By Nasiru Tijjani
Doubtless, stealing is one of the social problems bedevilling the peace and stability of almost all human societies. Therefore, stealing means taking something away from a person, shop/store, etc., without permission and without intending to return or pay for it. The problem, needless to say, is known to every reasonable person who cares to look and discuss their societal issues. Quote me anywhere that no society can fully develop and excel in all spheres of life if its members are thieves, burglars or robbers. For clarity, thieves are persons who steal things, especially secretly and without using violence. Burglars usually get into a house, office, etc., especially by force, to steal stuff, while robbers steal property from a person or public place, especially using violence.
The rampant cases of stealing are gradually becoming a new normal in our society. The culprits are always employing different strategies to safeguard themselves against an unwarranted arrest by the security agencies and other community volunteers. The community members gradually become helpless and equally lose hope about when to live in peace and comfort with their property. I don’t need to justify anything here for you, or your brother might
Since time immemorial, stealing has been discouraged by Islam and Christianity. The duo has strongly warned their followers through a significant portion of scriptures that they should shun the attitude of taking someone’s property without the owner’s consent. Apparently, the act has been classified as taboo and unethical that can only be committed by the mannerless, heartless and idle good-for-nothing person whose faculty of reasoning is abysmal. The effects of their (thieves) actions negatively affect the peaceful co-existence of the entire society either by crippling the welfare of the people or creating an unresolved hatred and enmity.
What comes first on the list has to do with parents. To me, they should not be left blameless, for they have a role to play in the proper upbringing of their children. They have been saddled with the responsibility of meeting the needs of their children, right from appropriate education to marriage. Nowadays, children are left to stand on their own feet in all walks of life. Parents are gradually disowning the mandates of their children as enshrined in the religious and cultural provisions.
Coming next after the first is peer-group influence. Children usually commit crimes under the influence of friends. This is because they typically get to know the attitude of each other better during their friendship. Psychologists have identified imitation as one of the stages of cognitive development. Therefore, children effortlessly emulate the behaviour of their friends. A friendless child is safe for not associating with rotten eggs, for he is less likely to be influenced by peers.
It is a known fact that the care of children is being placed firmly within the domain of their parents. Therefore, they (parents) should ensure that they fulfil all the mandates saddled on them. They must be answerable for their children’s failure, either for poor upbringing or anything for that matter.
The influence of some films that are of no character-building is equally associated with the topic under discussion. For example, with the recent release of Kannywood seasons, youths learn different tactics of stealing and other unwanted behaviours. “A Duniya“, a new Hausa season produced by Tijjani Asase, is a classic example of such a film. Recently, the Kano State Censorship Board has cautioned its makers and asked them to reshape the season’s activities considering the negativity of some scenes.
The human being is a social animal that cannot live in isolation without associates. However, children/ youths should not be left under the control of friends. Instead, they need to be guided/assisted in choosing or deciding on whom to befriend/mingle with.
Besides, people should reduce their quest for materialism. For instance, youths should regulate their strong desire to possess smartphones, among other things. Parents and security personnel may begin to ask the owners to account for the source, originality and anything to do with the suspected phones or any other property.
In conclusion, stealing is a correctable problem like all other social vices. I can attest without any iota of hesitation that the above-stated recommendations will surely bring a lasting solution to the unwanted act if taken into consideration. Meanwhile, I fancy the idea of not forgiving the doers of the action, for they know not the purpose of being human.
Nasiru Tijjani, Gwaram Tsohuwa, Jigawa state. He can be contacted via firstname.lastname@example.org.