Draught of decadence in the youths
Sir: On the heels of a former student of the University of Ilorin, who beat his lecturer and SIWES Industrial Training coordinator to a pulp drawing himself an expulsion and prosecution in the process, students of two secondary schools in Asero area of Abeokuta, Ogun State, attacked the Divisional Police Officer (DPO), for Obantoko Division, Mr. Alimeke Ignatius, on November 24, 2021.
The DPO had led his men to the area to maintain law and order after a fight broke out between students of Egba Comprehensive High School and Asero High School, all in Abeokuta South Local Council. Some police officers were injured during the attack.
Like a gale, Nigeria`s harmattan of moral decadence is blowing forcefully, splitting the lips of every Nigerian value and battering an entire country with its cold draught.
The decadence is deep on so many levels. The family, the very cradle of life, has also, ironically, become a cradle of decadence. With instability roiling through many families and many parents grappling with a lack of moral authority themselves, many children are raised without any moral anchors whatsoever. False religion provides no succour.
When children begin school – which is usually their first point of interaction with the outside world – a confluence of many people from many different backgrounds poses a formidable challenge and soon, innocence gives way to conflicts which threaten the students, their teachers, their schools and mercilessly mocks the alternate reality of education as a force for moral rectitude.
So, the students of Egba Comprehensive High School and Asero High School went at each other with knives and stones and when police officers intervened, they pelted them with stones.
They say we should catch them young, but who can catch the snake that many of our children have today become without getting bitten? They also say that children are the leaders of tomorrow, but can any serious country be led by a posse of dangerous decadents? An Igbo adage asks: was this the state of the antelope`s stomach before it gave birth to four calves?
Wherever one turns in Nigeria, there is a suffocating stench of rot. Primary school pupils in some parts of the country now know to form and belong to cult groups. In some secondary schools in Nigeria, it is routine for fights to break out at the end of each school day with violent teenage cultists leaving petrified teachers unable to enforce the rigorous discipline without which education is an empty husk, with neither soul nor substance.
Recently, harrowing reports crawled out of Rivers State of how two 14-year-old secondary school students raped their fellow 14-year-old student. So, Nigeria`s gallant police officers who already have their hands full with Nigeria`s many master criminals also have to contend with teenagers who are supposed to be innocent but have instead assumed the rabidity of a destruction of wild cats. The moral rot in the country traces its provenance to the very top.
Today, many children are out of school. Together with the young people lost in Nigeria`s wilderness of economic, social and political insecurity, they populate a prodigious pool of conscripts for terrorism and economic crimes including banditry and internet fraud.
A country interested in its future should be roundly alarmed.
Kene Obiezu, Keneobiezu@gmail.com.