The moral decadence in our society has gone so bad that we now find us living only for  today. People used to bother so much about their name and reputation back in those days;  parents called their children to order whenever they see them going the wrong way. Even when  they buy new cars and send money to them, they ask questions to ascertain the source of the  wealth before accepting the gifts.

In those days, parents go out of their way to make enquiries before they accept any girl  brought to them by their son for marriage. Girls had so much respect for themselves that men  go through hell just to get them. But just like Chinua Achebe said: things have fallen  apart. Before a man asks that first question, “will you marry me”, the girl had already  moved in and become acting wife. They first get pregnant before taking the man to their  parents. In my own culture, it is a taboo for a girl to get pregnant outside marriage. I  feel ashamed as an Igbo girl when I see parents accept dowry from a man with their daughter  heavily pregnant. Our parents have now lost their conscience and trampled on the values  handed down to us by our fore-fathers all because of greed.

A man meets a woman in Lagos and instantly gets blinded by her beauty that he starts  professing love without trying to know anything about her. Some of these girls act so nice  just to get the man to propose before they show their true colour. When I hear people talk  about how much of a failure their partners are, I always let them know that those character  flaws were there during their dating period, but they were too blind and lost in  infatuation.

Back to the issue at hand. It is a pity that the elders in our society who should be guiding  us and helping to put us back on track are actually the ones destroying us. This is the  problem we have in Nigeria. We have become a nation without elders. The young ones are  dancing naked in the market place and the elders are there enjoying the dance of shame while  some of them have actually joined in the dance. We have no more elders in our dear nation as  everyone is after his pocket. Our politicians have no ideologies as they are nothing but  political harlots.

Nobody cares about his name and reputation any longer. Everyone wants to make it the fastest  way. The women are also not helping our men. Every woman wants to be identified with a man  of means. We all want to get married to multi-millionaires. We don’t care how the wealth was  acquired. Our women are no longer ready to start life from the scratch with a man.

The men are now being forced to get into many evil things just to get wealthy and be  accepted by the society. Chieftaincy titles are now being given to criminals and ritual  killers all because they have some dirty money to throw around. Our political offices are  now being occupied by thieves and people without values. This is why we have governors flog  people on the road and do so many evils through their office. It wasn’t surprising seeing  our legislators fight because that is what we bargained for when we failed to elect  responsible and cultured people into office and chose to have rascals in there.

Our religious leaders are not helping matters as they choose fame in place of integrity. In  the churches and mosques; we see the thieves, drug barons, 419 kingpins, corrupt politicians  and ritual killers being given the front seats. They are the elders, deacons and deaconesses  in our churches. We see people who have sacrificed years in the service of God and done  wonderful things for their faith, but no one recognises them because they don’t have much to  spend. A pastor of a particular church in Agidingbi area of Lagos anoints computers for his  members who are fraudsters to enable them have more mugun. They all know what their members  do and are afraid to talk to avoid losing them because that would mean a drop in the amount  realised as tithe and pledge.

Our leaders are in their different offices stealing as if there is no tomorrow. The masses  are dying daily due to bad roads and hunger while our leaders, the people we elected into  political offices are enriching themselves. What has happened to the dreams of our fathers,  the late Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe, Chief Obafemi Awolowo, and Sir Abubakar Tafawa Balewa? I am  sure their hearts are bleeding in their graves because what we have now is not the Nigeria  they dreamt of and fought for.

Young men, and sadly women, have gone into drugs. They sacrifice their lives and name at the  altar of mammon. What could make a woman, a mother to the nation, decide to swallow drugs  even with pregnancy? Do we now have our conscience sealed that we don’t even bother about  our unborn child? I know of one who did this and ended up having her baby, an imbecile in  jail over there in the UK. It was so bad that the mother, who was in support of her  daughter’s involvement in drugs, went all over the place visiting native doctors to secure  her release.

This is what our society has suddenly become. What do we expect from the younger generation  when our mothers and fathers are the ones behind the evil? A fan recently told me a story  about his first time in one of the nude clubs in Lagos. He said he couldn’t help shouting  when he saw a man in his seventies brought to the nude club by his son. This shameless old  man was laughing so loud that people looked at him as a very stupid old man.

A friend called me some months back after his cousin’s traditional marriage and told me how  happy the parents of the girl were as they gave their daughter out in marriage to a popular  419 kingpin. He later asked to be sure they knew what they were doing and that was when he  found out that the father of the bride never knew anything about the man he gave his  daughter to. Just this month, the man was arrested in connection with a kidnap case and has  since been in police custody. What then becomes the fate of the girl if eventually the  husband is jailed?

I employed a cousin of mine after so much pleading from her mum. Just three months after  joining my business, her parents started making so many demands from her. The father sent  her texts asking for money for a chieftaincy title while the mother continued asking for  money for clothes and other items. This made her steal about half a million from us and  borrowed so much from my clients. We got to the office one morning to realise she had fled,  and now she is back tin the village doing nothing.

Our traditional rulers were known for uprightness and truth. But what do we now have in our  society? We now have fraudsters, drug barons, kidnappers, and robbers as our community  leaders. They come out and speak against kidnapping when in the actual fact they are the  ones behind the killings and robbery.

Election is by the corner. We now have bloodshed on a daily basis because our politicians  are so devilish that some of them have to kill to get into that position. What do we expect  when we have people visit the popular Okija Shrine for power? I recently heard of a governor  who had to bury a hundred cows alive in the middle of the night just to get to where he is  today. People are killed once they declare their interest to run in the forthcoming  election. I just pity girls who are so gullible that they need money for lace wigs and  blackberry at all costs. This is the time we see so many of them dying after sleeping with  these monsters we call leaders.

I recently met a young man who came to me with so many burden in his heart. This man, in his  thirties, who has a job and doesn’t want to stain his hands for wealth, told me how his  parents don’t even regard him as a son because his younger brother made so much money  through 419. He had made up his mind to go into drugs and fraud because he wanted to make it  like his brother so as to regain his place in the family. I thank God that after a very long  discussion with him, he promised me never to soil his hands.

Guys, you can get that money today and by tomorrow you are no more. One thing I have  realised is that no matter how much you make through any wrong means, you will still die an  unhappy person. There is nothing like one having a peaceful exit from this life. There is  nothing like your children getting honoured in years to come because of your integrity.

I don’t want too much money in this life; I want to be comfortable with my peace still  intact. This is why I have refused to hold on tightly to anything in this world. I want to  sow good seeds and let my children reap the fruits of my integrity. I don’t want to be  caught lying for wealth. I don’t want to be seen stealing from the public purse (call it  national cake). I don’t want to be seen lying in God’s name just to satisfy my belly. I  don’t want to fight and kill for material things because I will someday close my eyes in  death and go down six feet below the earth’s surface. All that I killed, lied, and did all  sorts to acquire will be left for people who don’t even know how I made it.

The greatest legacy you can leave for generations after you is the legacy of Truth and  Integrity. A good name is better than all the riches in this world. Do all your drugs today,  get involved in 419, steal from the public purse, kill in your quest for power, and pastors,  go on deceiving people in God’s name. This is why we see people make so much money but in  their home and even after their death, there is no peace.

If you are one of such people and right now you have it going well for you, I advise you  quit because you may never rest in peace after your death. Your children may start killing  themselves for your ill-gotten wealth. Some people pay while they are alive through so many  means. You may try to cover up your shame by using money to cover up the stupidity of your  children, but such pretences don’t last. Vanity upon vanity, all is vanity!!!