By Michael West
February 5, 2022
Our society is in moral and spiritual quagmire largely due to the negligence and compromised disposition of parents towards the training of their children. From the cradle, parents are the moral compass, role models and counsellors-in-chief of their children. The abdication of these noble responsibilities is the reason we are contending with festering criminal issues.
Parents, to a large extent, are guilty as charged on the waywardness of their children. Parents or guardians that fail to provide proper upbringing based on discipline, integrity, cultural mores and societal values are complicit in the moral decadence plaguing our land these days. The reason for blaming the parents is because everybody comes from a family unit. Nobody drops from the sky. Proper care in form of feeding, shelter, medicare and education must be provided while religious tenets, cultural and moral ethics are impacted. These are like the blocks that mold the character and attitudinal makeup of each person from the homestead.
There are parents who had put in their best in training their children but peer influence and absurdities in the society thwarted their efforts. Some of the children are involved in unthinkable immoral practices. Except God intervenes, what lies ahead of them is unpredictable.
Almajiri is another source of our problem. How can parents breed children like maggots for the purposes of fulfilling population drive to satisfy religious agenda? Almajiris of yesteryears are today’s bandits, kidnappers and terrorists that have killed thousands of innocent people, collected over N5 billion as ransom across the northern states of Nigeria. Besides, since 2009 when Boko Haram first launched its major onslaught in Maiduguri which claimed over 500 lives most of who were Christians, well over N8 trillion has been spent so far to prosecute the war. This is a costly consequence of parental failure to the nation.
In Africa, children are the identities of their families while their character depicts the kind of the parental nurturing they have. In the past, Nigerian parents were reputed for strict home training. Starting from eye contacts, body languages, singing, making ironic statements, deafening silence, scolding, hot slaps, punishments like canning, kneeling down, constant rebuke and correction at every point of misdemeanour were the hallmark of parents. That was when parents were truly in charge unlike now that children are too big for parental control, correction and chastisement for wrongdoings.
To complement parents in the business of training children into responsible adults, teachers and the clergy are partners. But they, too, seem to have become helpless given the prevailing circumstances. In addition to academic and moral training, religious doctrines that emphasis probity, justice, hard work, righteousness, love, kindness, forgiveness, unity and godliness are spiritual meals that should feed their souls from childhood. The combination of the nurturing tripod is a sure way of fulfilling the Biblical injunction: “As the scripture teaches, `Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.’ (Prov. 22:6.). Any child raised on sound moral and discipline background will not cheaply stray into criminal acts.
It is getting risky everyday to blindly trust school managements to look after their students in view of what’s going these days. While still mourning Sylvester Oromoni’s untimely death, a five-year-old girl was kidnapped and later killed by her school principal in Kano. This kind of tragedy is becoming a daily news item in the media. Whereas in the time past, schools and worship centres are places to go for safety and protection. Teachers are becoming predators and nemeses to their students just like some bad spiritual guardians are molesting those under their watch. Nowhere is safe!
We are daily confronted with embarrassing images of minors who are being arrested for crimes ranging from rape, ritual killings, burglary, cultism, Yahoo plus and cyber crime. My concern is that the future ahead of us is so bleak, shrouded in misery and looming disaster. The complete collapse of moral society is imminent. The government is not sensitive enough to respond to the dangerous situation. Failure to detonate the ticking time bomb that millions of jobless youths and out of school children represent will sink the society. The implosion may happen sooner.
In our religious centres, teachings that will discourage covetousness, greed, corruption, immorality and sundry crimes are not as emphasized as it ought to be. Instead, examples and testimonies of monumental financial breakthroughs and donating offerings in millions and billions of naira dominate the pulpits. These further drive our desperate youths into fast routes of making money without legitimate sources of income.
A maverick pastor in Nigeria is notorious for spraying money at random during service in his church. His weird and unconventional conducts make his worship centre attractive to suspected Yahoo guys and cyber crime kingpins. It is nauseating to see how those guys fling naira notes while dancing with the pastor on the altar. It is a replication of wild parties and orgy of ostentatious recklessness.
Parents must wake up! It is better late than never. They should go and look for their children wherever they are. Bring them back home and take care of them. How do they feel seeing their children being paraded on national television as crime suspects? State and local governments should please assist jobless and indigent parents with money for businesses or engage them as workers. Scholarship awards and free lunch should be extended to the children returning from the streets with habitable shelters for them as a way of nipping crimes in the bud.
Stop Dating Ingrates, Help Unconditionally
A couple of weeks ago, two similar cases of alleged betrayal were reported in the media about those who sacrificed their vital organs for the survival of their loved ones.
A young woman, simply identified as Colleen, is regretting being kind to her former boyfriend for jilting her 10 months after donating her kidney to him. Media report stated that the unnamed boyfriend had been going through dialysis as his kidneys were functioning at just five per cent of the average capacity.
Her words: “I decided to get tested to see if we were a match because I didn’t want to watch him die.” The tests were positive hence one of her kidneys was donated to him. The surgeries were a big success and both made a full recovery.
However, Colleen said that he cheated on her seven months later. In a follow-up video on TikTok, Colleen explained how her ex-boyfriend told her he was going to Las Vegas for a bachelor party with some guys in his church. At the time, Colleen was in the middle of her final exams and trusted her boyfriend completely so didn’t think any more of it. Later, he confessed to cheating on her when he came visiting.
“A lot of arguments later, I eventually forgave him and gave him a second chance,” she said. But three months later, the boyfriend dumped Colleen over the phone.
According to her, the guy was quoted as saying: “If we are meant for each other, God will bring us back together in the end.” Colleen said the break-up only got messier from there. She said he told her: “You only donated your kidney to look good”.
Similarly, a teacher, Uziel Martínez, who donated his kidney to the mother of his girlfriend has disclosed that she got married to another man a month later. Martínez, a Mexican, made a series of videos recounting the sad experience.
The resident of Baja California, Mexico, took to TikTok to narrate how he donated his kidney to his ex-girlfriend’s mother. His girlfriend left him not long after and married someone else within a month of their break-up. Martinez’s video has now gone viral as people sympathise with him.
Reacting to the messages of support he received, he insisted that he does not hold any grudge against his ex-girlfriend despite the heartbreak.
He told the media that: “I don’t have anything against her; we’re not friends but we don’t hate each other. I only made the video for TikTok, I didn’t think it would get out of control.”
While it is humane to empathize with these folks, the reasons for offering themselves to save others should be reasonably convincing and deserving. Human life matters a lot but how those vital organs were procured should not be fraudulent or deceitful.
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