The parody of a nation: An urgent call for reawakening
In the midst of an intense soliloquy, my mind kept beaming light on the veracity of reclaiming our land and restoring our values.
A critical analysis of the waning generation makes it very glaring that the “old age” myth is not a hallucination, but a reality that is on the verge of extinction, no wonder you find it easy to see many men and women in the octogenarian, nonagenarian, centurion club and still counting.
Gone are the days when a larger percentage of humans live to a very ripe old age. But today, reverse is the case.
This menace may not necessarily be the validation of the projected life expectancy of the average Nigerian, as there are many other factors that must be considered.
A typical African home used to be a concept incubated with LOVE as the flagship. This may not be a subject of debate, as it is evident in our interaction with our community: adults gather young folks together, irrespective of their religious, ethnic, social, educational or political background, in a bid to foster unity and to teach norms and values.
Love, respect, contentment, peace, among others is learnt through folktales by moonlight and actively practiced by all. Growing up in those days culminated generations that do not only value human lives but ceded resentment.
Do you know that an average person that heard the tortoise story will never think of harming the wonderful creature but will be glad to have him as a pet? Respect for human lives was not only held in high esteem but even a slightest default will be strongly condemned.
Contentment was not implausible, apart from the fact that people are not interested in quick and evil wealth, there is this joy in the heart of everyone at the success of a fellow countrymen – the spirit of patriotism was the benchmark.
We also learnt that a farmer does not necessarily need to sit with his farm produce in a bid to sell; all that is needed is an indicator of the price and voila, goods will be sold with no eyebrows raised.
Children were free to play around, share and enjoy childhood escapades with friends in and around the neighbourhood.
Cases of either rape, defilement or kidnap was neither suspected, recorded, nor logged as the respect for human rights was second to none. Erring children were immediately brought to book and served as deterrent to others.
Everybody saw his neighbor as a friend to love and not an enemy to despise. You don’t need to be a member of a family to correct a disobedient child.
The civilization that we know then had value for human lives to the extent that a fellow countryman facing issues of any degree was adequately taken care of by everyone within the locality, discrimination was not an option and social strata was not really a thing to celebrate.
This trend however continued unabated till the advent of this unguarded western civilization, a civilization that does not only encourage division along social, religious, ethnic, educational lines but also encouraged impunity.
A civilization that opened our eyes to foolishness of the teachings of our ancient landmarks which led to the taunting of the teaching of our values and forcing us to embrace western cultures, forgetting that the African blood still flows in our vein.
A man in Niger state was murdered this year as a result of lack of respect for elders.
The resultant effect has been visible in our loss of respect for human lives; security is now a threat that must never be taken for granted.
The crime rate in the society is now a serious call for concern; rape cases is not only restricted to neighbours, as shameless family members now take advantage of each other, incest is now becoming a regular noun in our society as even fathers feel the urge to get down with their biological children, pervasive behaviours are now celebrated.
Hardly will a week be free of corruption scandals as the urge to get rich quick is now on the rise, fraud, kidnappings, ritual killings and terrorism have been our dividends for embracing western civilization unguardedly.
Our prisons are filled to the brim with many unpatriotic citizens who do not only come out worse, but become greater terror on the society.
The average Nigerian no longer see fellow countrymen as a person of honour but a destitute whose rights can be infringed upon at will. The less priviledged have been made to understand that they are only good to be treated with disdain.
The above prevalence has shown the truth about our current situation as a country which must be earnestly combated to prevent the impending doom.
To revamp the country, there is a need for an urgent value reorientation and an effective structure to strengthen the smallest unit of the society – the family.
The truth of the matter is that no nation can survive impunity if the family does not understand and perform its responsibilities.
Our families must be checked and the right values must be transferred; respect, love, contentment must be the recipe to leading successful families.
There is also the need to replicate the gesture in our institutions of learning – the schools. Just as we know, teachers must serve as loco-parentis to their pupils in order to realize the Nigeria of our dreams.
Finally, every individual must note that for us to experience lasting peace as a nation, we must each be interested in making sure that the sacrifices of peace must be paid.
We must begin to shun sentiments and be more interested in the betterment of all citizens – that is the true fruit of patriotism.
God bless Nigeria.
Adebayo wrote from Abeokuta, Ogun state