Immorality and the Nigerian Society
The Nigerian society today has gone beyond reason and commonsense. Maybe because we now live in the so called global village, daily stung by the effects of socio-globalization where many, most especially the youths, are either facebooking, tweeting
or using all brands of tablet, androids and i-phones, it is why perhaps, in the last couple of years, an ever increasing moral and social decadence seem to apparently hit us on the face. From East to West with both South and North not left out, the societal morass paints a sorry situation of how our customs, traditions and culture are fast eroding and overtaken by Western civilization.
In as much as there is nothing wrong in borrowing from a foreign culture or civilization, what this writer finds hard to understand is the way we have pushed decorum and commonsense aside, perpetrating acts inimical to the African culture, sense and high moral ethos in the name of civilization.
The history of the Japanese has been one of swift borrowing. Aside from wanting to be at par with the powers that be, Japan took almost every culture which they found suitable for their growth and development. In fact, Chinese civilization was borrowed heavily by Japan, yet Japan refused to accept them hook, line and sinker. They never forgot where they were coming from and where they were going. What they took from outside was blended with their own civilization and this went a long way in aiding their education sector, were confucianism and emperor worship became the norm as different from those of the Chinese.
During the Meiji era, in a bid to modernize, the Japanese reformed almost all strata of their society borrowing from Western models of development. The military was reformed using the German military model, while the French, British and American systems of democracy and civil rule were adopted and used by the Meiji reformers. Today, Japan may look industrialized and westernized, yet the people have never exchanged their indigenous cultures for another.
The late sixties down to the nineties in Nigeria happened to be a period a philosopher described as solitary, brutish, nasty and short. Despite the societal cleavages, people still maintained a sense of moral decorum. This writer recall periods in the nineties of how people dared never to smoke in public, for it appeared like a serious crime and shame. Dressing half naked was taken with harsh criticism, while sexual immorality was not taken with kid gloves. Many always had it at the back of their minds that they must not forgot the child of whom they were. Several acts of immorality were done in secret because doing it openly obviously was a shame for the individual and his immediate family.
What stirs us in the face today is a far cry to what it was in the past. We care less about the kind of dress we put on whether it debases the very core of human nature or not. We have turned to dogs whose sexual urge is displayed anywhere and everwhere. Ironically, even dogs these days are far better than many humans todays, what with the sexual romp they display in public places. Hotels spring up every now and then with youths patronising them as if salvation exist there. On the streets, hooligans, area boys, vagabonds and nonetities litter everywhere, disturbing the peace of the land. At the slighest provocation, they unleash mayhem unprecedented in the history of violence in the country. Prostitution has become the order of the day and is highly promoted in our ivory towers and marketed on high ways and exotic cities. From Allen Avenue to the heart of Aso Rock, these comfort ladies bestrode our heartlands like a collossus. It even becomes worse when for a paltry sum, just any lady could be lured to bed.
Cigarettes have almost become obsolate as marijuana and all brands of hard drugs are injested daily and have taken centre stage. Alcohol with the highest percentage value are consumed with reckless abandon by the youth while those who do not take them are usually seen by their peers as novice. Ex-rated films, immoral movies, shows and programmes are displayed on our screens without regulatory agencies willing to censor them, despite their sad effect on our kids.
Radios blast profane music and many celebrate artists who proliferates such profane music. In fact, without these brand of music, many artists are less recognised.
Worse of all are contemporary parents who ordinarily are supposed to be the first pointer towards a better society, busy themselves pursuing needless things at the detriment of their wards. Simply because a parent wants to survive and must bring food on the table, they put their children on the path of danger. When a chid has no parental care, he tends to become a social deviant and committs acts inimical to the society at large. The government too with its wanton act of kleptocracy, to-hell-with-the-people and I-don't-give-a-damn attitude, many Nigerians have suddenly appeared to be their own local government, forgetting their duties to the home and society.
The Western culture we all struggle to imbibe has gotten us nowhere, but rather, continues to destroy the social fabric of our society. The Nigerian youths rather than being productive are either on facebook,tweeting their lives aways or even watching football or season films which earns them nothing but stagnation. There is no harm in having fun, but when we do it with so much addiction, forgetting we have a role to play for ourselves and the society as a whole, it then becomes a huge problem.
For the fact that no society develops with it youths playing their lives away, it is high time those responsible for the proper upbringing of our children and our society started thinking straight and ahead. Our society must be devoid of immorality and also wanton intake of foreign culture. The future social fabric of the Nigerian society is fast eroding and if something is not done to nip this ill on the head, we all will have ourselves to blame. It should not be the wish of any nation to have more than half of its population suffering from paroxysm of immorality. It should not begin with us.
RAHEEM OLUWAFUNMINIYI is a social commentator and political analyst. He could be reached via