By Goodluck Edafe

RIVETHICS is a character-building and public enlightenment radio programme of Justice Suzzette Eberechi Wike, wife of Rivers State Governor Nyesom Wike. It runs on five radio stations across the Niger Delta.. Mrs. Wike’s RivEthics, launched on May 27, 2016, is similar in intention to President Muhammadu Buhari’s national re-orientation programme”Change Begins With Me”. Her Excellency is seemingly worried about the state of affairs and desires to reposition the moral consciousness, operational philosophy and work attitude of the people to promote a better rivers state. She desires that Rivers State be known for good behaviour and work attitude that guarantee material prosperity, mutual respect and peaceful co-existence. Yes, she desires a way of life – honesty in business, faithfulness in service, character in relationships. Her Excellency has a lot of work to do. For sure, her RivEthics could not have come at a better time than now – a time when our country is losing everything. We are losing a sense of moral and good dressing habit. We are losing community life of love and care for one another. We are losing discipline,work culture and good governance,sense of contentment and commitment to genuine wealth acquisition. Enmity and hatred,kidnapping, militancy, robbery, vandalism, child-trafficking, election rigging, judicial manipulation, exam-malpractices, sexual immorality among children,under-age marriages leading to frequent cases of VVM have all strangely become our cherished way of life .Public servants can now steal public fund without a pinch of conscience and fear of God. People can now kill and raise down a whole community to ashes with an air of pride. Our society has become so mindless and self-destructive. Our walls of ethics and good morals of the 70s and 80s have fallen down.

Wife of the Rivers State Governor, Justice Eberechi Suzzette Nyesom-Wike with children at the Port Harcourt Children Home during her pre-independence charity visit on Friday.

There is no doubt that all our character molding institutions have collapsed. It is common nowadays for family units – father and mother which form a fundamental part in children upbringing to stay out into dark night pursuing Naira and Kobo. For desires of material wealth acquisition, families no longer attend to the moral and civic needs of their children. They deny them not just necessary home care but moral grooming which is the first principle of God to all parents. The schools have also failed. Moral and civic impartation no longer forms part of academic exercise. Today, a secondary schoolchild for example, can be very good say in Mathematics yet that same child can be morally empty and without an iota of civic awareness. The teachers have their excuses. Insufficient and irregular salary payment justifies their poor attitude to work and general lack of interest in the wholesome discharge of their duties. Need I mention the National Orientation Agency (NOA)? It is seemingly lacking in idea of what to say to Nigerians in an era of crazy looting, moral deficiency and political laceration of the soul of our country. But in all this, the church has become the biggest culprit. Messages from today’s alters are highly worrisome. Contrary to Jesus messages of love and forgiveness for enemies,our ‘Men of God’ say, “The enemy must die by fire”. They become promoters of hatred for perceived enemies. They tell even the lazy that enemies are behind their poverty and woes thus in creasing the tendency for vengeance and repay of evil with evil. To the corrupt and emergency millionaires, they say God is blessing them. This is ungodliness.

Evidently, Christianity has teachings that could create the most harmonious, well-behaved, loving and very productive Nigerian state. Sadly, the preachers have deviated and are imparting new spirits – spirits of materialism, vengeance and endless war of ‘Holy Ghost fire’ against imaginary witches and wizards. The focus is no longer on building a morally conscious and God fearing society but of prospering in unrighteousness. This is not the Christianity Jesus died for or our inherited principle of communal living. Apostle Paul once told the Thessalonians, “If anyone will not work,neither shall he eat”. Food is a reward from hard work.

Mrs. Wike’s crusade is understandable. Every good mother is normally concerned about the moral state of her children and the kind of future she wants them to lead .Fortunately, several First Ladies have come up with pet programmes yet of all,Mrs. Wike’s rivEthics is most thoughtful, outstanding and frontal to the social issues bedeviling our society. Instead of sharing political wrappers and cups of garri that fades away in due season, she shares knowledge and wisdom for success and grooms the minds to appreciate humanity, hard work and need for a better society – constantly educating them on the disadvantages of carrying anti-social behaviours. RivEthics has taught on radio, “Basic etiquette”, “Secret of successful Business”, “Need for true love” “Benefits of environmental protection”, “Religious Tolerance”, etc. I applaud Her Excellency for her good work.

  • Edafe is a Port Harcourt based journalist and frontline member of the Campaign for Social Justice and Constitutional Democracy.



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