Nigeria: Where are the elders?

Nigeria: Where are the elders?

Asks Dupe Olaoye-Osinkolu

AJASIN 2It was calm before the storm. We once lived in a country where traditional rulers and elders held remote control of behavioural pattern.

Pre-1993 years, to many seemed the best for Nigeria in terms of elders’ intervention in democratic process. Elections rigging which has always been a part of our crude system was done with less impunity.

Most governors in that era treaded with caution. They viewed the few that went to the extreme as uninformed. Even if they are not mentioned in this piece for obvious reasons especially now that unity is no longer the watchword, we know governors and lawmakers that are best described as Looternors and Lawbreakers. Today, the norm is for the leaders to convert public funds to private use, steal more than enough to comfortably pocket the judiciary.

Where are the elders? They have suddenly become tin gods called Godfathers. They are having a field day amassing wealth. Before the glutonic craze, the elders played their roles of check and balances. Those were the days of ‘good name is better than gold.’ Nobody seems to care about family names again. When you are caught stealing in those days, the stigma permanently stays with your generations. Those were the days of, “Sorry son, you can’t marry from that family. It’s a family of thieves”. What do we have now? The family head would ask the young ones not to marry from the poor. “Do they have any senator in their family? How many houses has his father?” This is the new trend. Who bells the cat?

Should the elders go back to their roles of nation building and society cleansing, maybe our journey to a better Nigeria would start from there. It’s hightime we thought beyond the present and stopped dreaming of eating our cake and still having it.

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