Nigeria: A Season of Anomy


Pranksters and cardiovascular health
Patrick Iwelunmor

When society loses it moral values or relegates them to the background, the populace becomes disconnected from ethical reality and embraces strange systems that do not promise any good. This pattern has seen the deterioration of the psyche of many individuals, especially young people.

In Nigeria, there has been a steady bastardisation of morality to the extent that even government does not seem to be bothered about the negative consequences of this sad development. Psychopaths are emerging in their multitudes in Nigeria because values which should have prevented them have been eroded by governmental and parental irresponsibility.

In major cities like Lagos, Abuja, Onitsha, Port Harcourt and so on, extortion has been legitimised, with full government backing. In a place like Lagos, transporters go through the most hellish experience as they are made to part with their hard-earned monies in the name of levies. These levies are usually released under duress. Failure to comply leads to ruthless beating or what is now known as “wotowoto.”

No one is willing to answer the lingering questions. Why is government in connivance with street urchins making life difficult for transporters in a place like Lagos? Why are the local government authorities in Lagos looking away while traders encroach on motorways to sell their wares? Who are the individuals collecting levies from these traders at the expense of social order?

Understanding the Medical Humanities

Unfortunately, the allure of easy money has created a craze of impunity on Lagos roads from Ikotun to Oshodi. Men who should have channelled their energies into more honourable ventures have decided to live the rest of their lives collecting illegal tolls from motorists and transporters. Many are now abandoning their vocations to join these area boys on the roads.

Worse still, the Lagos State Traffic Management Authority (LASTMA) is almost becoming more of a problem than solution. Some of this agency’s officials are the most uncultured human beings you can ever meet on the face of the earth. In their worldview, mistakes are not allowed and there is nothing like a first offender. In fact, they sometimes set traps for motorists and once you fall, it is either you pay through your nose or you lose your vehicle. Where is the sanity in such a system? It may sound funny but it is true that LASTMA is one of the risk factors for cardiac arrest among Lagos motorists.

Substance Abuse and Reproductive Health

Nigeria, as it stands today, is on the verge of a cataclysmic mental revolution. Besides the rampaging hunger and unemployment, the national psyche is abnormally skewed towards collective nonchalance as every man is minding his business and thinking of what he and his family will eat. This attitude is one of the factors that have birthed the high incidences of drug abuse on many Nigerian streets. Most streets in Lagos have been converted to smoking joints where both the young and the old openly abuse drugs. In fact, in some families, parents and their children indulge in drug abuse together. Who then will serve as a redemptive role model for such a family?

The pursuit of filthy lucre has become better priced than the quest for sound education because Nigerian professors earn pittances while area boys parade stupendous wealth. Politicians use the same area boys to carry out electoral malpractices and so they continue to arm them with money and guns, whereas lecturers in Nigerian universities die of hunger. Some celebrity area boys have the capacity to employ many Nigerian professors and pay them mouth-watering remuneration because the ability to cause chaos and commotion has been monetised in the country.

Chaotic Transport Systems and Public Health

Internet fraud, also known as “Yahoo Yahoo” has been revolutionised. Today, it has a version called “Yahoo Plus”, which involves the use of human blood. Many parents do not care how their children make money as long as their unhealthy appetites are gratified. A society where money and other material attractions are prioritised over education will undoubtedly breed a careless and carefree generation of people whose very existence will pose serious threats to learning and scholarship. No wonder the quality of education in Nigeria has continued to wane ever since politicians, instead of reputable academics, have been saddled with the responsibility of managing the education ministry in the country.

Finally, in those days when the pen was truly mightier than the sword or the gun, journalism flourished as the most potent weapon against all forms of societal and governmental excesses. Today, journalists, with the exception of a very few, run after politicians for brown envelopes because their publishers cannot pay their salaries. Indeed, things have fallen apart and the centre can no longer hold!


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