The changing customs and traditions of Nigeria

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The changing customs and traditions of Nigeria

Postby Richard Akindele » Tue Apr 01, 2014 5:15 am

Let me state it categoricaly, safety in Nigeria is worsening. Besides the scourge of Islamic Boko Haram, there is also the issue of people being abducted for money or rituals. As a society where you're nobody if you're poor, most people these days are forced to seek money by hook or by crook.

While our leaders are diddling around, administration after administration have been unable to solved even the most basic of problems that have been solved in other countries generations ago.

As a result of our vaccuum of leadership, we now have a younger generation that is embracing crime as an acceptable and justifiable way of life. If you try to preach to the criminals about the propriety of their vices, they ask what you expect them to do. Indeed, what do you expect these youngsters to do, when unemployment is rampant, and most people cannot secure a decent job to feed their respective families?

The young and old alike these days turn to crime primarily because they can't find a job. As crime grows and morality declines, it becomes OK to engage in crime without remorse.

Is is really a hard question to answer about crime, because if one says it is understandable where the younger generation is coming from turning to crime, this sounds like one is condoning criminal activities. But here we have a nation where the government has refused for decades to provide its citizens with electricity, clean water, job opportunities, etc. If you want stable electricity, you must own a generator. Besides the high cost of purchasing one, there is also the high cost of fuel for that generator. Where is a young jobless person expected to come up with such amount of money, other than to steal it?

There is a Russian saying, that the fish rots from the head. Nowhere is this more true than in Nigeria, where the system is remarkably corrupt at the top. Every time a new administration assumes power, the people pray that the same age-old problems would be solved. It becomes rapidly clear that the new leaders are not there to resolve any issues, but mostly to line their own pockets. When the governed see this incorrigible activity at the top, they quickly come to the conclusion that crime is the only way out.

Some may argue that it's not up to the government to create jobs. That is true. But it makes all the difference in the world when the government has unfriendly regulations in place that hinder the establishment of businesses. For instance, the Nigerian government demands payment of N1 Billion from any entity that wishes to setup a telecom business. Who has that kind of money to risk, in a corrupt society nonetheless. Mind you, the N1B is just the deposit demanded by government. There is no talk of coming up with the actual cost of building and running the business itself.

Morality is declining in our society. Our citizens are gradually becoming hard-wired to believe that they have no choice but to turn to crime. Even when this may not be true in all cases, there is no way really to prove the bad guys wrong. Nigeria is a nation where smart University graduates roam the streets with nothing to do. As the saying goes, idle hands are the devil's workshop. When somebody is hungry, such a person is highly susceptible to bad influences. BTW, I truly believe that poverty is also the reason why recruitment into Boko Haram seems to be growing by leaps and bounds. We see this trend spreading now across the country.

So what is the solution to this revolving door of poverty that millions of Nigerians are trapped in?

First off, Nigeria needs more patriotic leaders. The likes of Sanusi Lamido, Babatunde Fashola, etc come to mind. We have recently seen what happens to anybody who tries to probe and rid the system of corrupt elements. They get thrown out on their butts like president Goodluck Jonathan recently did to Mr. Sanusi Lamido. Nevertheless, Mr. Sanusi left a legacy, he has demonstrated one thing clearly that it's not impossible to fight the entrenched corrupt system and take Nigeria back.

So as we all pray to God, do not forget to ask the almighty to furnish the nation with strong, intrepid, highly selfless types like Mr. Sanusi. Nigerians need to put tribalism aside and fight this government leviathan that has inflicted so much pain on innocent Nigerians for decades. As we fight those at the top, we must also not forget to discourage those in our ranks who try to justify crime as a way of life. Slowly we can undo the damage already done.
Richard Akindele
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