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‘Nigeria’s woes caused by failure of family values’

Bishop (Dr.) Mike Okonkwo (left); winner of the Bishop Mike Okonkwo Essay Competition, Fadilah Saliu-Ahmed and lecturer, Fountain Heights Secondary School, Lagos, Mrs. Ngozi Okolie, during the 17th Bishop Mike Okonkwo Annual lecture, in Lagos. PHOTO: FEMI ADEBESIN-KUTI

Bishop (Dr.) Mike Okonkwo (left); winner of the Bishop Mike Okonkwo Essay Competition, Fadilah Saliu-Ahmed and lecturer, Fountain Heights Secondary School, Lagos, Mrs. Ngozi Okolie, during the 17th Bishop Mike Okonkwo Annual lecture, in Lagos. PHOTO: FEMI ADEBESIN-KUTI

“The Nigerian child of my generation has grown up seeing corrupt leaders being celebrated. He has learnt that all you need to have to be respected is wealth; no one cares how it was gotten. Hard work and discipline no longer mean much to him.”

The above quote culled from the winning essay of Fadilah Saliu-Ahmed from Zamani College, Kaduna State, jolted the audience who had gathered last week at the Muson Centre in Lagos for the 17th Mike Okonkwo annual lecture.

It set the mood for a scintillating discourse on the theme of the event, which is ‘The state of the Nigerian nation: Redefining our values,’ anchored by Chief Arthur Mbanefo, with Mr. Frank Nweke Jnr and Mr. Gbenga Sesan as speakers.

The annual lecture, instituted in 2000 as part of activities to mark the birthday of the Presiding Bishop of The Redeemed Evangelical Mission (TREM), Dr. Mike Okonkwo, has been the clergyman’s contribution to nation building. Each occasion has addressed and offered probable solutions to critical national issues.

This year, amid growing public distaste towards the avarice of the present crop of leaders, Okonkwo, who turned 71 years last Thursday, blamed all acts of terrorism, insurgency and other vices currently rocking the country on dysfunctional family value systems.

While acknowledging that the masses were expecting a lot from those in authorities, he said until we restore our value systems, government would not be able to do much.

“Our values have been eroded in this country. Every system is virtually breaking down and it has to do with values as individuals and as Nigerians. We got it wrong when we started celebrating money much more than character and performance.”

He, therefore, called on parents to rise up to their responsibilities by instilling moral values into their children, which, he said, would bring the needed change for Nigerians.

On his part, Lagos State governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode, said Nigerians, irrespective of religious, tribal and political affiliations, should join hands with government to build a strong, united and virile country.

Represented by the Secretary to the State Government, Mr. Tunji Bello, the governor said: “All nations derive their identities from entrenched values, which are transmitted from generation to generation by families.

“These give the strength and historical direction towards greatness for individuals and countries. We need to retrace our steps to the values laid down by the founding fathers of this nation,” he said.



1 Comment
  • vincentumenyiora

    [“The Nigerian child of my generation has grown up seeing corrupt leaders being celebrated. He has learnt that all you need to have to be respected is wealth; no one cares how it was gotten. Hard work and discipline no longer mean much to him.”

    The above quote culled from the winning essay of Fadilah Saliu-Ahmed from Zamani College, Kaduna State, jolted the audience who had gathered last week at the Muson Centre in Lagos for the 17th Mike Okonkwo annual lecture.]

    No doubt I agree as well as every other persons do, with the observation or statement but what we need to consider that is largely contributory to the state of affairs of the up and coming children of Nigeria is the governance of the people – i. e. the system of governments and those who supervise the performances or the deliverables! What I think from my perspective, we need to think about also/ especially is when did the slide or derailment creep into Nigeria, why and thereafter became exacerbated to the level we are in presently! They must consider the ‘hygiene’ factors which go a long way as stimuli influencing/ shape characters, behaviors or psychology of human beings! From set standards/ norms, the first ‘citadel’ of learning for any human being is his/ her family and success or failure will come/ attend to any society due to the price placed on the level of moral standards set for such society to attain and these derive from a lot, which to Nigerian authorities are long forgotten since the advent or intervention of the military in the politics of Nigeria!

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