As incidents of ritual killings spike across the country, a desperate search for solutions is prompting Nigerians to renew calls for effective national reorientation and inculcation of moral values to stop the growing list of victims from further rising. In this issue, Nigerians who spoke to our correspondents took parents, government, and religious organisations to task. Excerpts:
REV FR MARK ALAGI: First of all, we must look at their parental freedom. What kind of family background do these kids doing these come from? What are the moral, spiritual and psychological foundations in their backgrounds? How did they grow and what are the influential backups in these peoples’ lives? Who brought them up, who are their role model and what do they model their lives after? Is it get-rich-quick syndrome or the desperation to bring their people out of poverty? Is it craziness for material things? These are the things we must look at.
So, to stop this, you must have to first of all have a solid and a very strong family value system that ensures kids are taught that quick wealth is not the way out, that hard work pays. Secondly, there must be conscientization by the government. This means that the National Orientation Agency, NOA, should be up and doing in ensuring that all the Television programmes are censored by the board so that children will not be watching movies and programmes that has to do with quick wealth.
Again, all the internet fraud system should be checked to a maximum level. For this, the Government should also have in place a very strong and effective technical check system that dictates immediately when someone is going into fraud.
But generally, we must concientise our people to believe in hard work and that quick money does not pay.
People must also be made to realize the consequences of their actions, that in every action there is a consequence and you must take responsibilities for your actions. They must be made to know that whatever ritual they are doing, when it backfires, they will face the consequences. They must know that devil does not give free food.
REV PAUL OCHOMMA:
The first step is to catch them young. Right from birth, children should be taught to live rightly. They should be taught in a way that they know right from wrong. These days, most parents do not just care. They believe that whatever their children are doing, they are not part of it. They forget that when trouble comes, they would be seriously affected. Parents need to put in more efforts in training their children.
They need to monitor them to ensure they are doing the right things. These days, there is dearth of parental and guardian monitoring. People allow their children to do whatever they feel like and that is what is giving rise to what we are seeing. So, the family, or parents in particular, must do more right from the cradle. Government should create an avenue for youth interaction, sensitization, awareness creation, orientation and reorientation.
Some of the youth just need an advice, others a little support to help them overcome life challenges. Also, the church has a role to play here. Every child roaming the street is a member of one church or the other. The church can use its platform to always speak to the youths.
Of course, it is our society which harbours the superstitious belief, and communicates it to ignorant youths that human lives, blood or human organs used in money-making charms or rituals bring unlimited wealth. Nothing can be more absurd and misleading! With this absurdity deeply entrenched in the minds of our youths, we are in a deeper mess in this country than we realise because the most difficult ailments in the world are those lodged in the human minds.
Checking the worrisome trend of yahoo plus/ ritual killing for quick cash amongst our youth begins first, with the parents of these young ones. Parents are every child’s first teacher; or at least they should be, given the other trend of parents leaving their responsibility to nannies and teachers.
Parents have to start from the earliest stages of their children’s lives to instill discipline, the fear of God and respect for human lives, all backed up with prayers.
When a teacher in the classroom tells a child they are good for nothing, or a neighbour will not associate with another neighbour, because they are ‘beneath their status’, or worst, Parents expect their children in school to foot their bills at home how won’t anyone want to make it by all means? Even if that means is to kill another human being?
IFEANYI OKIKE: To check this worrisome trend of ritual money and yahoo plus, there is need for orientation of Nigerian youth to change their mindset. This orientation should capture the importance of hard work and resilience to a guaranteed success.
The Nigerian society has lost its values. It is important that the churches, mosques, schools continue to instill these norms, moral values on young people as this would shape how they see life generally.
Making education attractive: Government at all levels should ensure that education is made available and affordable to young people. Nigeria already has 10.3 million children who are out of school. An outrageous number. Government should focus on reducing this number and improving Nigeria’s educational standard.
GODWIN ABRAHAM: For me, it has to do with informal training of children from childhood. The level of decay in parental upbringing of children in our society today is alarming. You hardly see parents and guardians creating time to inculcate moral values into their children these days. Children are gifts from God, but it is also our responsibility to ensure they are brought up in a way that they would not become a nuisance to the society.
If a child comes from a reputable background with moral discipline, it would be very hard for him or her to be influenced by bad company of friends. You see these yahoo boys, majority of them are from wealthy backgrounds, yet they resort to all sorts of crimes. You then ask yourself, what are their motives for these atrocities? If the right training is given to them from childhood, they wouldn’t involve themselves in any unwholesome practice.
Again, authorities are not doing enough to checkmate and regulate the various software used to defraud people. Cases of ritual killing, hacking of bank accounts and other forms of crimes have been on the increase in the recent time.
BULUS USMAN: It amazes me how youths of these days define a successful life. A successful life is achieved through hard work. These days, lack of patience and desire to make quick cash and live a flamboyant lifestyle has made youth to resort to all forms of crimes. Well, the issue of ritual killing and kidnapping is something that needs urgent attention.
Government has been making efforts, through security agencies, to see to the end of these evils, yet it is still much with us. Nowhere is safe. Recently, a school proprietor in Kano state killed his pupil and buried her in a shallow grave within the school building.
Only God knows how many kids he killed in the past. For me, the solution to this ritual killing and other forms of crimes among youth, is for government to up their game on investigation and prosecution of anybody who is found guilty.