The wife of the President, Aisha Buhari, has joined Nigerians to raise the alarm over the country’s deteriorating cultural values, calling for urgent need to mount a comprehensive and sustainable value re-orientation programme to return Nigerian society on the path of moral rebirth.
The First Lady disclosed this at a one-day cultural roundtable on Morality, Culture and the Nigerian Youth organised by the National Council for Arts and Culture (NCAC) held at Abuja Sheraton Hotels and Towers.
Chairman of the occasion, the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Women Affairs and Administration, Office of the First Lady, Dr. Hajo Sani, said that our youths in imitating foreign cultures in the way they talk and dress, are early signs of deviation from our moral values and customs.
She lamented that in our schools, many teachers who are supposed to tutor our children in cultural ethos now take advantage of the same children they are supposed to take care of, adding that the society at large has now become bad examples to our youths by exposing them to other immoral vices like rape and other forms of evil activities.
According to her, the First Lady, Mrs. Aisha Buhari will be willing to collaborate with NCAC on building a good foundation for our youths right from childhood.
In his welcome address, the Director General of the National Council for Arts and Culture, Otunba Olusegun Runsewe, decried the progressive deterioration in the country’s cultural values.
Runsewe stated that while Nigeria had always been known for rich culture, anchored on the virtues of hard work, integrity, high public morality, respect for elders and constituted authority, decency in dressing and in public speeches among others, these virtues are rapidly giving way to various social vices.
He noted that in the past, agents of socialisation like the family, school, religious institutions, took collective responsibility in inculcating high moral values among our youths.
The NCAC boss who noted that the story is different today, lamented that what we now see, “is laziness, get rich quick syndrome and primitive acquisitive tendencies by yahoo-yahoo boys, scammers, internet fraudsters and all forms of social vices.”
The Managing Director of Africa Independence Television (AIT), Dr. Tosin Dokpesi, who gave the keynote address, commended the DG, NCAC, for putting up the roundtable discourse, adding that there is no better time to start the moral rebirth crusade than now. She said all hands must be on deck to rid the society of the social vices and inculcate good values in our youths.
She stressed the need to arrest our eroding values and tradition with a commitment to restore the lost culture and the glory of Nigeria.
The highlight of the occasion was the presentation of a book titled: ‘Morality, Culture and the Nigerian Youth’, authored by the Director General, National Council for Arts and Culture, Otunba Olusegun Runsewe, copies of which were distributed to all the participants, discussants, speakers, journalists and other invited guests.
Runsewe also used the occasion to express the resolve of the National Council for Arts and Culture to rise up to the occasion and rid our society of moral rot and put Nigeria on a sound social and cultural footing, noting that the book will serve as one of the literature materials that his Council intends to use to prosecute the moral rebirth in our society. He urged every parent, teacher, religious leaders to critically review our values as a nation as that is the only sure way we can aspire for accelerated growth and development we urgently desire.
The one-day roundtable attracted the participation of critical stakeholders from different sectors of society.