“The causes of moral decadence in our societies are numerous and parenting, which has to do with economic effect taking parents away from home for a longer period and not being able to look back to check on the children coupled with societal neglect among other factors are the major reasons.
Ignorance, poverty, and lack of moral values have been identified as the factors contributing to the high moral decadence prevalent in Nigerian societies at large and among the youths mostly’ – words of Pharm. Hajia Modupeola Bankole, wife of the Ogun State Commissioner of Police at an interview recently.
While granting our correspondent an interview, Hajia Bankole, an invitee as the Distinguished Guest of honour at the Adelaja Adenuga Foundation End of the Year One Day Program scheduled to hold at the Abigi Town hall, Ijebu waterside on Wednesday 28th December 2022 added that: “the consequences of moral decadence has led to high rate of crime and criminality e.g cultism, drug abuse, thuggery, indecent dressing, prostitution, abortion, rape, lack of self-discipline, violence, and corruption. Moral decadence has lowered standards of moral behavior and created new but lower criteria for ethics and justice.
When we were much younger, you cannot see a child or even a youth holding a cigarette publicly – the reverse is the case now. Neighbours then can checkmate the kids of their neighbours which is no longer practiced now; it is now everyone for himself”.
“Putting it simply, people are no longer required to act morally or ethically. Society no longer expects its members to preserve their commitment to the very basic moral norm.’’
The management team of the Adelaja Adenuga Foundation (AAF), a community-based nongovernmental organization saddled with numerous community development programmes and projects has concluded arrangements and plans to stretch out arms of support to indigenous people of Abigi and environs with medical tests such as eye tests, vision screening, presentation of free medical glasses, free drugs on malaria, high blood pressure, cough and so on and end of the year gifts of food materials to the elderly in their hundreds.
As part of the program, the teeming populace of Ijebu waterside would also be sensitized during the one day End of the Year community empowerment program on the need to promote the cultural heritage of the Ijebu Waterside and ijebu generally, foster and promote unity, the good relationship among the community members; use the gathering to campaign against drug misuse, drug abuse, cultism, indecent dressing and all forms of social vices among secondary school students and youths at the community level; encourage peaceful coexistence, mutual understanding, and harmonious living together at the community level, all to empower the youths and community members to make them responsible community members.
On the consequences of immoral behavior, Hajia Bankole emphasized that Immorality causes a bad influence on other members of society. She frowned at factors like a good name not being meaningful to society members unlike when she was younger when the word “Remember the son/daughter of whom you are’’ has weight.
She felt that we need to go back to the basics and retrace our steps and uphold our moral values, then there is bound to be a change. Drastic change.
To her, this will curb crime and criminality to the lowest ebb since those vices affect society relationally like untimely death, abortion, school dropout, and depression with other issues like heaviness coming upon the person without considering his readiness and maturity to receive the consequences.
To Hajia Bankole, we all have sincere roles to play to have changed society. “The parents, the schools, religious bodies, the society at large, and so on. It should be everybody’s problem. I appreciate the Yoruba customs of using proverbs such as “Ise ni Ogun is” meaning that work is the antidote for poverty, that hard and smart work brings success which is the truth. Also “you iwa re ore mi,” meaning maintain your character, my friend. Some youth now under 20 years want to use expensive cars without working for them while we believe that a good name is better than riches. Many of our youths don’t know the meaning of all these moral values.’’
The Ogun State Police Commissioner’s wife is full of appreciation for the management of the Adelaja Adenuga Foundation for promoting art and culture which is almost fading off stressing that other nongovernmental organization needs to follow suit and not leave the workload to the working NGOs and the government alone since the government can not do all alone.
Also on the debate in Ijebu, she felt that if some other localities could embrace this, our fading away norms, values and culture would bounce back and before you know would be revived.
Proferring a solution to the issue, Hajia was of the view that we need to re-orientate our youths mostly. The parents and elders in every community also have sincere roles to play. It is the responsibility of the parents to teach their children the ways and the words of God they believe in.
It is very obvious that we have lost quite a lot of our moral values over time but with seriousness and determination, we can start to regain them back gradually. All stakeholders from homes, churches, mosques and societal gatherings can start doing something about it to change the mindset of the children and the youths. And with time, the result is bound to happen.