By Vitus Adebija

When I read, see or hear about the activities of our youths, I feel sad and ask: where is their spirit of patriotism? Where is their sense of honesty and their moral consciences? Where is their burning love for humanity and their courage to stand for the truth? Where is their spirit of self sacrifice for the common good of all?

Many of our youths, the new generation of Nigerians especially, I am sorry to say have been exposed rather too early in their lives to the life of corruption, greed, laziness, avarice, desire for making quick money through devilish means as: human ritual, cyber fraud, trafficking in hard drugs, armed robbery, kidnapping and a host of other criminal tendencies associated to devil minded miscreants in the society.

The ways many of them are ready to mortgage their consciences and collect money to carry out criminal acts as assassination; or defraud their fellow human beings of their hard earned money; or carry out acts of thuggery; become sycophants and sing the praises of dubious and oppressive politicians and leaders in our society just to earn little money, beat my imagination! Where will these fraudulently accumulated evil money take them to? Do they still think about God’s judgment or life here after?

I often wonder if these evil tendencies can be associated to external influences heralded into our society via the media such as the the television; the social media, internet; or the break down of our cherished traditional value systems; broken homes etc.
However, I want to believe that the faults for these criminal acts cannot be entirely blamed on our youths.

Many of us adults have not been exemplary in our actions. We have not provided our youths good role models they so much desire to have. The way many elders in our society go about flouting their ill gotten wealth and inducing the youths to serve as agents of defrauding our society, leave much to be desired. The youths watch them and are forced to copy their nefarious activities. The result of this, is the increase in crime rate in our society.

Another cause of moral decadence in our society is the fact that many parents have slacked in their duties as parents to their children. They do not have time to train their children as they spend most of their time pursuing money. They become absentee parents; leaving their house helps to cater for their children. It is no surprise that such children grow up to be morally bankrupt since their parents had fail in their responsibilities to train them.

Again, many of our religious homes have not helped matters too. Many preachers fail to teach our youths the need to be honest, hardworking and have the fear of God and love of their neighbours. Rather, they engage in preaching prosperity – a rather easy way of making money without working hard. Such preachers give our young ones the impression that riches are there for the asking without making genuine efforts to earn them. The youths therefore crave to “hit it” not minding how they come by such wealth. What is more, the society celebrates such new arrivals without caring to know how they come by such stupendous wealth over night!

Sometimes too, our law enforcement agents assigned the duty of checking acts of criminality, renegade in their duties after receiving gratifications from criminals and their godfathers. Justice is perverted and criminals are not brought to book. This trend does not augur well for the society as many others are encouraged to take to crimes since those involved do so with impunity.

I wish to say that the time for our youths to arise and redeem themselves is now. They should stop blaming their elders for their present woes; and not only speak but act for themselves to save their country!

I will not be surprised at the avalanche of negative criticisms that will come from the youths on write-ups like mine that tend to address their misdemeanors or seek to talk to their consciences to grow! They (youths) are quick to dismiss such messages as mine as shifting blames on them; I am not bothered. The true just has to be said to bring about sanity in our society! May God give our youths the zeal to grow and be alive to their responsibilities. Amen.

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