15.08.2022 Feature Article

Return To Our Character & Morality Or Perish For Money: Iwa Rere Lere

Return To Our Character  Morality Or Perish For Money: Iwa Rere Lere
15.08.2022 LISTEN

There Is no other way to put it, it all boils down to African values, integrity, discipline, order and standard without which, chaos reigns. We were reminded by a childhood friend of Tunde Nightingale's old song that: Iwa Rere Lere! No better time than these days to remind the world that African good character and morality have their rewards. This may be contrary to what many Youths and their old voracious looters believe today. Money, by any means, is not all.

Old African cultures respect those who exude a solid reputation. Honor can be sought and pursued with money but it only lasts as long as the money is there. The chances are, if honor can be bought with money, new money will displace and buy honor that is for sale. The reason is money only has value at a point in time unlike generational wealth of honor that increases in value over time.

Ìwà Omolúàbí (Integrity): Someone with Integrity is a person of his words. If you have all the wealth in the world without integrity, you are empty. Integrity combined with Iwa (Character) is Omolúàbí. "We look for three things when we hire people: intelligence, initiative or energy, and integrity. If they don't have the latter, the first two will kill you, because if you're going to get someone without integrity, you want them lazy and dumb.” Warren Buffett, American Investor.

Age is highly respected in African culture for their wisdom and history of events. Nevertheless, achievement is revered and a young man who knows how to wash his hands will eat with the elders. Akínkanjú or Akin (Valour), the General or Balógun is second-in-command to the leaders in Yoruba land. Balógun are people that can lead people to war. They lead us with great courage in the face of danger, especially in battle.

Unfortunately, those places we used to refer to as civilized climes have turned out to be hypocrites and even worse savages against their people targeted because of how they look. The irony is not lost on people of goodwill around the world. Easier to criticize others beyond our noses. This is why Yorùbá people usually say when you set out to look for money and you meet honor on the way then you don't need the journey anymore, because if you get the money, you will still use it to acquire honor.

Eni nwa owo lo to pade Iyi lona, ti o ba ri owo tan, iyi naa lo ma fi ra. This is why the rich and famous would pay anything to meet Asantehene, Oba, Igwe, Sultan, high Chiefs, Kings and Queens asking for grace and honorary titles. The insatiable need to pursue honor after accumulating all the money in the world may baffle some of us but the need to be recognized beyond money is worldwide. What is surprising is that they turn to Asantehene, Oba, Igwe, Sultan and high Chiefs without their amount of money.

The erosion of our value system in many world cultures has pushed accumulation of money above the value ladder. There are values that are sacrosanct to the culture and survival of people even before money replaced trade by batter. Some countries have more rigorous laws against moral turpitude than financial or white collar crimes. But if you want to predict the end of a country, watch how moral decadence is used to make money.

Rich people in rich countries keep a low profile for peace of mind. Billionaires and millionaires can easily mix with the crowd without heavy or light security. Money, even made legally can fetch you enemies, jealousy and subjugation to suspicion or audit. One U.S investor that bragged of raising drug prices got into such trouble. Even when you spend so much on security in Nigeria as a rich man, you cannot trust informants to kidnappers within your households.

There was some healthy air of relief when young African men and women took Indigenous cultural plays and local music to international level. They made foreign incomes while politicians wasted income from natural resources. Unfortunately, the same moral decadence that sank Nigeria to the world's poverty capital, has soiled every profession including the entertainment industry. In defense of our favorite champions of turpitude, we justify it with: others are worse.

Easy come easy go: money, no matter how much we make, has a limited lifespan for you and your family. It only takes a member to eventually squander looted money. Even more disappointing, we never have enough to replace us on the sick bed or buy death. Unfortunately, the way to fame and money these days is to stage outrageous behavior that everyone will be talking about. The elite class are full of drug dealers, bandits, ritualists, terrorists and vagabonds preying on others.

Many are racing to the bottom as the rest of us wonder how low we could go. The President of Nigeria, Muhammadu Buhari almost lost his life in Kaduna as a retired General before he was taunted as a negotiator for Boko Haram. He also criticized the Jonathan Government Army Chief for killing Northerners. The same terrorist organizations are now threatening to kidnapped him as a President.

If the President of the country is not safe from kidnappers, who is? Boko Haram acted with impunity around his home State while on vacation, sending him warning signals. The wife was staying outside the country while speculations were that she felt unsafe at home. Actually, Buhari hardly lives at home as he has become an international traveler with more planes than many Airlines. This cannot be the General who campaigned to eliminate the terrorists.

The Terrorists did not threaten civilian Government of Jonathan that paved the way for Buhari on a silver platter, the way militrician Government of Nigeria is being threatened for lacking character, morality, integrity and values.

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