FOUNDATION ONCE DESTROYED: BBNAIJA AND THE NIGERIAN SOCIETY

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“Foundation once destroyed, what can the just do!”(Psalm 11:3).

It was on July 20th, 2020 that I first read the article, “BBNAIJA’S DORATHY BACHOR AND THE REST OF US! by Kevin Anetor. My immediate reaction, and response soon after reading the interesting, but sober piece, was the question of the psalmist above. It is an interesting piece, due to the flow of thoughts in the writeup. But sober, because it unravels the moral decays in our Nigerian society, while it blames the government for the obvious decays.

The question of the psalmist for the first time made a very deep impression on me soon after reading the article. Thus, I was moved to further my research on the actual exegesis of the psalm text. Going through a several biblical materials, the commentary on The New Community Bible (Catholic Edition), caught my attention.

In the psalm, the commentator/exegete, wants us to know that it is an expression that helps to bolster our confidence in God, where our fidelity must be proven in troubled times. A time when the foundations of our law and order are shaken or fallen in the worst-case, like the Nigerian society.

When many of us are tempted to overlook wickedness, such as corruption, oppression, nepotism, Immoralities in the case of Big Brother Naija (BBN). A time when many passively go along to compromise with such evil. Where some will shamelessly say, “If you can’t beat them, you join them.” Where some would subscribe to such channels, spending money on messages/online votes, or discussing the daily events in BBN house, while claiming to be socializing. And where some even argue with the cliché, “Man is a social being.” A time when in the end, the emerging winner and runner ups, become role models, and household names in many homes.

From what I was told by some repentant viewers/fans, I asked, “Is there something truly different from what usually takes place in the BBN house, from the days of Sodom and Gomorrah?” Maybe, except that in the past, they didn’t win houses, cars, and become brand ambassadors. It may also not be out of place that they did that in their own context as it were. But what became their miserable end, is supposed to serve as a lesson for many today. On the contrary, it is not the case.

In the midst of such fallen foundations, what can the just do? Though tempted, but they must like Abraham in the horrible days of Sodom and Gomorrah, overlook such wickedness. Though enticed to passively go along, and compromise such evil, but they must overcome such temptations by speaking out against it.

Having said that, the question comes to mind. What is the foundation that has been destroyed? Nigeria as a society, is the building. The foundations upon which Nigeria as a society is resting, include the principles of law, order, and justice (cf. Cambridge Bible for Schools, and Colleges).

From Anetor’s article, it is obvious that the foundations on which the society rest, have been subverted. And the subversion include, failed parenthood, corruption, nepotism, insecurity, poverty, autocracy in democracy, greed, etc. Consequently, there is no respite for the teaming population. In such a hopeless situation, BBN becomes, according to Anetor, the “opium of the masses.” Which in a way confirms the Afro-beat legend, Fela Anikulapo Kuti’s criticism of the masses, when he sang, “suffering and smiling.” This smile, however, is not the consoling smile of a hope for better days ahead, but worse days in the face of moral decadence.

Nevertheless, before a stone is thrown at the governments who have subverted the foundations on which the Nigerian society is built. Or BBN that has taken further such subversion to enlarge her coasts of promoting day light promiscuity, let us examine the Nigerian families.

No doubt, there are many Nigerian families that are standing on the principles of values, ideologies, and integrity. Yet, there are still many, even numerous to count that have sold such principles on the altars of immoralities all for material gains.

In my article of July 7th, 2020, titled, “ROLE MODELS AND THE TRAGEDY OF A FAILING NATION: HOW DID WE GET HERE?” I made the following assertions:

“One of the reasons why it is said that family is the microcosm of society, is because it is from the family that a society is made. No one fell from heaven, everyone was born into a family, and the family by virtue of being the root or foundation of society, is the image maker of society. That is why when one is good, people ask, “Which family is he/she from?” The same question applies when the opposite becomes the case. Now, if the fame of the person is widespread, people ask, “Where is he/she from? So family is the first role model of everyone.”

Going further, I said, “In times past, when a young man suddenly became rich for no just cause, the family frowned at it, including the community. They frowned at it because they wanted to protect the integrity and values that they were known for. But today, the reverse is the case.”

In many families today, there are several cases where a young person struggling to make it in life automatically becomes a symbol of ridicule in the family. The mother will ask, “Don’t you see your mates, the daughter of so-and-so in the neighbourhood. Why is yours different?” The father will ask, “Those driving big cars, and have built houses for their parents, do they have more than one head?” In many homes today, parents no longer motivate their children for positive ambitions

What morals and values are being taught in many families today? Are most parents encouraging or discouraging their children from watching shows/movies with the inscription “viewer’s discretion advised. Not recommended for children below 18?” What kind of TV subscriptions do most parents subscribe on monthly or yearly basis? Do many parents not often join their children in watching BBN? Those contesting for the BBN prize, did they fall from the sky, are they not from families?

From the obvious facts of many disoriented Nigerian families today, what do we see in the Nigerian society? What we see is very obvious in our political space. And it has given way to the moral decadence in our society, of which BBN is a big promoter, a fact of a foundation once destroyed. So, what BBN is only doing annually, with its fifth-year ongoing already, is to build on already destroyed foundations.

But why will BBN not enjoy annual feast of showcasing immoralities? It will because we live in a society where a graduate with first class can’t get a job. But a best dancer, or rapper is given 10million cash, a brand-new car, and made a brand ambassador with automatic job in a government institution. Or a BBN winner, in addition to getting 50million as the case may be, a choicest house, and a brand-new car, suddenly becomes a celebrity, and a role model to many.

Except our leaders in the families, religious circles, governments, and other works of life start to live, and act base on ideologies, values, and integrity, and not on greed, the miserable end of Sodom and Gomorrah, may be waiting on many. This is because, the BBN’s annual feast of showcasing immoralities, may soon if not already, becomes a foundation from which similar festivals may emanate, or have emanated. And the end, may be too late.

In a nutshell, let the just rise, and condemn the prevailing evils of moral decadence. For indeed, there amounts so much that the just can do.

@Israel GodsPower ANAWEOKHAI, MSP

July 25th, 2020

Israel GodsPower ANAWEOKHAI is a Catholic Priest of the Missionary Society of St Paul. He is currently on mission in the Archdiocese of Douala, Cameroon.


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