Moral crises in Africa

MORAL CRISES IN AFRICABY; MUHAMMAD AWWAL BN ABDULWAHAB WHICH GENERATION IS BETTER IN MORALS AND ETHICS? ‘’ OUR FATHERS OR OURS ’’?It was the greatest of time , it was the steepest of time, it was the time when there were many laws ,customs ,rules and regulations constituting the ethics and moral code of African communities, and any breech of these laws is tagged evil with its associated consequences. At eventide, children settled into a cow-dung floor to listen to tales of yesteryears with rapt attention .It was time when eating rice was reserved for special occasions and chicken’s heads were pivoted and their feathers puffed for the nouveau-riche. Today, we have all sorts of delicacies available at the snap of a hand. Millions of people are in search of Microwave foods, no one wants to soil his hand anymore. Thankfully, we have the likes of The Domino pizza, MacDonald, SweetSensation, Justrites, Ceci, shoprites and so on. One of my classmates and also my neighbour confessed to me that decades ago, her uncle caught a boy toasting her sister behind their house. ‘’I was listening to her with rapt attention when a baritone voice barked behind my back. Awwal, what are you doing there? The whole of my frame quivered and turned pale. I felt as if the floor tilting beneath my feet.’’ I was nostalgically short of words. Today, the 21st century girls and boys will not only saunter like a gale but the toasting can happen right in her father’s abode. But a question remained in my mind ‘’ what changed? Civilization. We human of now-a-days have embraced civilization and allowed it to tame our culture, ethics, and moral value. It has caged and still hovered like an angry vulture. Our value system the pivot of thriving nations that was built is crumbling. Our educational, health, financial and social structures are critically ill. If we go back to the 1950s the golden age of politeness though some of us weren’t there including I, but heard the common denominator is strict adherence to moral ethics. Today, my dear readers, the common courtesies are practically becoming extinct. There is persistent loss of moral compass across the society; this is evident in the people’s participation in various economic activicties.The desire to make money is pursued at the expense of morality. In the media houses; you see ethical caveat displayed for the public; ‘’we the noble newspaper do not demand or accept gifts or gratification to publish articles or photographs. Therefore we implore the general public not to offer any to our journalist. Why? Because the management of the newspaper knows there are some bad elements among them who will accept gratification from individual before rendering service. In the education sector, corruption is a serious affliction that under-mines the quality of students produced. Teachers collect money from students to upgrade his or her scores. Parents registered their children to miracle centers where greater numbers of candidates make great results by hook or by crook. When he or she gains admission into the university, paying in cash or kind continues in an endless loop. The recent sex for grades comes to mind, BBCAfrica Eye sent under cover journalist posing as students inside the University of Lagos and the University of Ghana. The evidences gathered shows female students are sexually harassed periodically. Artisans like mechanic technician swap good tire with bad ones within a twinkle of an eye, they devise other ways to milk the golden goose from fuel injectors to alternators to other motor parts of the vehicles. The fruit sellers in the market are also not exempted in a way they deploy all means to increase their profit margin. Some deploy calcium carbide to ripen fruits quickly while others use an insecticide called sniper to preserve their commodities not minding the effect to human consumption. In the middle of the sea of immorality in the 21st century, church is not left out; a church usher has been caught on video camera palming offering money in the counting room and putting it in his coat pocket. Similarly, the pastor who created a bogus miracle to deceive the audience in order to gain more congregations is not helping himself. You are welcome to the loop of bribe, where nothing gets done until the right palm is greased with the right amount. Nevertheless, the so called Alfas or shehu who propagate to his pocket not Islam are not left out, who are those to correct all these aforementioned atrocities? Or haven’t you witnessed a situation where by some religious leaders were caught with human heads dangling with blood in a polythene nylon or sack? Or in a position whereby some impatient human asked them for success rituals which entails devilish acts and processes? Who are those to negate all these atrocities? But they i.e. the so called religious leaders encourage them because it favoured their unsatisfied pocket; building and owning the best cars and mansions all over the nation with not a petty job of their own.Corrupt policemen palm bribe like a kid grips a candy. Sometimes they pick a proxy who collects the bribe on their behalf. Who are those to lead by example? But ’’law makers law breakers’’. For political corruption, it is a common place where government officials use their office for illegal private gain. At this juncture, I remember a book we read during our secondary school days titled ‘’ Harvest of corruption’’. It varies and it starts from bribery, extortion and diversion. Heaps of cash had moved beyond and had refused to reside in Africa for her development. Corruption has eaten deep in our society and the fabric is turning to shred. Let us look at a practical example of what happened in the city not too long ago, I felt crushed when I saw an elderly man in crutches scrambling for space to sit in a public bus to make room for his stiff leg. Unfortunately he was supposed to get sympathy from the guy who sat in the front seat which the legroom he needed to put his leg to feel comfortable but he didn’t, the guy just continued staring at him as if he was a puppet. I marveled, shocked, a tug of guilt pricked my heart. In reminiscence of the past, and I asked rhetorically, what happened to the ethics of respect forr elders? What happened to the ethics of respect for parents? What happened to those signs urging people to give up their seat to the disabled? Where is the empathy to the time of yore? Where is the integrity of the past? I shook my head; all these are fading and are leaving a gaping hole in our society. How can we bequeath a more united and prosperous country to our future generations? But where do we get all these wrong? Some blame it on parents who have no time to instill these essential morals and values in their children, the leaders of tomorrow, rather they are in pursuit for money. Is that how they i.e. today’s parents were trained by their parents too? Or we should lay the blame at the door of civilization?But Oxford advanced learner’s dictionary by A.S Hornby defines civilization as a state of human society that is very developed and organized. The Oxford dictionary did not define civilization as a moral decay, promiscuity, and drug addiction, the rape of the environment, the profligacy with resources and our failure to right the inequalities of wealth. It is still largely a mystery how some people in the society are blind to unethical behaviors and may even unknowingly encourage it. People don’t even give a burg to bother themselves on seeing unethical behaviors in the society, but deep down in our hearts we want change, we want prosperous life with no hindrances.A child who starts telling lies and then left uncorrected will eventually become a thief, then graduate to a robber if left alone during his or her childhood without proper ethic measures and precautions taken. May be the very prominent social vices such as fraud, kidnapping, abductions and so on could have been forgotten if necessary precautions were imbibed because all those aforementioned crises start from somewhere. A robber can’t start using the gun the very first day, a kidnapper can’t just abduct a person without strategies, all grow like a plant. Therefore, if an unwanted plant has to be cleared, it should be uprooted not cut before it grows stronger and bigger every blessed day. The fading moral and ethical fabric of society has continually dwindled in pursuit of wealth. It is like a rope crossed and tangled in all directions. I hope in no distant future, we can begin to see some of these fading ethics come back to life and don’t have to see it loom to extinction. A change starts with you and I, let’s forget all sorts of diversities and unite for change in our locality so that we all can overcome present crises. In conclusion, let’s put all our affairs upon the creator of all. He eases all affairs. Nothing is impossible for Him. May He ease all our endeavours.

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