The impropriety of the love story or rather infatuation between Yunusa Dahiru, 25-year-old Muslim tricycle operator from Kano, and Ese Oruru, 14-year-old Christian student in Bayelsa has brought to the fore the role of parents in building society.
Why would a youngster elope with (or abduct) a minor lover from Bayelsa to faraway Kano to be married? Why would the minor agree to elope (or be abducted)? What role did the parents of these lovebirds play in their behaviour?
The young girl is a minor and could have been lured especially going by the unfolding circumstances which are questioning proper parenting on both sides.
Could Yunusa have abducted a 14-year-old girl if he went through proper parenting? And why did Ese’s mother ask of Yunusa immediately her daughter went missing?
Did she know of any illicit move and still failed to talk sense into her daughter and rebuke Yunusa? Sociologists have since proved that the human society is made up of people and their behaviour is basically determined by their parents: How they are nurtured from childhood and the role the parents played in their formative years up to adulthood.
This, no doubt, is the process by which social deviants – commercial sex workers, armed robbers, fraudsters, terrorists, kidnappers, and most recently minor elopers – could be formed. They have a common denominator: They all have their origins in families and presumably raised by parents.
Aside the Yunusa/Ese tango, there are also recent incidents of social deviance, like the report that a student of a foremost private university stabbed his father to death.
These, no doubt, may not be isolated incidents as there have been similar cases of children slaughtering their parents and boys even raping their mothers.
The entire scenario may justify the popular slogan that such people are not spirits.
In this report, Saturday Vanguard examines the issue of social deviance and the conclusions appear to be that, like charity, crime and related cases of abnormal behaviours, begin at home. The question therefore is: What have parents done to society?
Have they produced decent children or deviants? Or at what stage did their once lovely children become deviants? Whose fault is it? Findings show that matters of up-bringing, even as bad as some cases, may not be attributable to parenting.
How parents breed immorality, raise armed robbers
“A great moral confusion is sweeping across the country,” according to Muyiwa Babajide, an education consultant in Ibadan.
Apart from the state of insecurity especially from activities of the Boko Haram insurgent group in parts of the North, “the next serious issue facing our nation has to do with family and moral decline.” He continued: “Without doubt, there is a palpable yearning among young people, even children, for some kind of unifying vision, a set of ideals to effectively tackle greed, corruption, selfishness, ethnic sentiments, immorality, loss of traditional values which seem to be taking over the entire landscape.”
He explained that the greatest gifts parents can offer to their children apart from unconditional love is a set of values that the parents must encourage and also live by example.
“Values give meaning to life. They establish templates. They set moral standards and define rules of behaviour. Society is moving towards sexual laxity and unbridled freedom, giving vent to equally unbridled individual.
This is no doubt as a result of many parents abdicating their roles and giving room to television, bad company, and other agents to influence their children,” Babajide said. A delegate to the 2015 National Conference, Ms Temitope Ajayi, popularly known as Mama Diaspora said: “The best way parents can instill good values into their children is to show good example to the children.
According to her, “You can only show your kids the right way by living the right way. While encouraging them to be honest and truthful, you have to show truthfulness in all your ways.
Your child takes his cues from you, so it’s important that you try to avoid any kind of deception, even a seemingly innocuous one. Whenever they err, encourage them to stop the blame game and let them cultivate the habit of accepting responsibility.
“Parents should have regular discussions with their kids at home, send them to school to acquire education so that they will be responsible, get good employment so as to be able to care for their parents at old age. Always pray with the kids at home. For the mother, she begins to form a bond with her child while it is still in the womb.
A good mother is never too busy. She makes time for the kids under tight working schedule. It is tough, but I still try. “Parents should be involved in the development of their children from infancy to adulthood.
They are required to monitor these children from nursery, primary, secondary to the tertiary institutions, checking their performance and movements.
But only a few parents believe that they have a role to play in seeing their children through. It is therefore no surprise that many young people have become victims of cultism, getting involved in prostitution, insurgency, armed robbery, kidnapping, internet fraud, examination malpractices, rape, thuggery, and various other anti-social behaviours, bringing the nation to its knees.”
With a high mortality rate, increasing divorce rate, alarming increase in rape figures and more children being born out of wedlock in Nigeria, single parenting has virtually become the norm in our society.
Saturday Vanguard investigations show that a higher percentage of children found in most correctional centres in Lagos State are products of single parenthood.
Madam Ngozi Okon, a trader in Lagos, believes that, for the proper upbringing of a child, all hands must be on deck. According to the mother of three, “to me, both parents need to join hands together to train the children.
My husband is a trader like myself. He comes home late at night from Monday to Friday. Though he hardly has time for the kids, they tend to be afraid of him and that helps in instilling discipline in them. Anytime I threaten to report their wrong actions to their father, they desist from the act immediately.
“Though he hardly beats them, he has a way of punishing them. You know we mothers, we always love to pamper our kids. So, you see, if my husband was absent, I wonder what they will be like.” She noted however that, in some cases, training a child under the close supervision of both parents is not a guarantee that the child will grow up to be a very responsible person.
