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Opinions of Wednesday, 21 July 2021

Columnist: David Owaboye

Where went our values?

File photo of a Nigerian crowd File photo of a Nigerian crowd

This is a pertinent question that should be going on in the minds of anyone who knew this country up until the early 90’s. That was the period where the value system was up on every citizen’s mind.

That was the period where visiting a hospital was a big issue for most people due to the stench that exuded from the treatment of accident victims and other major injuries.

So, people didn’t really have the guts to withstand the stench let alone see the injuries. That same era, one seldom saw or tried to look at a corpse because of the fear and apprehension it brought around individuals then.

We were like “our brother’s keeper” as there were tribes but no tribalism; there were worship centres but no religious sentiments and nepotism was never a topic due to the fact that everyone saw themselves as brothers though from another mother.

The Igbo sang Hausa songs with ecstasy, the Yoruba sang Igbo songs with passion, and the same went with the Hausa and one seldom noticed any kind of sentiment from the three major tribes in the land. There was peaceful coexistence amongst us.

Today, everything has gone sour and there is no brotherly love any longer. What we see today are animosity and antagonism, no iota of compassion for one another and what have you. That has resulted into the endless bloodshed that has ravaged the entire nation.

Criminality has become a norm and corruption our robe. We are no longer safe in our own land. A land that was once the beautiful bride of Africa, and a haven for multinationals, has now become the “Sodom” of the moment as all manner of evil takes place without anyone blinking an eyelid.

Our values have gone south and anyone has the right to do whatever they want without minding whose ox is gored. Parents no longer care how their children make money, all they want is to be called “rich parents” irrespective of how and where the money comes from. Hence, there is absolute decay in the society from top to bottom.

Nigeria has gone from a “well-respected” country to a country treated with repugnance and our leaders seem not to care a jot or at least their body language shows so. We cannot afford to fold our hands and watch the country go from crescendo to diminishing returns as it has got to the level; we ask ourselves, how did we get here?