by Afolayan Adebiyi

A lot of things have long since stopped either amusing or amazing me. I am not yet drained of emotions or passion. No. far from that. Only that I now rationalize issues vis-à-vis those concerned in a more dispassionate manner. No matter what the centripetal forces around me would say, I am a Nigerian, a deeply cultural person, regardless of any religious declarations. Our vibrant cultural dynamism is my verve. And gladly, I have since discovered that regardless of the open façade put on by many in this clime, many, if not the majority, are of the same boat as me.

I am not just flummoxed by whatever turn events or issues take. A sane person ought to anyway. I have followed with keen interest the tonnage of abuses always hauled at President Muhammadu Buhari at every slight opportunity by those who are ‘his grand-children and even ‘great-grand-children age mates. His marriage to late Safiyat, I am cocksure produced offspring far older than many of the legion of those raining unprintable abuses on him. This is a price the old man has to pay for leading this country at this testy time. But this is never part of our collective cultural bundle. Neither among the Yoruba people of the West or the largely Hausa/Fulani of the North will you see such rashness. And neither among the plethora of the several minorities’ sub-ethnic groupings. Even in the Eastern part where certain obeisance to the elderly is watered down, it is not part of the cultural synergy for the young ones to drag an elder in the mud. The age-grade groupings will see to straighten that.

We no longer deal in hypothetical analysis nor academic conjecturations. We now deal with the reality implanted in us now largely by the sudden explosion of unrestrained social media and foreign mores and values in our society. For whatever reasons we seem to be fast losing our moral values. Parents and guardians no longer bat an eyelid over children or wards engaging in direct negative vices. No, that one is long dead and buried. Any breakthrough through criminality is now a family celebration. Parents carry on with swagger of success. Others only envy him awaiting when their wards will come home to announce his own breakthrough.

Now not time for us to weep, neither is it time to lament the collective rot. Since we all have abandoned the mores and values of honesty and integrity to imbibe that of exigencies of time. Since we have desolated all traditional and cultural institutions to log into the fluid culture of social media, we need not weep further.

It is not hyperbolic to state that our dear country is in turmoil today, culturally and socially. It is an irony. Because we are not supposed to be where we are. Politically, the proverbial cock did not crow at dawn. He too, just like much other nature’s promptings, has refused to obey the call of nature. Only that I refused to give up on the country’s ability to spring up like the Phoenix when least expected.

But certain issues arising in the country need to be properly synergized and analyzed before consigning into the trash bins. Mr. Jack of Twitter suddenly or by prompting, came across a post he considered genocidal on his social media platform. He promptly deleted it without questioning. No qualms. No issues on that. Mr. Jack has the right to set the rules for his platform. And if a particular tweet contravened rule number 4 of the platform, off it has to go.  But here the national security question and sovereignty of the highest office in our country come into the front burner.

Mr. Jack crudely tweeted in alerting us why @MBuhari’s tweet has to be removed: ‘@MBuhari, I do not know who you are or which country you lead’.  To me, this is crude and rude. This is too insulting to the exalted position of the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, not the occupier of the office. To me, this is a collective insult upon all of us, no matter one’s opinion on the view expressed in the @MBuhari’s tweet. A lot of divergent views and opinions have been raised on the issue. I am not ready to jump into the fray. I only want to look at the arrogance of Mr. Jack while addressing our leader and our country. And if taking into cognizance that Twitter has over 40 million Nigerians registered in its handle. This is not our culture, but the social media culture. I am not going to dwell on the appropriateness or otherwise of Mr. President’s tweet. It is the direct assault on the national security and the derogatory reference exalted office of the President that border me. If the Mr. Jack of Twitter does not know which country @MBuhari leads, then the millions of Nigerians on that platform are vain and inconsequential to Mr. Jack. Recalled he has done that to Pastor Chris Oyakilome in the past. He later apologized though when the pastor tried to pull his members off the platform.

The advent of social media, for all its good points, is largely responsible for the corrosion of moral values and mores. The other time, a Second Class Oba in Ogun State was arrested for internet fraud. He had met a lady on Facebook. He started a love scamming game. He ended up scamming the naïve lady over a hundred million naira. I doubt if Ogun State Government has done anything about the case to date.

How would that particular government anyway? Mr. Abidemi Rufai is from the inner circle of that government. He is a big boy in Ijebu Ode social circle. He also lives big in the Lekki Peninsula area. A Senior Special Assistant to the Governor. He was recently picked up at the Chicago Airport, en route to Nigeria. He has scammed the United States government the sum of three hundred and fifty thousand dollars in employment scheme fraud. As we speak, he is cooling his feet in a prison home in the United States.

Abidemi Rufai is not alone in this odious scamming among the elites. Such escapades are veritable sources of political campaign funds, Nollywood industries, and other celebrity’ flamboyancies.

We are where we are now because we have sunk morally. No institution is immune from the slouch. In truth, this is a society of anything goes. A society that has exalted common criminals here and there. A society that has lost its cultural trajectory. A society that has lost its compass but now mirrors itself in hypothetical delusional imageries.

Afolayan Adebiyi, writes from Lagos, Nigeria.

Feferity Media Group (c), 2021

Images: Courtesy, Google.


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