By Olateju Oluwatosin Rildwan
About 53.2% of the *Nigerian* Population is between the age 15-65, while 44% are below 15 years of age. It remains a big challenge the training of the bulk of this population to be responsible as the future of our great nations lies upon their shoulder. The sad reality is that majority of this population are affected by moral decadence and are delinquent.
The desecration of our indigenous cultural values and complete acceptance of alien values has never witnessed the current surge. Never in our Nation’s history has a generation been so eager and unabatedly contravene and compromise moral standards, cultural norms and values as the current generation.
The moral decadence among the youth is the crux of our country’s dilemma and until it is properly addressed, nothing else would fall in place. The causes of moral decadence are but not limited to: Eurocentric nature of the populace, decreased practice of ethical instructions, globalization, Parental apathy, poverty, Shift in political paradigms.
The impact of moral decadence is indescribable, the social trends of the early 1990s with that of 2010s showed an unprecedented spike in crimes and criminal activities as well as the desecration of the indigenous values and cultural etiquette and sanctification of the foreign values and way of life. The prevalence of cases of rape and kidnap in the 1990s is limited in number compared to now when it can be safely assumed that not less than five cases of rape and kidnap are reported daily across the country.
The question is who is to blame? Everyone of us is responsible for our current situation, moral decadence as a course starts with the family. The family is one of the most important part of life as the process of socialization begins within the family, in case of any decadence or delinquency, the family is the first place to check. Parents and guardians of this age derelicts their parental duties in pursuit of wealth, power, fame, pleasure etc. only to miss out the important phases of their children’s psychological growth and development. Contemporary parents and teachers speaks well of the good old days when children were brought up with sound morals and ethical sanctity, why is it that parents who received such a quality upbringing in the past are the ones churning out useless, delinquent, shameless children who have little or no regards for societal norms and ethical values.
Eurocentric nature of the populace is another thing to consider, Eurocentrism is the disposition to interpret the world from the Europeans perspective, this has made us to embrace lifestyles which are totally in conflict with our cultural norms and values. Elders are not adequately respected, the modesty emphasized by the cultural mode of dressing is shunned, values and norms guiding interpersonal relationship are abandoned. Society’s limits and boundaries are shamelessly compromised and violated.
Leaders have their own contribution to the ongoing crises, only few of the so called leaders are worthy of emulation, and this makes the nation insecure and unsafe for living. the major crimes in Nigeria includes rape, kidnap, homicide, robbery, cybercrime etc. The sad reality is that majority of this crimes are masterminded by the youth. Also a considerable amount of youth abuse drug either for pleasure, to evade their challenges or simply because they can’t resist the pull due to addiction . Whatever the reason might be, the consequences of drug abuse can be devastating from physical health damage to an altered state of mind.
It is high time everyone took necessary initiatives to stop/curb the spread of moral decadence. Family should practice good manners and values which is worthy of emulation, likewise, parents should prioritize the upbringing of their children. Ethical studies should introduced into the school curriculum and taught to students. The government should ensure quality education and the preservation of the future of the youth. Decadence among youth can be controlled by engaging law enforcers to monitor youth with previous record of delinquency. Rehab should be created for those with drug addiction history.
A Nation that ensures a smooth and progressive life for the youth is only preserving her future. Isn’t that a shrewd thing to do?
Olateju Oluwatosin Rildwan is a Public Affairs Analyst.