The creeping reign of evil acts
IT is difficult not to notice or be alarmed by the growing normalcy of blatantly negative acts in recent times in the country. It is as if the society has totally lost its value system and moral compass. We cannot deny that Nigeria is at present faced with crises of moral decadence and a continuous decline in the regard for human life and all things sacred. In fact, it would seem that the last few months have taught us to expect the unexpected when it comes to the occurring and reoccurring of baleful trends in the Nigerian society, even as we have perhaps all resigned to the fate of calmly accepting the inevitable by watching with morbid curiosity all the evil acts, waiting for the next bizarre item to splash into the news to make the necessary headline.. It is, of course, debatable whether this is the most critical and perilous period for our country in the light of the woes currently confronting it – from heinous crimes to cultism, child abuse, rape, drug abuse, corruption in high and low places, prostitution, the list is unending and woefully overwhelming. Yet, the point has to be made that these decadent and wrongful activities have seemingly found firm roots in our society and thus threatening a brobdingnagian catastrophe in the land if nothing concrete is done to arrest the decline and ineluctable slide into the precipice.
To be sure, check the unending reports of the inhumane and irresponsible conducts being perpetuated at different levels in the society. Recently, for instance, an 18-year-old man, Ayodeji Obadimeji, allegedly confessed to beheading 14-year-old Joseph Makinde at Shapati town in Ibeju-Lekki area of Lagos State. More gruesome however is that the act was committed to raise N200, 000 for the naming ceremony of his newborn. And to believe that this was happening right after another 18 year old boy was nabbed by the police at Ikorodu axis of Lagos for allegedly killing his mother and having sex with her corpse for money ritual purposes. These are no doubts very disheartening and unwholesome stories, yet within the same time frame came another jaw dropping story of Prince Owanbie, who was arrested by the Rivers State Police command for allegedly killing and burying his pregnant girlfriend, Becca, inside his one room apartment in Rumueperikom, blatantly reminding us of the late Miss Khadijah Olugboye, Ondo State former Deputy Governor’s daughter, who was killed and buried by her lover in like manner earlier this year. Admittedly, these are only but a tip of the iceberg, an infinitesimal slice and share of the numerous dastardly acts that go on daily unreported but help in characterizing and defining our society today.
Certainly, the society would seem to be at the brink of impending collapse; as the revered values that used to hold the society together and ensure that morals were maintained have been discarded, replaced by a growing quality of selfishness and callousness rising to towering heights in the society. Life has become so banal in the country that when someone is not being killed and their vital organs harvested, it would be a creepy pedophile somewhere molesting a minor or worst still, someone being murdered and buried secretly for money ritual. This is outside of the subsisting reality that many in Nigeria today, especially the youths, are insatiable in their desire to get rich quickly fueled by their greed and love for excessive materialism. For some nasty and selfish reasons, people are wearing invisible mask to perform selfish acts. More worrisome, however, is that this ugly and evil trend is not set to abate as it keeps evolving in different dimensions with negative intensity, with the most recent manifestation being the sale of women’s undies for ritual purposes by desperate and avaricious people who have haughtily and insouciantly thrown caution to the winds in their quest to make fast money.
As can be seen, there is a critical and urgent need for moral resurgence in the country and the real solution lies in the outspreading of true human nature of love and morality as the basis for meaningful societal existence and in educating and adverting the minds of all to the truth that it is possible to have a working society that would benefit all on the basis of universal values of love and kindness and moral uprightness to the extent that the whole society subscribes to this imperative. This, however, would require a new system of moral values, a new paradigm of social values, a new process of socialization, and hence, a new societal order. In this respect, in spite of the enormous work the religious leaders in the country are doing to orientate the people toward God and the abiding and guiding principles of most religions which necessarily must have slowed down the march into the precipice, it would seem that more would still be required from the religious fountains as the envisaged new societal order cannot be built outside of the contribution of the religious structures given the critical and crucial place of religion in social life in Nigeria. Associated with this would be the contributions of the educational institutions in imparting the necessary moral teachings even as it is significant that morality and moral values have to be taught and inscribed first and sustained from the family structure.
Still the most important teaching has to be the point that social evils are obstacles to the growth and development of any society. It must be recognized and emphasized that nothing could stop or prevent a society, at any level, from falling apart where the members are not imbued with a sense of responsibility – which is the impulse of true human nature. This is the principle which holds the community together, and its reversal is the solvent which makes it crumble. As already indicated, the decadence and low level of morality in Nigeria may be attributed largely to the fact that most Nigerians would seem to have forgotten or are ignorant or have chosen to neglect the societal beliefs on which morality is based. So, It’s about time social institutions assumed the moral responsibility of ensuring that the values that are the mainstay of traditional family systems are re-established and sustained if we do not want to see this society crumble totally before our very eyes.
The call therefore is for concerted efforts to stem the creeping reign of evil in the land through conscious re-configuring of minds in order for many in the society to get back to the path of morality and the making of better choices in life. This is the task before all of us who are disturbed by the growing acts of evil and dastardly behavior and want to see a return to decency and moral behavior in the society. We must saddle all our institutions with the need for this reorientation such that we could achieve a turn around as soon as possible in having members of the society that abhor and avoid social evils and condemn them in every possible and emphatic manner. It is, of course, true that we cannot have a society completely free from all bad social acts. But we can surely reduce social evils to a large degree and help protect the society from the current prevailing gruesome atmosphere by awakening the already dimmed light on societal values and character building of every individual in the society.
- Yakubu is with the Department of Mass Communication, Kogi State University, Anyigba, Nigeria.