The child is no longer the father of the man

William Wordsworth used the phrase ‘the child is the father to the man’, to admonish the society of his time, which implies that the formative stage of a child to a large extent determines his adulthood or what he becomes as a man. This buttresses the fact that children tend to retain their character, attitude, and values which they more often than not get from their parents.

In Nigeria, this phrase seems to depict our everyday life as we see our core values and virtues overtaken by vices and ungodly trends.

Children’s early socialisation starts from the home where a child is taught what is ideal and proper for daily relationships with others in society. A child is taught how to greet, dress, sit, etc. The value of honesty, faithfulness, hard work, trustworthiness, attitude toward money, among others is also inculcated in children at this early stage of growth.

Consequently, most times what we see in our children is a reflection of what we inputted in them. The monstrous acts and inhuman attitudes are seen in the country today are traceable to how the supposed parents of our homes and nation have nurtured the child.

Nigeria is morally bleeding today because the father of the child refused to teach him what is right and proper. And now the child is suddenly no longer the father of the man as there is bloodbath all over the land.

Early in January 2022, the Nigeria Police Force in Bayelsa State paraded three young boys Emomotiomi, 15 years, Perebi, 15 years, and Eke, 15 years who were caught in ritual and bloody acts.

The trio allegedly accosted one Comfort, a 13-year-old girl, hypnotised her, took her to an apartment where they reportedly cut her finger and sprinkled her blood on a mirror for ritual purposes.

The actions of these boys were not accidental, from plotting to execution, a hideous smattering of bestiality manifests as the young girl’s misfortune, and society’s just deserts. Yet, these boys are neither freaks nor social accidents; they are simply karma coming home to roost, in the words of Olatunji Ololade.

Recently the social media was bombarded with trending videos of yahoo boys stabbing girls probably seeking blood to appease their gods and the unfortunate girls had gullibly followed them to milk-free and easy money unmindful of the dangers inherent.

Remember the Dowen College incident how the young Sylvester Oromoni Jr, lost his life. Irrespective of who is at fault, what cannot be denied is the existence of cultism in our secondary schools. And these evil acts are fanned by the supposed father of the child.

Nigeria is gradually becoming a field for bloodbath and violence because homes have ceased to be moral training institutes. In the absence of a strong moral foundation, it becomes very easy for children to be corrupted by other institutions of the society such as schools, political parties, and quite ironically even religious institutions that have become fertile grounds for corruption.

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This failure is more pronounced in the political stage as violence has become the major criterion for success in political contests. Nigerian politics today epitomises the ‘Animal Farm’ syndrome where Napoleon fed fat the dogs just to use them to achieve his selfish goals.

The political godfathers have succeeded in creating rather a regrettable niche of liberalising the ‘Area Boys’ system just to meet their political goals. Almost all streets in Lagos today are under the invisible siege of the street boys.

We were at Ojuolegba –Surulere to drop some goods for our boss, and when he saw us, he pleaded with us not to bring out the goods because the street boys will descend on him, except he settles. And this is a common experience in many parts of Lagos because ‘baba’ endorses these serial criminal acts to enable him to achieve his goals.

It is quite unfortunate that those who are directing the affairs of the country have not shown any capacity to address the problem of moral decadence as they are part of the problem. Those we trusted with power are only accountable to those who rig them in or their godfathers.

Consequently, we have kings on the throne whose legs cannot touch the ground. A king whose feet are on the ground knows what is ideal for his people per time. Little wonder it is universally accepted that the man dies whose conscience is governed by another man.

The Magodo episode is a pointer to this fact. The godfathers in the affairs of Nigeria are raping the political philosophy that ought to give the citizens the befitting dividends of democracy.

Malami accused the southwest governors of having ulterior motives for questioning the rationale behind his action. Posterity for sure will prove who is right between the two parties. But who is Malami without the southwest kingmakers who brought the ruling party to power?

What we endorsed for our selfish interest is now haunting us rather very sore. Or how best would one explain the scenario between Okorocha and Uzodinma in Imo State. They are now enemies because the common enemy ‘Ihedioha’ is gone.

The time has come for the country to have a paradigm shift on who should be our leader. If we fail to do the right thing today, tomorrow it will haunt us.

Chile recently elected 35-year-old Gabriel Boric as their new president. Why would Nigerians still allow our grandfathers to be ruling us when the world has moved on with young brains who have what it takes to navigate the affairs of the 21st-century economy.

It is a universal truism that the youth population of any nation is pivotal to its development. The extent of development is inevitably dependent on how involved the youths are in the process.

Zambia has shown us the way. Chile has epitomised how to choose between old brains and young brains. Nigeria has no reason to remain static.

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