Saturday, 21 September 2013

Article: Nigeria; A Country Of Lost Values

Daniel Oikhena(M)

By Nelson Ekujumi

Recently, our media space was awash with news about a young Nigeria Daniel Oikhena, who stowed away in the tyre compartment of an airline from Benin to Lagos, and thus, the breach of security at our airports was once again highlighted by this ugly incident.

However, one is astonished and upset that this youth, whom we all ought and should condemn for being a deviant by putting his life as well as passengers on that flight at risk is being celebrated and rewarded by the people in authority against our norms and values which recognizes and encourages reward for good and responsible conduct.

One is being forced to respond to this untoward act by the government of Comrade Adams Oshiomhole because of the long time implication on the psyche of Nigerians and most especially our youths who have unfortunately been deprived the privilege of mentorship which they should ordinarily have, but now have to cope with our distorted ways of doings and are thus left at the mercy of their own initiative about socially approved values and norms which seems lost.

I feel sad anytime I look at the vulnerability of our youths to social vices because of a dysfunctional and disoriented society that they have found themselves in. Today, pitiably, our youths are involved in all sorts of crime because of lack of guidance. At times, I wonder if this was not the same society I was given birth to and grew up in. I remember vividly well, my primary school days in the late seventies and secondary school days in the early-mid eighties when our social values had stricter control and were a means of molding the character of youths rather than the force of coercion by the law. This was a period when as a student, the norm was ostracization from your peers if you were even alleged of academic misconduct unlike what obtains this days when you are seen as a big boy or girl if you are involved in examination misconduct.

Those were the days when people were respected because of their honesty and integrity rather than what obtains now in which societal recognition is bestowed on someone because of the amount of cash in his wallet irrespective of the means of acquisition. Truly, this are perilous times for our youths and our country, but as our people say, “Orisha bi o le gbe mi se mi bi ose ba mi” literally meaning, “The gods, if you cannot help my cause, restore me to the status quo rather than worsening my plight”

It is in the light of the above quote that I want to admonish the Comrade Governor, that what he has done by the award of scholarship instead of a referral to a juvenile home by the appropriate state organ is a disservice to the good upbringing of our youths because whatever we do today, becomes history tomorrow. By rewarding the deviant Daniel, our political authority are sending a wrong signal to our youths that the only way to be rewarded or recognized by the state is to do something against the norms and values of civilized conduct as epitomized by young Daniel.

However, one’s anger against the Comrade Governor who has an ally in recently freed kidnap victim Mr. Mike Ozekhome (SAN) has been mitigated by the public condemnation that greeted his illogical call of amnesty for kidnappers, though we can excuse him because he must still be suffering from the trauma inflicted on him by his abductors, and the most appropriate thing would have been to seek counseling rather than making a call that runs contrary to our traditional norms and values.

Thus, we must all come on board now to speak out against this dangerous trend which is capable of destroying our society, lest posterity condemn us of being culpable by conspiratorial silence. 

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