Values that are rapidly eroding
Almost every week the public is inundated with another shocking report on social media of ritual killings by individuals known to the victim. The recent case in Ogun state involving teenagers who cut off the head of the girlfriend of one of them, after strangling her, has made the rounds on social media. They were caught by militiamen as they tried to burn their heads. While the number of clicks of Nigerians, who took to the Youtube channel to watch the video of their arrest, had not yet dropped, another incident was reported, in the north of the country.
In this case, two young boys, aged six and seven, did the unimaginable. They took another little boy of about three years old to a nearby bush and tied him to a tree, like a goat is tied. God only knows what their intention was. The question that demands an answer is: how did the very young miners come up with such a terrible idea? They were children who were not expected to imagine and perform such an act. Yes, children play pranks, but the incident in question was far beyond the ordinary things children do. Could it be that they watched a similar thing on television played by adults or even saw a close relative who was supposedly insane tied to a pole and therefore tried the same thing with the small child. Was it a joke or an act of malice? The victim watched in awe and clearly did not understand the significance of what happened. He could have died there like that! What world do we live in these days. The toddler could have been crushed by a higher animal, bitten by a snake, or some other terrible thing could have happened to him.
Remarkably, we must agree that societal values are rapidly eroding. Today, the excessive quest for money, young and old alike, makes them do things that were completely unthinkable about 30 years ago. Today, people commit heinous and bloody crimes, to earn money, wield wealth and gain recognition. The belief among these Satan-driven individuals is that anything is now possible in life. Kidnapping for ransom, theft of refined petroleum products from underground pipelines, impersonation to steal funds from bank client accounts, pen theft by government officials and even in the private sector, corruption of age-old academic processes in institutions of higher education, by which teachers now generally expect students to pay large sums of money for good grades, young manly men turn into sugar boys for wealthy married women, all those things have a common thread running through them: the quest and thirst for money and wealth. Everyone wants to be identified with wealth and luxury, no matter how you do it. This is the simple reason ritual killers are on the prowl.
That wasn’t how it was in the good old days. I still remember what Otunba Femi Deru, the 51st President of ICAN, told me in an interview. He said that as financial controller of BEREC Industries at the time, the company gave him an official car which he drove home to show his elderly father in the village. Pa Deru insisted on how he got a brand new “Peugeot 504 SR” with driver.
“My father had to send my maternal uncle to check that I hadn’t stolen company property in Lagos,” Otunba Deru said. It was at a time that now seems to be over.
Today we see more and more manifestations of the biblical passage that the love of money is the root of all evil. Yet, there are several accomplished men and women who have achieved success through their natural intelligence and hard work. You have people like the Governor-elect of Anambra State, Professor Charles Soludo; celebrating author Chimamanda Ngozi-Adichie; UBA President Tony Elumelu to name a few. Unfortunately, they don’t reflect the exact picture of what the current generation wants. A quality education, considered the best legacy in the world, is almost a nose dive. There was a time when bookstores were located on several city streets. You’ll hardly find bookstores on the main street these days, but you see betting kiosks everywhere.
Interestingly, one then wonders how not to blame the society that celebrates success without knowing its source and background. I had two young unmarried cousins who all reside in the cities. Angela was bitten by polio at a young age and it gave her a physical deformity as she walks using her claws. Benedicta plays smart in almost all of her relationships right from school. During the last Christmas party, we all came together for the celebration, while Angela was congratulated for achieving an achievement in her state because she completed and received the Doctors of Philosophy Award (PhD ) in Psychology from the University of Nigeria Nsukka. She was also offered to be a lecturer 2, in the same department. Benedicta, in her abracadabra nature, arrived with a newly acquired Toyota Honda Pilot (SUV-2005 model) with no real track record. Guess what? Attention and celebration immediately fell on the glittering car and its arrival. You could see the old and the young running to draw the anointing from the car and no one was drawing the anointing from the doctoral student. The whole village started celebrating Benedicta instead of Angela. What an irony of life. It was obvious that society only has respect for the wealthy, wealthy, and social enthusiasts with no decent backgrounds. It’s also a show that proves that society obviously doesn’t encourage hard work and productivity, but rather says that life is about money.
Unfortunately, the same society promotes and salutes the title and position holders who made the so-called money. Here, both religious bodies and traditional societies are guilty of title holder saga. I have not seen a poor man hold title or recognition in both church and community, such arrangements being carefully reserved for the great and powerful. To think that hard work, intelligence, truthful and honest disposition gradually slips out of space to accommodate the bags of money and the cash cow in society gives goosebumps. When cheats, fools, illiterates rule the world, hijacked and defrauded institutions are heroically welcomed and honored in their communities; what can anyone say then?
Who knew super famous DCP cop Abba Kyari would be arrested and freshen up in the same room where he once kept suspected criminals? Abba Kyari won multiple awards, was honored in the Hall of Fame, had lunch and dinner with the company movers, but ultimately fell apart like a deck of cards. According to Reuben Abati, he wrote, “At one point in Kyari’s career, he was seen by many Nigerians as the Nigerian version of American super cop, Elliot Ness, an incorruptible crime breaker on a mission to root out the criminal elements of the society. “Nobody had a clue that the super cop could be singled out for consorting with fraudsters, let alone having a deal that warranted the NDLEA reporting him. If anyone had ever asked a question to determine the flamboyant lifestyle of the policeman, such a guy would have been given names like jealousy, evil beauty, envious, etc.
Now some religious teachers would get people to pray for miraculous money instead of starting a small business, nurturing it and watching it grow to an enviable position. When people misunderstand the uses and gratifications of prayers, when people abandon the labor force and end up in prayer houses, when they spend time in the wake and let the work suffer the next day, production will be certainly low and they will be looking for a quick way to make money. The likes of Dr. Cosmas Maduka of Coscharis, Innoson Motors, Ibeto Groups, and more. did not become billionaires overnight. They did not pray for miraculous money, rather started small, showed hard work, and God blessed the works of their hands in privileged heights.
This goal of making money is gradually drifting into the imagination of the much younger generation of high school students. Boys and girls, most of them want to earn money at all costs. While some think of crime and dubious ways to earn their own money, some also rightly think; but the analysis i am drawing here is the quest to earn money for not studying hard and being the best. If our young people earn money without the workforce, how will the economy of this society grow? what about human resources, production, processes and procedures?
Dear Nigerians, please stop wasting money like there is no tomorrow, life is not all about money, don’t be fooled by a motivational speaker . Let’s all change our attitude and let go of the hunt and the value placed on money. Those whose duty is to continually show off and tempt others on social media with borrowed outfits, accessories to harass others, don with caution. Society is rapidly drifting towards what could affect everyone for years to come. Those who do not repeat clothes at all, know that vanity upon vanity, everything is vanity.