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Published On: Tue, Mar 11th, 2014

Fixing Nigeria’s moral deficit

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By Lanre Etti Jr

The nation may have lost it on corruption, but yet we can’t expose our toddlers to indecency at an early stage and that is why the family is so crucial in nation building. The family is a child’s first agent of socialization, and not Goodluck Jonathan nor Bola Tinubu. Therefore, parents should ensure they inculcate moral values in their wards at the earliest time and also control what they are exposed to. Also, one of the highest levels of indecency and debauchery exists in the midst of our entertainers. Some mediocre movie makers have espoused nudity as a strategy to make money. They produce semi-porn movies and still have the audacity to market them in the open, not caring whose ox is gored. In a similar vein, Yoruba movies too, now contain harsh and unprintable words that are not fit for public consumption. So disheartening!

An industry that is meant to promote cultural values is now propagating impropriety. Likewise, the music videos are incomplete without having young girls dance half naked. Thereby, creating the impression that women are best used as sex symbols, all these and many more are taking place in our 100 years of existence as a nation.

It would have been better for the country, if the so called activists and civil society organizations rise up daily, to confront the mirage of problems facing us. I wonder, how and why they could campaign with such tenacity against the national assembly bill that has not even been passed into law, and ignore far more compelling tales of indecency amongst our youths.

None of them did a campaign against the organizers of Big Brother Africa reality show, where the dignity of African woman was laid bare like nonarranged pack of cards, by smutty contestants, especially our very own Beverly Osu, who had an explicit bath in a tub with fellow contestant. I expected this issue to have been an eye raiser to the various acts of indecency being perpetrated by those in Nigerian entertainment at large. But to my chagrin, nothing happened!

Although, I don’t care if anyone decides to show their body on national TV for all to see, I am worried about kids getting exposed to adult content. Sadly, in a country where regulation is non-existent, this effect becomes inevitable and inimical. Still, the girl minor might easily fall under the illusion that, these people (naked celebrities), are rich and famous, thus, they are worthy of emulation, thereby putting our children in a moral quandary.

What can we say, about a man that empties the contents of a plastic beverage, while in a commercial bus, and decides to dispose of the plastic, by throwing it out of the window and unto the streets? Just like that. I believe, this is an improper and uncaring attitude towards the environment. We do all these and complain that the Governor is not working, truly he is not, but some people also fail to know, that this routine of improper waste management, goes a long way, in telling who we are as citizens.

It baffles me a lot that in this 21st century Nigeria, we still ‘proudly’ emblazon our walls with inscriptions like “do not urinate here”, “post no bill” and “refuse dump is prohibited here”. The amazing thing is that, most of these caveats are usually disregarded. But how long can stuff like this continue to be written before we can put ourselves in order. Alas! It exhibits lack of decorum and civility and the extent to which, indecency, has penetrated every nook and cranny of our society, which is pathetic!

One of the main causes of our societal ills is the issue of widespread illiteracy. The future of every country is tied to the development of its human resources. Forget all the policies of Ngozi Okonjo Iweala and her Bretton woods-coined solutions. The solution to our country’s problems is not hard to find. Educate your people and obey the rule of law. I observed that the strength of the American society lies in the citizens; the people are the ones that make the country great. America has a high literacy and the law is being respected by all. The US government also finances research a lot and researchers continually discover ways to make their societies better. That is the result you get when a country invests in its human resources.

If the federal government will spend large chunks of our money to educate Nigerians, the better it will be for us. There will be fewer problems for the government to contend with. The better people we have, the better for our society. Government will not have to erect a traffic official to check for people without seat belts, or arrest people for not using pedestrian bridges, because they are already aware of its usefulness.

If not for greed and disregard for laws of the land, politicians do not need steal public funds before they can have a comfortable life. If the country’s security apparatus is highly efficient, they need not move around with heavily armed security men, before they feel secured in their country. As a matter of urgency, the government should strengthen institutions that regulate public conduct, and promote human rights. Our journey to prosperity will begin the moment we start doing things the right way. We, as citizens should try hard to uphold our societal values, irrespective of cultural or religious affiliations.

Lanre Etti Jr is at anreettijr@gmail.com

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