Tuesday, August 21, 2012


The story happened a few weeks ago in Nigeria. 

Cynthia Udoka Osokogu, a young graduate from the University of Nasarawa State decides to leave Abuja for Lagos. She wants to buy new things for her shop. Her contacts there? Two students met on Facebook. They have become friends after months of online Chat so they offered to give her a shelter.

Full of confidence, she takes her flight ticket and goes to Lagos. Very soon, her parents have no news from her. They ring the alarm. On the internet everybody is sharing her photos. But Cynthia was already dead. The very day she arrived, her friends drove her to a motel, drugged her, stole her money and strangled her to death.

As she had no more papers, the hostel employees dropped the corpse in a morgue. That's where her body was found after researches. Some people were arrested including her murderers thanks to the video system of the motel. Cynthia is their 6th victim.  

When this story hit the web, people left very bad comments about the girl.  

 "She is very stupid."
"She was certainly a prostitute. This time she met a bad customer. A good girl can never go to an unknown place to leave with strangers."
The truth is, it could have been any of us. 

We are always on the internet, all day long. We say we are experimenting the magic of social network. We have virtual friends we love even more than physical friends. 

I used to refuse systematically all the meetings with virtual friends when we didn't have "physical" friends in common. But on many occasions, I had to meet unknown people in restaurants because they wanted me to work for them. I already went to another town for a conference and all my contacts where virtual friends.

So before throwing the stone, let's realise that our life is so unperfect and so fragile. Few messages mean nothing. Let us all be careful about this internet thing. Talk to your parents and family about your friends, physical or virtual.

Cynthia was the only daughter and the last child of General Major Osokogu.

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