There is a crisis of honour and of conscience in our country. And because of this there is hardly any person, man or woman, boy or girl, political leader or political follower, in this generation of our country who possesses or practises the full art of morality or of integrity. The nature or trait of any member of this generation of our country is clearly devoid of the full elegance of virtue or of justice or of integrity or of positive principle.
In which class of the citizens of our current generation can we vouch for men and women of untainted conscience or of untainted integrity and honour without blemish? In our answer we may say that because we are not a nation of saints and purists of elegance or of first grade moralists or of remarkably good people of outstanding excellence, we thus should not answer the posed question in a definable boundary of assertiveness: the boundary of truth that lacks exaggeration. But regardless of the class we pick or un-pick our choice answer cannot but point to the fact that ours indeed is a generation of elusive men and women of high integrity and diligent conscience.
I am not laying any claim to the status of a social philosopher or moral artist/columnist or moral philosopher. But if we really try to decipher our current generation of high chiefs, for instance, we truly will see that our so-called high chiefs are nothing but low men and women. Put them in positions of any kind demanding of mere competence or of high competence you will see how low many of them will sink. In fact, you will see their dual nature that will change with the swing of low tides, belonging in one second to the land of the honour-less, now to the sea of the conscience-less.
There is hardly anywhere in our country now where our youths don’t follow the wrong footsteps and fins of our relatively unstable honour-less land dwellers and conscience-less water dwellers. Let me escape from my visible world of metaphor.
In this difficult country made more difficult by high chiefs in power, our youths every now and then give thought to how to cut corners, and swim in the tides of dirty and merciless millions – not millions in terms of naira but in terms of the almighty dollar. How they get to the river of genuine wealth is not their concern and business. What they want is to escape from the enormous toughness of our difficult world and swim through dark waters of ill-gotten wealth. They are not interested in education or learning for its sake. Always, they point and point at this high chief, or mention and describe this or that personage, and say it loud and clear: “What school did he or she go to? Tell us, what qualification does he or she have?” They are not done yet: “They are in money, real money. Tell us the businesses they ran that gave them the money they have. Tell us the sources of their money… We are in school because we never hammer….”
Talk to them about the question of honour or of conscience or of morality or of justice. They would answer you with mocking chuckles and laughter. And I remember pretty well the exchange I had recently with a pretty brilliant chap on the subject. He cited several personages from the class of pastors and bishops who are visibly rich and wealthy in every stupendous sense of the term. He also cited several personages in politics whose crazy wealth had many times troubled his conscience. If he had his way, he would sell his conscience for money not minding anyhow it would come or anyhow it would travel to him. I resisted him and became a preacher of morality, integrity, justice and more to him. Unfortunately, my preaching-time coincided with the time the House of Reps’ budget-padding scandal hit our air-waves and tabloids. The young chap stiffened his resistance, and vowed that nothing would make him a comrade of honour and justice in a country of honour-less parliamentarians. He went further to poke fun at our country’s quota system of allocation of resources and opportunities at the expense of national endowment and individual talents. As far as he was concerned, ours is a country where our leaders indeed have abandoned their total responsibility to citizens. They all are conscience-less leaders, they all in our institutions are conscience-less men and women.
Now his bombshell: Did I hear the nauseating news about the nauseatingly hefty millions of dollars that had just been found in the accounts of a former first lady of our generation? What work did the erstwhile first lady do that fetched her the anarchical millions of dollars and choice properties everywhere? What was her constitutional salary as first lady? And what qualifications qualified her for the anarchical millions? Anarchical millions? Yes, for there is something definitely hideous about that Satanic money that can unleash chaos in the land, this land where those to look up to have defined ours as a honour-less and conscience-less generation by their untroubled consciences and honour-less activities.
Resist them, comrades. Resist their values that are value-less to our generation. The true meaning of our resistance, comrades, must derive from our total rejection of their value-less values.