Life is most alluring, dynamic, and full of positives, only if the basic natural laws of nature are allowed to thrive. My burgeoning countryside village city, Esa Oke, presents one of those undying wonders of nature. One cannot stop falling in love with the town. Right now, I am sitting on the balcony of my family house, where I can soak myself in the confounding topography of this ancient town.
The European weather of this period; indeed, my Google weather indicator says Esa Oke is at 16 degrees centigrade presently. Here, my mind wandered back to my last week’s discourse. The rustic ambience of Esa Oke with the natural kindness of the people pushed my mind further. This is diametrically antithetical to the larger society’s red flag negativities.
Not that a Chidinnma Ojukwu might not be hiding her fangs under the bosom of her mother, after a wild escapade with a Micheal Ataga, or an Oluwatosin Adegoke prowling around conjecturing how to attack a ‘thus saith the Lord’ later days Prophet Isaiah.
I was still oscillating along on the wave of the descent to the dark alley of negativism in the country. By coincidence, the evergreen duet song of King Sunny Ade and Onyeka Onwenu ‘Wait for Me’ was cooling playing from the background. The LP waxed in 1997 still makes a lot of sense today. So, much for today’s music stars. Anyway, the music stars are part of the culture of negativism vast burgeoning in the land. The songs now lack content, lacks dignity, lack ingenuity, and creativity. Yet they droll over each other in producing time-bound songs that cannot last.
Back to the disturbing thought. I was still ruminating over the Onyeka’s song when suddenly, the images of Ifeoma the University of Benin’s student in the eye of the storm over a weird slaying came flooding through my mind. I had thought that Oluwatosin Adekoya surprised me by burning down the God of Truth Terbenancle. But I was more taken aback by the breaking the news of Ijeoma Ufoma’s reckless and irresponsible swagger. Ifeoma was a final year Microbiology student of the University of Benin, Benin City, South-South, Nigeria. She had just finished writing her last paper in the final year examinations and now decided to slay around the lurch campus in an unusual way. She quickly changed into a pre-designed top, with the inscription: ‘Aggressive Malpractices Has Taken Thus Far’. The young Oluwatosin had claimed frustration pushed him to burn the Church, due to chains of ‘deceit ‘and ‘fake prophesies’ but Ifeoma, may not have such an audacious excuse. While Oluwatosin is already cooling off his head in the safe confine of the facility of the Kiri Kiri Medium Security Correctional Centre, the University of Benin Senate has set up a committee on her conduct, and the university community waited with bated perspiration to hear the outcome. Sadly, the spurs to fall into negativity is quite alluring. Ifeoma might have concluded that she wanted to burst the social media with the weird inscription. She must have mulled the several thousand, if not millions of likes, loves and equally weird comments the picture would attract. That is the thinking of the youths of today; the mad desire to live a social life celebrity life.
Ifeoma may not be alone in this boat. Others of her ilk must have recoiled into their shells when the heat of Ifeoma’s misadventure hit them. But, in another breath, what if Ifeoma’s entire academic life has been paddling with malpractices? Some of us, either, as participant observers or otherwise, have seen a lot during entrance tests and other examinations in our primary and secondary schools to know better. I had been depressed seeing parents openly bribing officials at the National Common Entrance Examinations ground. More horribly, I have seen parents drooling all over the headmistress of a Command Children School, begging and offering just anything to secure admission for their infants. These are elementary level. But they sure matter a lot. And by the time they got to the level of School Certificate Examinations, be it West African School Certificate Examinations (WASCE) or the National Examinations Council (NECO), these toddlers would have been toughened in the tactics and strategies of outmaneuvering the system and by the time it comes to the turn of the Universities Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME) of the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB), all hell are usually let loose. By now they would have mastered the ropes and viciously attack the system. All manner of evil malpractices is unleashed on the system. The young lady, Ifeoma might not be joking sarcastically. And neither is she enjoying an innuendo laugh. But might actually be passing a message, a stark message, after all, she might though, she has totally crossed the Crocodile invested river. Anyway, she flaunted the insane inscription and should make to face the full consequence of her untoward behavior.
The nation is still not out of the shock of the billion naira millennia monumental wastage the errant ‘billionaire’ from Oba, Anambra State. South East, Nigeria unleashed on our collective psyche. Whatever the need for such outlandish crude display, should be allowed to remain in the inner closet of the Cubana guy. He has life, his style of living, and his money to burn. But that classy, unique, effervescent lady of songs, Onyeka Onwenu came out to simmer the raging fire. Ever since Onyeka popped up on the NTA Network in 1978 or thereabout, she has always been a class act. She oozes class, courage, and conviction, even in everything she does. Still hold on emotionally to her duet with King Sunny Ade on family planning to date. ‘Wait for me if you love me’, she bleated sonorously. She released a statement urging all concerned to take proper note that when she decamped from this hellish world to the world beyond, all rites must be in full sobriety, prayers, thanksgivings, and quietude. No more drama. Onyeka has said it all. The madness of 30 million naira casket should be banished to the back of our minds.
Curbing these negative activities seem to pose a dilemma to the nation. Applying the force of law or law enforcement agencies does not seem to be working. Therefore we need to fashion out a more radical, but creative approach in dealing with the emerging social misfits and perverts in our society. All societies have perverts. No society is immune from some overthinking citizens. Naturally, the religion pillar ought to be expected to hold the moral fiber of the society. But with the assault by Oluwatosin and many more people who have been frustrated these ‘the Lord says’ agents, this critical moral pillar has been weakened and is now ineffective. Mostly, a lot of people see them as entrepreneurs, and nothing more.
But still, the rise in anti-social behavior needs to be gauged. If an Obi Cubana could spend more than half a billion to bury his mother, then tomorrow what stops another money-miss-road spending a full billion? General Buba Marwa led National Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) has done wonders in his short time at the helm of affairs of the agency. Some interesting arrests and stoppings are being made. This is commendable. And so must the EFCC’s counterparts buckle up and rolled up their sleeves. Once all loopholes of free funds into the country are stifled, then tend to run riot with financial profligacy will be minimal.
we may not as a people stop other Oluwatosin in their tracks if they intend to burn down more churches or shrines, but the truth be told, the young man pushed himself to the Devil’s trap. The lady prophetess did not tie him and dragged him to her church. He went there voluntarily. The Ifeoma and her ilk are part of the larger problem facing our system. If allowed, the same system can deal with them. But would the powers that be allow such?
Afolayan Adebiyi, writes from Lagos, Nigeria
Feferity Media Group
Images: Courtesy Google Images.