When Old Men Run After Little Girls…

BY ESTHER IDIABANA
Every society has its norms and values, its culture and ways of life. Nigerians are a people known for their stringent, strong culture and decent life style; they exhibit persistence at all things, with the interest of their neighbours at heart. This had been the pattern since creation.
However, over the years, this once rich and enviable culture has been shattered by the greed in man. We are now in the wake of an age where the father has no capability of correcting his child when she/he goes wrong. The mother can no more train the child to be a good citizen of his or her country. The society now operates on the ‘me first’ theory of capitalism which is propelled by selfishness and profit motive as its bane with the sole intent of everyone and anyone accumulating the best resources for himself, even at the expense of his neighbour
It’s abysmal that those who should be carrying the age-long tradition are the ones facilitating its annihilation. They no more have respect and dignity for their manhood. In the place where they ought to be the pacesetters embedding the cultural heritage of the people in the young, they, however, pervert this age-long trend of living, thus being the ones who spoil the vine.
In theory, a man of 50 should act as a father and guardian to a girl of 20 but it is not an uncommon sight now to find such a man in a warm amoral relationship with such a lady.
I once had contact with a guy who had great reservations about politicians. Ordinarily, when I heard of it, I actually thought the sentiment was out of the seemingly dubious nature of politicians not being able to uphold their promises and manifestos but I was bamboozled to discover that the hatred grew out of a tussle over a girl.
The said politician, who was a former member of a State House of Assembly, had a girl of 23 working for him as his secretary. Before she began her service in his office, she was a cleaner in a company close by. With his consent, she also kept her previous job,while she worked for him. The said politician, however, began to make advances at the girl who rebuffed them.
While she worked in the company, she met a guy with whom she established friendship. The politician noticed the close relationship between the two friends, but turned a blind eye and kept pressing his intentions which, unfortunately, kept falling like water on a duck’s back. But the politicians forbearance of the situation was not to endure for long.
One fateful day, however, after work, the lady went to the company to commune with her lover just when the politician also desired her attention. He called to know her whereabouts. Engrossed in whatever she was doing, she didn’t take his call. When she finally did, he requested she come and take some books from his car to the office which she obediently did. When he came within close range, he noticed her lip stick was smeared which triggered the string of jealousy in him, though he did a good job in concealing it.
The next morning, the lady was not allowed into the building as she was served her sack letter at the gate.
While she resigned to fate and fell back to her previous job, the man still could not bear the sting and, one day, he summoned and chased her out of the place, while also threatening to deal with the boy she was mingling with.
Though this can easily be discarded with a wave of the hand as a” normal thing”, where a man uses his power and riches to get what he wants at the click of his finger, what pricks my conscience is that this atrocity-turned-norm has so been accepted such that the moment a man has the slightest opportunity to unleash his well plotted plans on a younger female, he does so without any consideration save his selfish interest.
It is quite surprising when later our sons want to get married; we take our fatherly time to adequately scrutinize the lady all in the bid to know if she is a good girl. We want the best wives for our sons. This leads me to ask, ‘who will marry the ones you have ‘spoilt’ ”?
Every man on the face of the earth wants the best for himself, yet he will perpetuate evil and at the end of the day we expect the society to be a more habitable place. The ferocious statement that there are no more virgins is so rampant. But come to think of it, are we magicians? Do we have magical powers or have the world changed such that you can now eat your cake and have it? It’s a worrisome occurrence that when we compare this generation with the previous ones, the gap is wider than the gulf between the rich and the poor. Our culture and highly valued norms have been deliberately washed down the drain of time by our seemingly selfish interest.
Adam fell as a result of his inability to be deliberate about his actions; but the fall of this generation is worse because we have all it takes to rise and do what is right. Rather, we shamefully choose to wallow in the sea of self-destruction, which has landed us in the kind of society we now have today-society where the families can no more perform their duties and obligations. We have now become a society where our mothers have been converted into men in the place of women and the vacuum so created has left the children on their own like chicks without the mother hen. As Aristotle put it, the mind is a blank slate’ tabularize” hence whatever is written on it at that tender childhood age sticks. When there is no one to write accurate forms of upbringing on the mind of the child, he is exposed to the danger of meeting with corrupt personalities who waste no time in pouncing on their prey as they brainwash the child with the wrong values and ideologies of life which, at the end of the day, keeps the wheel of corruption in the society rolling. The question is where do we go from here?
Should we still accept it as a norm, all in the bid to satisfy our selfish interest? After this generation what kind of society do we envisage to have? The earlier we make a U-turn to our roots, the better for us.