Do We Still Have Elders In Nigeria?
There is a very popular saying in Edo language which literary means ‘#curse does not kill someone that has grandchildren’.
This saying originates from the fact that someone that had grown old enough to have grandchildren should be an elder. And as it is expected of elders, they should have some level of integrity and self-respect, which should keep them away from evil activities that attract curses and insults.
Being an elder back then makes you a fair and unbiased judge, and also it entrusts the reputation of being truthful on the person.
I can recall how it was a taboo to speak up against the opinion of an elder in a way that insinuates that the elder is lying. I still have a vivid picture of an incident that transpired in my secondary school days, when the school driver, an elderly man in his late sixties, gave a doctored report about one of my classmates, and the reaction from our principal when I tried to set the records straight.
“Are you saying baba (as he was fondly called), is lying?” He asked me. Out of courtesy, I could not answer ‘yes or no’, but deep inside me, I knew he was lying!
Over time, the decadence in the society is no longer seen only among the younger generations but also displayed by those that were supposed to set the yardstick.
With the return to democracy in Nigeria, there has been a steady decline in our morals as every election year takes us lower on the moral scale. Now I fear if there will be any shred of morality left after the next five election years, i.e, in twenty years from now.
The level at which men, old enough to be grandfathers, lie shamelessly and behave in manners youngsters would not behave, is a call for serious concern.
Take Edo state, for example, the shameful display men, who are leaders and elders in their own right at their various communities, act shamelessly and throw tantrums like children that were poorly trained, speaks so much of the future of morality in the land. It is even more worrisome because their foot soldiers who come on social media to defend these shameful acts are mostly my generation.
This makes it therefore difficult for me to turn a blind eye, as the possibility of their proteges to continue these disgraceful actions, scare the hell out of me, daily.
Going forward, we must learn to tell ourselves the truth. Else we might bring upon us the curse as stated by the preacher when he said; “#Woe to thee, O land, when thy king is a child, and thy princes eat in the morning”.
This nation cannot continue on this path, for the end, therefore, is doom.
We must collectively remind our elders and leaders of what is expected of them.
We can no longer continue to have #children as our leaders and elders.
Enough is enough.
We must look for the yardstick as x-rayed in #The_Portrait_Of_A_Revolutionary_Leader
IDEDE Oseyande, a graduate of the Federal University of Technology, Akure, is an unrepentant believer in the Nigeria project.
His concern for the actualisation of a prosperous nation and the continent, in general, is reflected in his written works.
He currently runs an online advocacy platform (www.socialwatchdog.ng) where he engages the government and the people.
Among his published works are ‘What is Left of What is Right?’, ‘The Portrait of a Revolutionary Leader’ and ‘Warri No Dey Carry Last’.
He is a guest writer for several blogs and his Attitudinal and Behavioral Coaching classes has transformed many lives.