“We are but the atoms in the incessant human struggle towards the light that shines in darkness” – Emma Goldman
Beaten by poverty, haunted by the decadence of morals, we have increasingly found ourselves unable to make moral choices, too ineffectual to recognize what is wrong or right and at the extreme, we roll with a culture that promotes accountability free zone, at private and public lives. With a sealed mind, we have destroyed guilt image processors and shamelessly proudly validate what ordinarily should be morally repellant to a decent society.
A society that can no longer draw moral lines has entered a breath gasping trough of dastardly death. Where walls of morals collapse, the bridge of law usually caves in, leaving justice sunk in a mire of muddled waters.
In private and public spaces, Nigeria is being turned into a neighbourhood of chaos, with neither norms nor standards to guide an individual or corporate behaviour. She has become a burial ground of morals. A tragic state of anomie has emerged. Might is right! Bubu is always right- and Obi can never be wrong- the crowd are everywhere you go!
Yes, it is true! Obi Cubana buried his mother in Oba with anthills of Dollar and Naira obscenely displayed but then, legislators in the National Assembly are burying the country every day with loots from the immoral and illegal constituency projects that have become their own cesspools.
What is the difference between Obi Cubana and the President who borrowed money on behalf of Nigeria and Nigerians only to deploy the loan to build a railway line to Maradi in the Niger Republic? It does not even shock us again that a President that was elected to put in place robust health care facilities for the country has the audacity to be receiving health care from another country. What could be more Cubana? Yet, you have some characters defending him with the baseless excuse that he has been using the Doctors for decades.
Do they even realize that leadership is a sacrifice? What if his Doctors in the United Kingdom died? We defend shit too much in this country.
On a private or public level, we are as lawless as immoral! We are as unaccountable as irresponsible! We are as insensitive as irresponsive! Over the years, we have built a culture of insensitive irresponsive and unaccountable leadership as well as that of irresponsible followership! Just as some people are shamelessly defending monumental governmental failure, many, whose tool of view is ethnic lens are unreasonably justifying the offensive bizarre bazaar that took place in Oba.
Those who focus on the enjoyment of fruits of labour while ignoring the psychological dimensions and the consequences of ostentatious lifestyle, the damage it does to the psyche and mind of the weak and poor in society may not understand the weight of its cost to society. Obi Invictus told the story of his kidding financial wizardry too. We hailed him. We celebrated his astonishing success and projected him as an example of hardworking youth that fitted into the model of a new improved Nigerian smart financial genius.
Today, he is languishing in an American prison for multiple and serial credit card frauds. Woe betides a people who do not ask the right questions at right time! Mammoth worshipping, Hushpuppy hailing people without basic training on how unsavoury fiduciary private and public conduct breed criminals, reinforces crime culture and exacerbates violence are everywhere affirming ‘it is his money logic. People that don’t ask deep questions hardly find answers to weightier issues of life that imposes a burden for accountability on midday naked dancers! Everyone thought ‘Shigidi’ was a god until it bathed in rainwater.
No institution or person should be free from the scrutiny of laws and morals that society adopts. Each time a person deviates from what looks like a normal pathway, he sends forth a ripple. It is the duty of people to unriddle the ripple, to save society from unnecessary moral conflict and rescue her people from lethargic apathy toward common concerns for neighbour’s love or actions that diminish humanity! Moderation is preached, not because society wants to rob wealthy people of access to luxury but to maintain and sustain societal sanity.
Every action has unintended consequences. Ostentatious display of wealth, even legitimate wealth of one
can lead to the suicide of another. Also, avaricious displays of one can push another into crime. So, being your brother’s keepers is not about the tangible assistance offered; it is more about the conscious sacrifice you make to support his or her sanity, Albeit, through the intangible offering of hope that does not task his feeble mental health and capacity to cope with burden whose stressor is principally poverty! No society can afford the excesses of those who deliberately set tables of temptation for its vast population of the poor to feast on!
An obscenely reckless lifestyle enables criminality and drives crime. Cubana and gang are tragic quadrants in that equation. It doesn’t matter whether the monies are legitimately made or not.
No society deserves to be afflicted with insensitive irresponsible avaricious insanity; more so, a society whose people are encumbered with inequality propelled the psycho-economic burden of unjust poverty.
There is no nice way of saying that they are derelict in their responsibility to society by recklessly promoting tempting ostentation, as evidence of wealth, in an impoverished society that has been ranked as the global parish of the poor! If we fail in making people responsible in the private sphere, we cannot succeed in making those in the public sphere accountable. We must be able to set benchmarks for accountability.
We must be able to tell those that are celebrating the acquisition of Super Tucano Jets as an almighty formula for war-winning, that a Super Tucano is a Dane gun in the hands of an unwilling State; and that a Dane gun is a Super Tucano in the hands of a willing state.
How do we confront irresponsible cruel rulers who forced children in all nooks and crannies of Nigeria to obtain NIN at the height of the virulent COVID as a condition to register for GCE, NECO and JAMB online only for them to now say ‘NO’ to Electronic Transfer of Election results if we don’t stand on solid moral ground?
We must as a people put an end to speculation about where we stand on the issue of morals, law and justice. We cannot afford to trade off decency. That is the heartbeat of humanity. It is simple sociology of sanity to demand moderation, decency and justice from whoever is on a seat at every sphere; be it Obi Cubana or Bubu Cubana!
Gbenro Olajuyigbe is the Executive Director of Emergency & Risk Alert Initiative.