I have recently been getting successive sleepless nights than have ever had; I did a mental analysis and concluded from my introspection that apart from my personal and human anxieties, the avalanche of violence; shootings, bombings, kidnaps, ritual decapitations and robberies that pervades the society is enough to take an entire year’s sleep off my eyes.
The media is filled with a panorama of wanton bloodshed; strange and newfangled crimes are being perpetrated everyday by our own brothers and sisters: brother’s keeper!—I was shocked to see a fifty year old woman paraded amongst the terrorist that attacked and killed innocent church worshippers in Okene, Kogi state, and was more shocked to hear that two men in Nasarawa decapitated a seven year old boy for ritual.
Is this the land of my fathers—is this the land from which I came? I ask myself several questions and wonder how we got here, how did it get so bad? How did the land that gushed honey turned to the land of bloodsheds?!
I have had my own share of the violence; a couple of weeks ago, I was robbed at gunpoint, two people that I know personally were also robbed after my incident! Within the space of a month I have heard and experienced more robbery than my great-grandfather did through his life. I can’t believe this is the land my grandmother told me about. She once told me farm produce were sold along footpaths without shopkeepers, all you needed were a gourd that buyers can drop cowries into and a sample of the exact amount the goods go for and of course the goods.
If it was so, what happened to us, how come we lost our values and ethics to worshiping money and the material things money can buy? Is this the price of civilization?
We can go on and on and lament, we may ask more questions, we can even blame government, poverty and or illiteracy for our woes but I think something is fundamentally wrong with us all. A society that reveres only the rich, without minding how they made the money will only succeed in breeding more thieves and con men.
And that is exactly what we have perfected so far, turning young men into con artists and drug pushers because we have silently told them that if they don’t make it big and ride Escalade by all means, our society will not welcome them. We find easy pleasure deriding, slighting and marginalising the poor, we even have separate laws for the poor. Our culture, as is noticeable in contemporary arts has fallen to enshrine quick-fixes to becoming wealthy. Money ritual, looting public funds, cyber crimes and breakthrough prayers is brazenly and blatantly portrayed as possible ways to success in both our movies (Nollywood) and music.
Having embraced these crooked ways thus far and seeing the gory consequences, I guess it is time we changed our orientation, and revive the values of the old when a man is celebrated for being an honest man not for being a corrupt rich glutton.
I heard of a man who was caught with two billion Naira pension fund in his wardrobe and as much as I felt sad for the affected pensioners, I felt more for the man because I am yet to fathom whatever he is going to do with that kind of money. I concluded that if I have the powers the man would be mandated to be locked in a psychiatric hospital for the rest of his life—he seems to be in an unfortunate need for such medical attention!
Such are my worries and fears and I hope that we would not self-destruct as a people, that the very corrupt and greedy ones amidst us will not eat us all out of town with their acquisitiveness and covetousness.
While I keep the flags of hope flying, we must all begin as a matter of urgency to encourage and admonish the coming generation that; honesty, hard work, diligence, perseverance and creativity are necessary routes to enduring success.
We must methodically instil in our children from one to all, the spirit of candour, conscientiousness and patriotism.
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