By Iranloye Sofiu Taiye
Gone are the days when most people in our society were contented with little they had and a time when we slept with our two eyes closed; it was a communal state characterised by collectivism. Then we were our brother’s keepers when travellers were safe to journey at night without any security threats, a time when meritocracy prevailed over mediocrity when criminals were not sympathised with, and an epoch when elderly people were highly respected and venerated.
The situation is quite catastrophic currently with the substitution of collectivism with individualism. We are now dwelling in a society where everyone minds his business with no form of a collective check on the excesses of our people, especially when it comes to criminal actions. I can vividly recall when we were juveniles. Generally, few people had cars, televisions, fridges, and generators.
Children had fewer clothes bought during the festival period and ate the best dishes (rice and chicken) during the festive season or special events. Yet, we are not frustrated. On the contrary, both day and night, the entrance and doors to the house of the rich are wildly often open to play and eat together with their children, and the rich also tolerate their children eating together in the less privileged homes and vice-versa.
Children always troop into the room of anyone who has a television whenever there’s light to watch movies and listen to the news with no intimidation from anyone. In our community, we are always proud and happy if someone has a car in our area because, during any festival, all children in that community will go to the praying ground with that car. No one is under a burden to amass what they couldn’t afford just to oppress others.
Society has a culture of contentment though people strive to improve their living conditions within their means. Owing to contentment and collectivism, the crime rate was meagre because the notion of ‘i-must-make-it-anyhow’, which has ravaged our societies today, isn’t the order of the day then.
Pathetically, our society of today has been polarised and characterised by social class disparity anchored on economic buoyancy, where those who are wealthy don’t tolerate the less privileged. Thus, the relationship only exists if the poor are ready to kowtow to the dictate of the rich to advance their oppression.
Youths commit crimes including; kidnapping, armed robbery, murder, rape, internet fraud, money ritual, and alcoholism because they want to wear designer, drive the latest cars, use the latest iPhones, and party with open Street girls. Sadly, many members of our society today are abetting this aberration and terror, demonising our communities of which the parents, guidance, religious clerics, and even the bad eggs within our security personnel and government officials are not left out.
The rise in the rate of internet fraud, known as Yahoo-Yahoo! and kidnapping is one of the major causes of carnage across our communities today, but all our hands are at akimbo as if what’s happening is normal in our communities today even though we are all aware the perpetrators of this evils engage in human parts harvesting for money rituals.
Many young men on our streets today are into drug abuse, cultism, and alcoholism, which have continued to pose a severe threat to the peace and security of our communities, thus, increasing the crime rate. Our parents, known to be a model before, had soiled their integrity and never cared to know the source of the wealth of their children today. Alas, we now have the ‘yahoo-yahoo mother association’ organised to support their children who are into cybercrime and internet fraud spiritually. Let alone ladies freely engage in advanced prostitution (hook-ups) to compete and oppress others.
The schools and institutions known to be an avenue for character modelling before are nothing to write about today. People only attend school for academic accomplishment, devoid of character. Stealing and misappropriating the public commonwealth by those occupying public offices, including politicians and civil servants, is now a culture.
Regrettably, the court system and the judiciary are now blemished with conspiracies and marred with corruption. The supposed last hope of the masses has become the fortress for the rich, where the highest bidder gets the desired judgment.
How did our esteem values and norms get substituted, and why is criminality on the rise despite our religion and high level of education? I believe it’s already too late to continue to point fingers at colonialism, globalisation, or westernisation as our problem currently. But the main issue is that our values and norms have been neglected. Hence this dilemma and nightmares befall us.
As a Yoruba aphorism says, “if you know not where you’re heading to, you should know where you are coming from” Revival of our culture; norms and values are pertinent now to arrest and stem this risen criminality in our society.
Iranloye Sofiu Taiye (Optimism Mirror) is reachable via firstname.lastname@example.org.
Leave a Reply