By Saviour Ekpe
When I see all sorts of things on the social media and in the society, I pity this present generation and that yet unborn. Aside pity, I shed silent tears because to say that the society is sick, is an understatement, it has degenerated to nothingness and this generation has been swallowed up with it. In this piece, Miss Joy Ufot Nkanang, a former student of the Akwa Ibom State University may be the scapegoat but permit me to delve into many areas and I will be tempted to mention some names where necessary, without any apology.
Moral decadence starts from home and degenerates to the general society and some parents are the architect of it. For instance, a parent whose child is schooling in one of the popular faith based/private secondary schools, Scripture Union International Secondary School in Uyo, the Akwa Ibom State capital went to that school and threatened to beat up a teacher for meting a minor discipline on his child upon the report by his child. Thank God for the principal of that school who said that any of such unwarranted attack on teachers of the school will mean the expulsion of such child from the school. What is the parent teaching the child?
In many professions today, moral decadence play out on a daily basis. In Journalism for instance, I have seen screaming headlines, “Udom is an armed robber”, “Nsima Ekere is a thief”, “Akpabio fingers treasury” among others. where does these things emanate, the home. It is a known fact that the Ex-president Goodluck Jonathan was castigated, cajouled, abused and called derogatory names even while diligently performing his duties as president.
There is no more respect for elders anymore. I have heard young people telling elderly people, “sit down there, you this old man (as if they will not or do not want to grow old). Others treat elderly people with disdain, ignore their opinion, discard instructions and openly rebuke elders and even leaders in public. Where are we heading for?
The issue of Joy Nkanang, a suspended student of the Akwa Ibom State University calling her Vice Chancellor, “foolish VC” is part of the society backwardness and retrogressive tendency. Who is foolish in this context, an empty student who went to school to acquire knowledge to become somebody in the future or a professor of repute?
A flip through some comments on the social media, I saw a true picture of a decayed society where morals are thrown to the waste bin and burnt to ashes while idiotic of nothingness is being celebrated with different nomenclatures and fantasies. It is sad to see my friend and celebrated Lawyer making comment to the whole world through his facebook wall: “ON THE AKSU SUSPENSION MATTER If the VCs of these days, were the administrators of the 80’s & early 90’s, some of us would have been drop (sic) outs today, as every time we agitated against the school’s anti students policies, we called the Vice Chancellors names and they never held it against us. Professor Fola Lasisi must have been a saint for accommodating our excesses, even when we held him to ransom, cutting out power, water and communication from his office. The suspension of Miss Nkanang by the Vice Chancellor of AKSU is a brut display of power and suppression of her right to hold and express her opinion. I wonder what he would have done if he were Gov. Udom who has been the butt of name callings and unsubstantiated allegations”.
It is true that the Nigerian constitution gives us freedom of expression, it was the President of Uganda, Robert Mugagbe that said, “there is freedom of expression but I cannot guarantee freedom after expression.”
In his submission on this matter, Elder NNamnso Umoren, a retired Permanent Secretary commented on the facebook, “These are weighty Devine words sent to the young in all generations of human society. Alas, this generation of the 21st century. Youth have chosen to observe more in the breach than in the observance. The social media is dense with slings and arrows of insults flung at superiors with careless abandon. I have read so many disgusting, insolence hauled at people in whose presence these youth should be humbled to tremble. The other day a student in an institution where she is expected to be nurtured in character and learning audaciously spat at her VC as ‘that foolish vc’ yet many shamelessly rose in her defense and condemnation of disciplinary action meted to her rather than scolded her and encouraged her to apologize. It is a shame to see those on whom future leadership of the society would be thrusted are rude, undisciplined and insensitive to social and spiritual norms and values”.
Thomas Tomas on his facebook thrilled his friends with the following puzzles, “You that is supporting Joy, do you know that university degrees are awarded to a student based on his/her CHARACTER AND LEARNING? Do you also know that Miss Joy had signed a Matriculation Register on oath with a clause that if she insults any of the university staff she should be expelled indefinitely? Even if you push her to go to court, she will not win the case…Morally, is it fair for a student to insult his/her teachers to the extent of describing them as “foolish”? Do you know that the University did not suspend her unilaterally, they consulted the STUDENTS UNION GOVERNMENT and other bodies in the University, and they all approved that she be suspended to go and have her moral lessons?…What kind of a society do we intend to build? I am against victimization, but I also hate to see our society sliding into moral decadence, therefore, I cannot advocate for a student who is morally debased…”.
The State Chairman of the Nigeria Union of Journalists, Elder Patrick Albert on a prayerful note said, “It’s unfortunate that social media is seen as equality platform. There are certain natural laws that can’t be altered by the trappings of modernity. We have to deepen our counseling in line with the words of the scriptures that wisdom is profitable to direct. May God help us”.
Social laws are good but they are subsumed by spiritual laws, which says in Ephesians 6:1-3(NKJV), “Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. “Honor your father and mother,” which is the first commandment with promise: “that it may be well with you and you may live long on the earth”. See how the Bible describes such actions in Jude vs 8(KJV), “Likewise also these filthy dreamers defile the flesh, despise dominion, and speak evil of dignities”. In 2 Peter 2:10 (KJV), “But chiefly them that walk after the flesh in the lust of uncleanness, and despise government. Presumptuous are they, selfwilled, they are not afraid to speak evil of dignities.
Certain behaviours, characters, attitudes and even life styles as posed today especially by our youngsters in the name of modernization and civilization are unAfrican in nature, we elders, parents, pastors, imams and others should help in the molding and remolding of these young ones and indeed, there must be cultural revival if we want to head on as a people, knowing fully well that all that glitters are not gold.