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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?