing or being sorry. It’s a matter of justice, responsibility and consequences, but what you the author will not do is gaslight people into forgiveness

  9. DeadlyDarius
    November 28, 17:25 Reply

    Everything that Chizzie said. Without justice, forgiveness is a whitewash.

    A. There is no rule book that says not forgiving an act automatically translates to a ‘heavy burden’. Some things do not deserve forgiveness especially when restitution has not been done. I can imagine you telling slaves in the antebellum south to forgive their masters as that would keep them healthy.

    B. You mentioned the statements I personally wished weren’t said (the go kill yourself comments). It goes without saying that isn’t what I’d do but I completely understand what emotions are. Yet you ignored to mention the persistent comments that were actually more damaging. The ones saying ‘don’t become the monster’…’what is the difference between you and the cultist’ and another which is already up here ‘nobody holy pass…we have all done wrong’.

    I’m sorry but if you think equating hate of the oppressor by the oppressed TO the intentional evil of the oppressor then I am truly sad for your mindset. Finally, let me again reiterate….while it can be a good exercise to make you feel better, UNLESS THE CULTIST AND HIS GANG KITOED YOU, IT IS NOT YOU THAT CAN PROCLAIM FORGIVENESS FOR HIM. Doing so in all seriousness is a slap and spittle in the face of the real victims here.

    Miss me with this love and light shtick. Na why Naija bad.

    • Black Dynasty
      November 28, 18:03 Reply

      This!! Exactly this, especially this part!

      “UNLESS THE CULTIST AND HIS GANG KITOED YOU, IT IS NOT YOU THAT CAN PROCLAIM FORGIVENESS FOR HIM. Doing so in all seriousness is a slap and spittle in the face of the real victims here.”

      There’s kito, and then there’s kito with cultists and SARS… the latter has literally sent people to their deaths. Again, forgiveness is earned and only the victims have the right to forgive.

  10. Delle
    November 28, 21:13 Reply

    Not everyone should be allowed to drop comments on here shaa. Especially those who use the Spacebar
    and ellipses and asterisks more than they use actual words and brains. But oh well…

    *****

    IBK love, so much emotion for someone who lacks some. So much empathy for someone who doesn’t care that the word exists.
    You want the community to forgive a being who has caused more havoc on us than the mere fact that we are Nigerians? I read that piece IBK, I read it and didn’t see all you did.

    It was so opportunistic. Almost flattering. You didn’t see all of that? And a lot of your philosophies, while intelligent were just off. How do you say I’ll be burdened for not giving forgiveness to one who didn’t quite ask for it?

    I’m tired of Nigerians and our penchant for less head, more heart. Like someone said, accountability! People should be held responsible for their actions (misdeeds). It’s not enough to write an (edited) epistle. Hell no. A step, perhaps, but not the full climb.

    And if this is an overreaction, I’m wondering what his actions would be called.

    • trystham
      November 29, 12:06 Reply

      Loooooooool. You know you won’t make heaven, right?

  11. Rexy
    November 29, 01:06 Reply

    DEAR IBK LOVE
    CC: MR.SAINT CULTIST

    YOUR DIRECT VICTIMS ACTUALLY ARE THE ONES TO FORGIVE YOU NOT US REALLY.

    Forgiveness isn’t a mango plucked anytime you need it dear.
    It takes time and if anyone feels like venting then let him.
    I personally said crazy stuff and I read them a day later and laughed but am I sorry?? bitch no.
    We should be worried about our actions and forget about peoples reactions.

    We are not all coming from the same place and we can’t all have the same thought patterns.

    I shared this story with over 20 of my non KDian friends and they all had different opinions and I respect their stand point.

    But I refuse to be coerced into forgiveness,
    Mr. Saint Cultist should not rather try to be a better person and call up all or most of his victims and ask for the forgiveness…….then we that weren’t directly affected can take a cue from.
    A single post isnt powerful enough to make the whole gay community forgive a traitor no baby just no.

    We need to see he is really doing some work to improve especially by reaching out to his VICTIMS.

    THE VICTIMS ACTUALLY ARE THE ONES TO FORGIVE YOU NOT US REALLY

  12. Wizdiamond
    November 29, 12:04 Reply

    IBK, remember to forgive is never easy, cus even hearing the person speak rises the rage in you, and again they say, forgive but never forget, how is that even possible? I have being kitoed since 2014 nd still date I can’t seem to have forgiven this guy but to wish him dead if he’s even alive. When I read the post of that young man all I felt was hatred towards him, not to talk of wen he said his mind changer was too cute for him to let him be a victim to wat he have been doing? What is he wasn’t that cute? What would have happened? To me that guy repentance is not genuine, is just hanging on the parachute of one he said he loves, when tins goes wrong, that beast which is slightly asleep will woke up nd more fierced then, we should forgive quite alright but we should also be careful how we accept apologies.

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