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When A Society Loses Its Values…

God bless my Mama’s soul.

Growing up, my mum will question any new material she finds with or on you. Woe betide you if you are unable to explain, rationally, logically and truthfully how you came by the item. I left home at the age of 23, and until I got married at the age of 36, any expense of mine (even on the family) that is not in line with my parent’s knowledge of my financial ability had to be thoroughly explained. For instance, in 2004 when circumstances dictated that my brother and I replace the car my parents were using, I had to show both of them documentation of how we took a loan in the United Kingdom to cover the cost of purchasing, shipping and clearing the vehicle, as well as the laid out plan for repaying the loan.

March 2017, we had just completed the public presentation of my father’s autobiography. Guests were gone and it was very late. We were having a discussion when my dad changed the course and the following dialogue ensued:

Dad: Omo (My Child), thank you so much for all you have done to make today’s event a success. However, please do not be annoyed. I wish to know how you have been able to meet the various obligations financially, including the organisation of today’s event, given the challenges you have faced in the last 18 months which I am partly aware of?
Me: Dad, it is true times have been challenging. Nevertheless, God has been our sufficiency. As I have always told you (and Mum before she passed away), God has a way of making interim provisions which I can refund later, apart from surrounding me with men and women who would gladly fill the gap in many ways until I can do so. In regards to today’s event, the cost of printing the books was from my credit card which I will pay back from sale proceeds. As you know, Seyi in his usual magnanimous way brought most of the books to Nigeria at his own expense. ‘Uncle A’ gladly gave me a loan to cover the arrangements for hall as well as entertainment which I would refund from today’s sale. That is why the unit price was fixed to cover all our expenses, and not for any profit to be made.

Those who know my parents very well will attest to the stuff they are made of when it comes to discipline. Their strong-handedness in bringing up their children and wards was complemented by that of many non-biological parents, uncles and aunts. Until recently, there was no time I visit my father, retired Justice Bolarinwa Babalakin, that on my departure, he will not remind me ‘Ranti omo eni ti iwo nse. Oruko rere o san ju wura ati fadaka lo”.

When a society loses its moral values, anarchy will set in and places of reverence will get desecrated.

Against the backdrop of the sad and tragic incident in Ozubulu where innocent people lost their lives because so called ‘men’ of God could not stand for the truth by rejecting gifts of questionable means, where did we lose it as a society?

What is our pathway back to the ethical and cultural fabrics that once held our humanity as Nigerians together?


  1. Hmmm…..Mama Ojeleye, Our Sunday school teacher. I will never forget how she handled us when we were young. She will asked us question and beginning to call us one by one by our father’s name…..
    And you have no option than to prepare when is mama’s turn to handle the Sunday school. They indeed lay a solid foundation.

  2. Kunle, thank you very much for this post. To those who may doubt the authenticity of your submission, I hereby state that your piece is truly factual and not a fiction. If all people live the life of PA Ojeleye, life will not be like this. Apart from the reference of Kunle to PA Ojeleye being a man of integrity who would want things take normal course without short cuts, those of us who passed through him as our teacher will confirm that he stands by people that are straight forward. Excerpts from his Autobiography will confirm this. Kunle should please use all available means to get the book heavily publicised as it will serve as a standard reference material for those who believe in HONEST LIFE WITHOUT CUTTING CORNERS.
    Back to Ozobulu tragedy, the issue further reminds us of decadence in our society and hero worshipping of people of questionable character. Let us examine these points and ask questions.
    Firstly this young man of 29 years built the multimillion ultra modern Church in honour of his late mother. What type of business is he into in South Africa? Has there been any background or security check on him and people like him whose wealth cannot be traced to any verifiable business but just HUSTLING? It was reported that His Excellency the Governor of Anambra State commissioned the church! One can imagine the magnitude of funds put into this commissioning which could take the ever busy Governor from Awka to Ozobulu that day! It must have been a big day for the people in the community who daily struggle to fetch their daily bread. Definitely there would have been free food and drinks to satisfy those who had been living in abject poverty. Moreover the 29 year old man was reported as A HIGH CHIEF!!! How come? Anyway this is the trend in every part of the country where we celebrate, eulogise, deify and worship people of questionable character. Armed robbers, kidnappers, ritualists and politicians who put heavy yoke on their people and sentence them to parpetual poverty by stealing their development funds are the HEROS of their communities. They are extremely CLOSE to their traditional rulers, religious leaders, community leaders and political leaders at the Federal, State and Local government levels. THEY HAVE LICENCE TO DO AND GET ANYTHING!! They are above the law. They literarily choose whatever they want and unquestionably get it because of their dubious wealth. Therefore there is no doubt that Ozobulu incident could come up anywhere in the country because such people are all over the place. To bring sanity to our society, moral values must be accorded strong recognition. A man who was known to be a begger few months ago but suddenly builds a mansion and rides a jeep should be questioned. A young boy who because of hard life escapes to Asia, Europe or America and within a year freely ships cars to his parents, builds mansions in his community should be watched. A street guy who escapes from the community but after some few months or years return with exotic cars, throws lavish parties and builds state of the art houses should be questioned.
    Are we ready to do these? The answer is likely to be NO NO NO!!!!
    Therefore the Ozobulu case is an evidence of moral decadence and celebration of evil in our society.

