The heartbreaking bullying and tragic death of Sylvester Oromoni (Jnr) recently, a student at Dowen College, Lekki, Lagos has again highlighted the threat of bullying in schools.
There is no doubt that at least seven in 10 Nigerians have experienced bullying in school, whether in primary, secondary or university / polytechnics, whether in public or private institutions. .
As a norm in our society, the death of young Sylvester also sparked a movement in the country for me. The question is that everyone condemned bullies and I asked who then is the bully in schools since everyone is claiming a victim. In a nation of hypocrites, everyone is now in favor of condemning bullies and no one has admitted to being the perpetrator.
There are reported cases of students joining cults at school to avoid being intimidated by cultists. Unfortunately, some of these students lost their lives in the process.
We also have the “top ogas” who intimidate junior female staff who refuse to give in to their sexual demands.
If only your opinion and beliefs are final, you are a bully.
We also have cases of religious leaders intimidating members of their congregations. The list is endless.
While bullying persists in schools and must stop, bullying has now moved to social media platforms.
There is this crowd mentality now on social media, if your arguments don’t match the popular movement of the moment or have a contrary opinion, you are intimidated, insulted and harassed. I remember the demonstration of the endars and the Lekkigate, if you do not agree that there was a massacre, you would be insulted and harassed on social networks.
In addition, members of the All Progressive Congress (APC) constantly bully members of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) on social media and vice versa.
People are constantly harassed on social media for having religious beliefs, different sexual orientations, or simply because they are northerners or southerners.
Indeed, it can be assumed that there is an epidemic of cyberbullying in the country.
I remember Nigerian music mogul Ubi Franklin who said he attempted suicide several years ago because of cyberbullying. Franklin said he was bullied on social media a few years ago, which made him depressed and resulted in several unsuccessful suicide attempts. A consultant psychiatrist, Dr Olufemi Olugbile, had warned that bullying on social media could increase the suicide rate.
Cyberbullying will undoubtedly increase the rate of depression. I also remember the case of a Big Brother participant Naija who was fiercely harassed and had to leave social media. It’s depressing.
If you bully people at school or on social media, you are a bully and this nonsense has to stop. It is a free world, people should be allowed to have opposing views, religious beliefs, or political affiliations. This crowd mentality and the terrorism of social media must end.