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eduregard essay contest 2017
12 Oct 2017

RED IS THE NEW BLACK

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     Few months ago, I met some guys who sat in the love garden in Rivers State University with their friends on a stone made bench,just talking,smoking and drinking. As I watched them, occasionally they giggled and used slangs I wasn’t familiar with. They didn’t seem aware of my presence and I could tell a bottle of whisky and cigarette they had placed on the table had their attention. My eyes ran through as though to unveil a mystery. I am not sure I was eavesdropping on the conversation they guys were having, they were just loud enough to be heard from where I stood.”I go hammer,I go hammer plenty money” the guy with the Red T-shirt  that had a bold inscription “Be the Reds” said and in something that sounded like a chorus all others replied ” We go hammer,We go hammer plenty”. With an expression of mockery on my face,I said in Igbo language “Rue ole mgbe” No work,No pay!!!
     This slang which means’i will make money and become successful seems to be on the lips of most idle people. Eric D.Thomas an American motivational speaker once said ” Everyone has a dream, but not everyone has a plan”. The desire to be successful and wealthy is not achieved by folding of hands and lazing about smoking and drinking. If you must become successful, you must be productive. One who fails to farm cannot fellow those who took their time to sow to harvest. In the late sixties down to nineties in Nigeria happened to be a period a philosopher described as solitary, brutish, nasty and short. Despite the social cleavages, people still maintained a sense of moral decorum. I recall periods in the nineties of how people dared never to smoke in public, for it appeared like a serious crime and shame. Dressing half naked was met with high criticism, while sexual immortality was not taken with kid gloves. Many always had it at the back of their minds that they must not forget the children of whom they were. Several acts of immortality were done in secret because doing it , obviously was a thing of shame for the individual and his immediate family.
      Gone are the days when morality and discipline used to be a virtue. We now live in a decadent society maybe because we now live in the so called global village. Daily stung by the effects of socio-globalization where many especially youths are either Facebooking,tweeting or using all brands of tablets, androids and iPhones. From the East to West with both South and North not left out,the societal morass paints a sorry situation on how our customs, traditions and culture are fast eroding and overtaken by so called western civilization. In as much as there is nothing wrong in borrowing from foreign culture or civilization, what I find difficult to understand is the way we have pushed decorum and common sense aside,perpetrating acts inimical to African culture sense and high moral ethics in the name of civilization. What stirs us in the face  today is a far cry to what it was in the past especially in the higher institutions. We care less about the kind of dress we put on whether it debases the very core of human nature or not.Most male and female students have turned into dogs whose sexual urges are displayed anywhere and everywhere. Lesbianism and homosexuality is now common within our youths. Ironically, even dogs these days are far better than many humans today with the sexual romp they display in public places. Hotels spring up every now and then with students patronizing them as if salvation exists there. In the school environment, hooligans, vagabonds and nonentities litter everywhere disturbing the peace of the students. At the slightest provocation, they unleash mayhem unprecedented violence in the school. Prostitution has become the order of the day and is highly fashionable. Cigarettes have almost become obsolete as marijuana and all brands of hard drugs are ingested daily and have taken centre stage. Alcohol with the highest percentage values are consumed by the youths and those who do not take them are usually seen as novice. Ex-rated films,immoral movies, shows and programs are displayed on our screens without regulatory agencies seemingly unable to censor them.
     Over the years,Cultisim has become the bastion of insecurity in many universities in Nigeria and has branched into the larger society. They come in different groupings, dressing codes and operational methods. Cult members hold their ace in many universities and have graduated into robbery, kidnapping and other social ills in the society. They intimidate both students and lecturers and instill fear as people are in awe of their presence. Today,members of these university cult groups have easy access to dangerous weapons. In all of these,it is becoming difficult for security agencies to infiltrate their folds as some of the security personnels were once staunch members of the group thereby making their arrest impossible. Not too long ago, a senior advocate of Nigeria was kidnapped. After his release,he told the world that his captors were university cult members. It is sad that students are found to be behind most kidnap cases.it is very worrisome. The question that needs to to be asked is, how did we get to this point,how did water enter the vegetable soup? What were the things we did not do or plan well in our school curriculum? Whose fault,is it the government, our parents, religious leaders or our society? There is rot in our social set up and this must be corrected. Suddenly,the police would want us to applaud for them just because of the arrest of one kidnapper as if that a abinitially isn’t their constitutional duty. How come,kidnapping   suddenly become the most Lucrative crime among our youths. The answer is not far fetched.Kidnapping is the singular easiest means of robbing a man a huge some of money without firing a bullet. Though violent, yet the captors go home with huge some of money most times without hurting the victims. There is no passing the bulk; our society is responsible for the decay we have suddenly found ourselves in. Take the case of the billionaire kidnapper  Chukwudubem Onwuamadike Evans; he was not living in space but among people. He goes to church and has friends. Who amongest those around him would say they do not have an inking of the type of work he does for a living. The responsibility of members of the public is very important in the fight against crime in our society. A clan that keeps quiet after seeing something and prefers to say nothing will face the consequences.
    I have a question for everyone, What happened to white and black? What is so special and fantastic about Red? Those things that we considered abominable and are the things we Brag about now and are proud of. Let’s consider black and white once again. Parents are supposed to be the first pointer towards a better society. They should stop busying themselves with pursue of needless things at the detriment of their wards. Simply because a parent wants to survive and must bring food on the table ,they put their children on the paths of danger. When a child has no parental care,he tends to become a social deviant and commits acts inimical to the society at large. The government too with its wanton act of kleptocracy,to-hell-with-the-people and i-don’t-give-a-damn attitude. Many Nigerias have appeared to be their own local government,forgetting their duties to home  and society. The Western culture we all struggle to imbibe has gotten us nowhere, but rather ,continues to destroy the social fabrics of our society. The Nigerian youths rather than being productive and serious with their studies are either Facebooking,tweeting their lives away or even watching football or seasonal films which teaches nothing but stagnation. Thee is no harm in having fun but how we do it with so much addition, forgetting we have a role to play for ourselves and the society as a whole. It then becomes a huge problem.
     The fact that no society develops with its youths playing their lives away. It is high time those responsible for proper upbringing of our children and our society starts thinking straight and ahead. Our society must be devoid of immorality and indiscipline and also wanton intake of foreign culture. The future social fabric of the Nigerian society is fast eroding and if something is not done to nip this I’ll on the bud,we all will have ourselves to blame. It should not be the wish of any nation to have more than half of its population suffering from paroxysm of immortality. It should not begin with us.

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