    • Thanks, Uncle. I really wish and pray we can trace our steps back to those days of valuing hardwork, integrity, honesty and transparency across the length and breadth of the nation called Nigeria.

  3. Kunle, each day i spend on the pulpit and even among Pastors like myself, i pray that He who owns the church should come quickly. The insatiable march of the materialist has taken over the Pulpit. No one pursues justice any longer. We pray that our own will not be the tale of ‘aso o ba Omoye mo, Omoye ti rin ihoho wo’ja’.

    • Amin o. It is sad, Sir. Majority of those that Jesus expect to be the light of the world are perpetuating darkness for worldly gains.

    • Abi. Have you heard where men of God will be talking about ordinary cars just procured by certain Pastor with scant regard to how the Pastor got the money for the purchase. Or giddying talk on the altar about the ‘new houses, the new cars, the new jets’ I just got attended by rapturous clappings and jumpings. And that passes for “sharing the word and being blessed”! Even church members are not left out of the celebration of such inanities that pass for modern day Christianity. The Lord shall soon come with vengeance on all!

  4. My mother will still ask my questions about my finances and on every kobo i give her till tomorrow. May God bless you dad sir and grant him more grace and long life. And all good parents who still value the old and time honoured values.

    • Amen, my brother. God will grant our parents long life to enjoy the fruits of their labour of love laced with the right moral upbringing.

    • Flash, most of our parents shared and exhibited the same values. That accounts for our inability to be naughty out of the earshot of our biological parents because someone else would take responsibility for punishing you as a surrogate father or mother.

  5. Kunle you inspired me. I respect your deep thoughts and expositions. To those preaching morality and integrity without practising them remember ‘ gongo a so lojo idajo ‘. Kunle, pls don’t starve us of your thoughts

  6. Overseer(Dr) j O O Ojeleye, A blessing to the church& Community, a stickler for the right standards. May the lord continue to make him a model for Us.

  7. This is the type of parents you find in old Ondo and old Oyo states then. Parents that wake you very early in the morning before you resume back at the University, to draw your ears with cautionary, discipline, and humility word dictions. Then cap it with the reminder that you are an ambassador of the great name they and their ancestors have laboured to build.
    I think that part marks the humble and kind nature we proceed activities with, even when we become successful. You just can’t be found showing off wealth without sense, nor will you ever want to be found wanting when it concerns credibility.

    • Haaa. Even if you want to forget their admonitions, the physical ‘drawing of the ear’ and its attendant pain is enough to remind you of what would obtain if you go astray. God bless them.

  8. The rot all of you are complaining about is every where local & International, all nooks & crannies…Fellow Nigerians, what should we do to get rid of it? Money! Money!! Money!!! Bribe!Bribe!! Bribe!!! Looting! Looter!! & the Looted!! All na money wahala! God help us!

  9. Your write up is the basic truth which is utterly missing in the society today. I can testify to the fact that Pa Ojeleye is an embodiment of strict discipline which he imparted into any ward that comes across him. He positively impacted lives, may he live long and in sound health. Most of us that grew up in that our great town had though and strict disciplinarian parents to whom we are greatful today. Materialism and worldliness has taken over many churches, while mamon seems to have replaced the real God to them. Part of the signs of the end time. God help us to hold our stand in Him.

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