right and wrong; good and bad; virtues and vice; and judging what we do and the consequences of what we do.” As a young Nigerian, the tune of events in our societies; the way of life of its people; and the resultant message to the
young population has made my heart bleed.
Over the last few decades, as a people we have been plagued by a new wave of
attitude and lifestyle which have become inimical to our continued existence as a nation, our growth, development, and proper functioning of our society and its institutions. Prior to our independence, we lived in a society where
corruption and embezzlement of public funds, overnight prosperity, youth
restiveness, examination malpractices, wanton killing, cultism and fraud,
indecent dressing, among others were not as rampant, deep-rooted and accepted as the norm in our society. But it is disheartening to observe that these vices are now accepted without comment and this bothers a lot of concerned Nigerians, especially the youth.
In 2011 Transparency International (TI) ranked Nigeria 143 out of 183 countries assessed in terms of corruption. This did not come as a surprise to a lot of Nigerians but it showed how endemic corruption has become in Nigeria. The seeds of corruption are everywhere in our society for all to see. But this is not just about corruption, there is decay in all facets of our society and we have loosed our value system as a people.
We worship wealth irrespective of how you acquire it and who is submerged in the process. In our religious institutions, those that can afford to give
“handsome” offerings or donations are treated like kings. They sit in VIP seats
and are specially recognized. The next moment they are awarded
As if that is not enough, their pictures take prominent spaces in our national
dailies – loyalists and cronies congratulating them on the award of an honorary
degree. What about the admission process? Or is it a job you are looking for
All these have sent a wrong message; been a negative influence; and affected the mindset of the young population. And I dare to ask: what happen to our value system? It is worrying that the value system in Nigeria is currently at its
lowest ebb and that has been the genesis of our societal problems. In the word
of British Jurist and lawyer Judge Devlin: “an established morality is
necessary as good governance to the welfare of the society. Societies
disintegrate from within more frequently than they are broken up by external
pressures.” In sociology, it is observed that norms, values and cultures are
passed from a generation to the next for the continued existence and sustenance of such society.
Presently, the young population have not only loosed our societal values but they also seem to be confused on what values and norms our society place premiums on and what life values should they imbibe and abhor. A large proportion of the youths are alienated and disenchanted from our society and its values. All these stem from the conflicting message from the older generation, our leaders and our social institutions. The danger here is: if the young population minds are already polluted, what hope lies for Nigeria to overcome its torrents of problems in the nearest future?
Even though over the years, the strong influence of the media, effects of increasing globalization has changed and affected the life pattern of people, especially the young ones. But a strong social moral values upheld by its leaders and social institutions will always leave a lasting legacy on the mind of the young people.
I strongly believe that the mass media, religious institution, the family as a
unit, educational institution and our leaders could be of help in re-instituting
good moral values in our society.
Iniobong Iwok is a 300L
Sociology student at UNILORIN. He is a radio presenter and producer.