3rd September, 2010
The moral decadence in our society has gone so bad that we now find us living only forÂ today. People used to bother so much about their name and reputation back in those days;Â parents called their children to order whenever they see them going the wrong way. Even whenÂ they buy new cars and send money to them, they ask questions to ascertain the source of theÂ wealth before accepting the gifts.
In those days, parents go out of their way to make enquiries before they accept any girlÂ brought to them by their son for marriage. Girls had so much respect for themselves that menÂ go through hell just to get them. But just like Chinua Achebe said: things have fallenÂ apart. Before a man asks that first question, â€œwill you marry meâ€, the girl had alreadyÂ moved in and become acting wife. They first get pregnant before taking the man to theirÂ parents. In my own culture, it is a taboo for a girl to get pregnant outside marriage. IÂ feel ashamed as an Igbo girl when I see parents accept dowry from a man with their daughterÂ heavily pregnant. Our parents have now lost their conscience and trampled on the valuesÂ handed down to us by our fore-fathers all because of greed.
A man meets a woman in Lagos and instantly gets blinded by her beauty that he startsÂ professing love without trying to know anything about her. Some of these girls act so niceÂ just to get the man to propose before they show their true colour. When I hear people talkÂ about how much of a failure their partners are, I always let them know that those characterÂ flaws were there during their dating period, but they were too blind and lost inÂ infatuation.
Back to the issue at hand. It is a pity that the elders in our society who should be guidingÂ us and helping to put us back on track are actually the ones destroying us. This is theÂ problem we have in Nigeria. We have become a nation without elders. The young ones areÂ dancing naked in the market place and the elders are there enjoying the dance of shame whileÂ some of them have actually joined in the dance. We have no more elders in our dear nation asÂ everyone is after his pocket. Our politicians have no ideologies as they are nothing butÂ political harlots.
Nobody cares about his name and reputation any longer. Everyone wants to make it the fastestÂ way. The women are also not helping our men. Every woman wants to be identified with a manÂ of means. We all want to get married to multi-millionaires. We donâ€™t care how the wealth wasÂ acquired. Our women are no longer ready to start life from the scratch with a man.
The men are now being forced to get into many evil things just to get wealthy and beÂ accepted by the society. Chieftaincy titles are now being given to criminals and ritualÂ killers all because they have some dirty money to throw around. Our political offices areÂ now being occupied by thieves and people without values. This is why we have governors flogÂ people on the road and do so many evils through their office. It wasnâ€™t surprising seeingÂ our legislators fight because that is what we bargained for when we failed to electÂ responsible and cultured people into office and chose to have rascals in there.
Our religious leaders are not helping matters as they choose fame in place of integrity. InÂ the churches and mosques; we see the thieves, drug barons, 419 kingpins, corrupt politiciansÂ and ritual killers being given the front seats. They are the elders, deacons and deaconessesÂ in our churches. We see people who have sacrificed years in the service of God and doneÂ wonderful things for their faith, but no one recognises them because they donâ€™t have much toÂ spend. A pastor of a particular church in Agidingbi area of Lagos anoints computers for hisÂ members who are fraudsters to enable them have more mugun. They all know what their membersÂ do and are afraid to talk to avoid losing them because that would mean a drop in the amountÂ realised as tithe and pledge.
Our leaders are in their different offices stealing as if there is no tomorrow. The massesÂ are dying daily due to bad roads and hunger while our leaders, the people we elected intoÂ political offices are enriching themselves. What has happened to the dreams of our fathers,Â the late Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe, Chief Obafemi Awolowo, and Sir Abubakar Tafawa Balewa? I amÂ sure their hearts are bleeding in their graves because what we have now is not the NigeriaÂ they dreamt of and fought for.
Young men, and sadly women, have gone into drugs. They sacrifice their lives and name at theÂ altar of mammon. What could make a woman, a mother to the nation, decide to swallow drugsÂ even with pregnancy? Do we now have our conscience sealed that we donâ€™t even bother aboutÂ our unborn child? I know of one who did this and ended up having her baby, an imbecile inÂ jail over there in the UK. It was so bad that the mother, who was in support of herÂ daughterâ€™s involvement in drugs, went all over the place visiting native doctors to secureÂ her release.
