Nigerian society and Our Moral Dilemma

by Paul Ogwu Okwuchukwu

We face a serious moral dilemma that pervades all sectors of our national life. It appears that our sense of wrong and right has blurred to the extent that we cannot differentiate between the two. We seem to have lost the basic ingredient that serves as a guide towards the creation of an egalitarian society. We live in a society that encourages and glorifies lawbreakers. In addition, the society encourages the wrong more than it praises the good. To some extent, we seem not to know the difference between the two. This is applicable in all segments of the society from the family to the national level.

I doubt if there is any other society or country that parades the kind of religious affiliations, attachments and prophesising as the Nigerian society but we are found wanting in morals. A society where virtually everybody prophesises one form of religion to another in a rather addictive and fervent form but also will easily fail the basic tenet of human life. Religion is an industry .One of the largest in our land and it serves as one of the most patronising and biggest tools for control and manipulation of the population. Apart from its important role in the society and man’s quest for understanding and appreciating life, it is also widespread because of hardship and the absence of safety nets. In addition, governmental inadequacies in taking care of the basic things of life have pushed people to religious affiliation. Just like aprons, cloths and other human attachments are popular in Nigeria so also is the attachment and apostles of the different religious groups in our land. Are we really following the basic requirement set by the different religious groups and society? A requirement that specifies the issue of wrong or right, which is universals, or have we blurred the divide between wrong and right. A critical look at the way we the follower do things and also the way the leaders of some of the religious organisation conduct their affairs shows that we have left what is expected of even people that doesn’t prophesise any religion. We show this in the way we live our lives and what we do or fail to do in our everyday life.

We do not really need religion to know that lying, cheating, stealing ,embezzlement of public funds and other forms of basic morals are not only against the law of nature but against the law of God. Our moral dilemma extends to virtually everything we do in the society. In our society, people who steal and do illegitimate things to make money are given a pride of place. Rascals and lawbreakers are honoured and given titles both traditional and national.

We face a serious moral dilemma on what is acceptable and what is not. We witness the current happening in the land when a ruling party throws a lavish party for one of theirs after a brief sojourn from prison for the misappropriation of billions of naira while our prison are filled with those awaiting trial for petty crimes and offence. We are all witness to the callous and exorbitant ways our office holders display their ill-gotten wealth in Nigeria. It seems crime pays and pays big time in Nigeria. A poor man steals and he is branded a thief and a big man steals and he is called a chief and given national honours. The level of impunity by our big men would never allow us to progress if we have different laws and different moral standard for every body.

The family system in Nigeria and cultural upbringing that discourages moral laxity has been destroyed . We now live in a society where some of the parents and the society through their action or inaction encourage her sons and daughters to engage in acts of illegality on the guise of meeting the expectation of the family members and the society. We are now in a society that seems to have lost its moral compass and accepts all forms of behaviours. We live in a society that unknowingly encourages her citizenry to commit acts that are inimical to the growth and development of the society. What is acceptable in Nigeria cannot be acceptable in a sane society.

We encounter this moral burden in the following ways: A society where the family values no longer matters. A society that encourages and does not question the source of wealth of an individual but exults and worships the individual. A society that lives in and believes in falsehood and deception. A society that breeds individuals that have no conscious and only thinks of personal gain. A society that its leaders appropriate the collective wealth and its citizenry will question you if you fail to participate in the act of embezzlement. A society that religious leaders and moral authorities refuse to question its follows who are leaders but indirectly encourages them and gives them the front seats. A society that her followers accept rascals and thieves in addition encourages her leaders to steal from the commonwealth. A society where the followers who castigate the leaders waits for their own turn to continue with the culture of impunity. A society that seems to have lost the sense of right and wrong. A society that throws party for somebody that went to prison for embezzling and stealing from the common purse. A society that punishes people who steal money for survival but venerates those that loot and take to other countries. A society whose citizenry engage in armed robbery .419, rituals and other vices go to God to aid and assist them to engage in such an act. A society whose leaders go to places of worship and professes to worship God but turns around to engage in acts that even the devil will think twice before engaging in. A society where the religious leaders assume the status of God but acts lives like mammon. A society where most individual and citizenry claims to be more religious than the founders of the religion but fails the least test of ethics and minimum human standard of living.

We are indeed in a moral dilemma and needs to change and transform our sense of wrong and right.

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1 comment

geeborlah March 29, 2011 - 6:11 am

the article has really shown the moral problems in nigeria


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