This is what our society has suddenly become. What do we expect from the younger generationÂ when our mothers and fathers are the ones behind the evil? A fan recently told me a storyÂ about his first time in one of the nude clubs in Lagos. He said he couldnâ€™t help shoutingÂ when he saw a man in his seventies brought to the nude club by his son. This shameless oldÂ man was laughing so loud that people looked at him as a very stupid old man.
A friend called me some months back after his cousinâ€™s traditional marriage and told me howÂ happy the parents of the girl were as they gave their daughter out in marriage to a popularÂ 419 kingpin. He later asked to be sure they knew what they were doing and that was when heÂ found out that the father of the bride never knew anything about the man he gave hisÂ daughter to. Just this month, the man was arrested in connection with a kidnap case and hasÂ since been in police custody. What then becomes the fate of the girl if eventually theÂ husband is jailed?
I employed a cousin of mine after so much pleading from her mum. Just three months afterÂ joining my business, her parents started making so many demands from her. The father sentÂ her texts asking for money for a chieftaincy title while the mother continued asking forÂ money for clothes and other items. This made her steal about half a million from us andÂ borrowed so much from my clients. We got to the office one morning to realise she had fled,Â and now she is back tin the village doing nothing.
Our traditional rulers were known for uprightness and truth. But what do we now have in ourÂ society? We now have fraudsters, drug barons, kidnappers, and robbers as our communityÂ leaders. They come out and speak against kidnapping when in the actual fact they are theÂ ones behind the killings and robbery.
Election is by the corner. We now have bloodshed on a daily basis because our politiciansÂ are so devilish that some of them have to kill to get into that position. What do we expectÂ when we have people visit the popular Okija Shrine for power? I recently heard of a governorÂ who had to bury a hundred cows alive in the middle of the night just to get to where he isÂ today. People are killed once they declare their interest to run in the forthcomingÂ election. I just pity girls who are so gullible that they need money for lace wigs andÂ blackberry at all costs. This is the time we see so many of them dying after sleeping withÂ these monsters we call leaders.
I recently met a young man who came to me with so many burden in his heart. This man, in hisÂ thirties, who has a job and doesnâ€™t want to stain his hands for wealth, told me how hisÂ parents donâ€™t even regard him as a son because his younger brother made so much moneyÂ through 419. He had made up his mind to go into drugs and fraud because he wanted to make itÂ like his brother so as to regain his place in the family. I thank God that after a very longÂ discussion with him, he promised me never to soil his hands.
Guys, you can get that money today and by tomorrow you are no more. One thing I haveÂ realised is that no matter how much you make through any wrong means, you will still die anÂ unhappy person. There is nothing like one having a peaceful exit from this life. There isÂ nothing like your children getting honoured in years to come because of your integrity.
I donâ€™t want too much money in this life; I want to be comfortable with my peace stillÂ intact. This is why I have refused to hold on tightly to anything in this world. I want toÂ sow good seeds and let my children reap the fruits of my integrity. I donâ€™t want to beÂ caught lying for wealth. I donâ€™t want to be seen stealing from the public purse (call itÂ national cake). I donâ€™t want to be seen lying in Godâ€™s name just to satisfy my belly. IÂ donâ€™t want to fight and kill for material things because I will someday close my eyes inÂ death and go down six feet below the earthâ€™s surface. All that I killed, lied, and did allÂ sorts to acquire will be left for people who donâ€™t even know how I made it.
The greatest legacy you can leave for generations after you is the legacy of Truth andÂ Integrity. A good name is better than all the riches in this world. Do all your drugs today,Â get involved in 419, steal from the public purse, kill in your quest for power, and pastors,Â go on deceiving people in Godâ€™s name. This is why we see people make so much money but inÂ their home and even after their death, there is no peace.
If you are one of such people and right now you have it going well for you, I advise youÂ quit because you may never rest in peace after your death. Your children may start killingÂ themselves for your ill-gotten wealth. Some people pay while they are alive through so manyÂ means. You may try to cover up your shame by using money to cover up the stupidity of yourÂ children, but such pretences donâ€™t last. Vanity upon vanity, all is vanity!!!