“Some kids can be stubborn no matter who trained them. I am not saying that, any child trained by both parents will be a perfect person but the possibility is higher,” she said. But a 48-year-old quantity surveyor, Mr. John Paul Eji, believes that a child who wants to be good will definitely be, no matter how he or she was trained and who trained her.
“I have seen kids from divorced homes who are doing very well,” he said. According to him, “they are obedient and very responsible. Being trained by the two parents does not guarantee a good child. So, I do not believe in the saying that a child who is being trained by the father or the mother alone might not grow up well.
All you need do is to teach the child the right thing at the right time and pray to God for the gift of wisdom and protection. The fact that you are from a divorced home and you were left to be trained by your mother or father alone does not mean you will grow up to be irresponsible. It is all by God’s grace,” he explained.
“Parents have their blame”
Commenting on the Yunusa/Ese saga, and the fact that the minor’s mother ought to be aware Yunusa’s advances to her daughter at such an age, Chairman of the Bayelsa State Chapter of Arewa Consultative Forum, ACF, Nuhu Ibrahim said: “What Yunusa did was very bad and condemnable.
I married from Bayelsa and my wife is from here. We have been living together peacefully for a very long time until this unfortunate incident. We should not allow this sad incident to tear us apart.
“As leaders of the Hausa community, we were not happy with what happened and we worked to see that things did not get out of hand and we thank God that she is back.
“This incident shows that there is need for everyone to brace up to their responsibilities; all hands are pointing at Yunusa and no one is looking at others. “The parents have their blame as well as all others that had one role or the other to play in all these.
I also did my own investigations before briefing the national headquarters of the ACF in Kaduna on this matter. Yunusa was not a stranger to the Orurus. He is well known to them and that brings the issue of parental care and vigilance which is lacking in our society today.”
Pastors, Imams speak
Religious leaders who spoke to Saturday Vanguard on the role of parents in what a child emerges to be in society, reiterated that good training is not only a religious duty but a divine responsibility thrust upon the parents and guardians by God.
Pastor (Mrs) Taiwo Enioye, an Assistant Area Pastor at the Redeemed Christian Church of God, RCCG, who is also an educationist told Saturday Vanguard that, “In Christianity, children are the heritage of God but kept in the care of their parents to nurture them in the ways of the Lord to enable them fulfill their God-given dreams in life.
Our society also believes that parents owe their children that responsibility of training, sound upbringing and caring for them. Every parent must aspire to inculcate the act of respecting elders, good behaviour, how to show appreciation, I mean the use of thank you, hospitality, discipline, meekness, humility and many others into his or her children right from their tender ages.
It is not when a child is close to his puberty stage rather from the day of that child’s birth. If a child exhibits all these attributes, then the parents have carried out their responsibility in giving the child a proper and sound upbringing.
“Also, parents should not just teach their children but give close monitoring to the attitude of their wards especially to strangers and also make use of the cane when needed.
Although there are cases where a child derails from the teachings of his parents may be as a result of influence of peer groups and other external factors, the mother in particular should create more time for such a child.
A frontline and popular scholar in Islam, Sheikh Mustapha Zuglool says parents have a lot to do in terms of what they teach their children and accordingly how their children grow up as adults.
“It is the responsibility of the father to provide the wherewithal in terms of finances, security, good and healthy environment, shelter, food and other basic things, while the mother takes care of the children and ensures that they grow in the right direction.”
Zuglool who is the founder of Arabic and Islamic Center in Lagos said a working mother should do everything possible to monitor closely the welfare of her children even if she has to stay away for some time, adding that both parents have a lot to do in the proper upbringing of the children.
According to him, Islam holds parents responsible for steering the upbringing of their children based on guidelines of the Quran and the Prophet’s traditions. As he put it, “ the Prophet said that Allah will ask every caretaker about the people under his care, and the man will be asked about the people of his household.”
Another cleric, Ustaz Abdulwaheed Olowo also added that parents should show love and attention to their children. He said, “If you are not there to show love and affection to your children, another person will do it for you and the result could be catastrophic.
All children within a family have their own rights to be treated fairly; parents also have the obligation to show love and mercy to their children. Parents should also help and guide their children in choosing their role models.
If they choose the right model, it will help them in developing good behaviour and character after those personalities.” In a distressed economy, even families with loving parents who hope to instill the right values into their children are sometimes at a disadvantage.
To give their children the kind of comfort they deserve, the situation in many homes is now for both mother and father to work long hours and make more money. As a confidential secretary in an insurance company at Lekki, Mrs. Dideolu Yusuf, puts it this way: “Many working mothers are married to their careers, at the expense of their homes, leaving the children to the care of housemaids.
They don’t even bother about the right values that the children should have to prepare them for the future. There are many things mothers can do for their kids. But if they don’t spend significant time with these children, they may lack love and may not develop passion towards their parents since they feel that their jobs or professions or business interests are more dear to them.
However, there are some mothers who teach their children many life skills like cooking, washing clothes, plates, sweeping and cleaning the home, gardening, fetching water, which are education for life. “God and Christianity support a woman working but not at the detriment of her home and her relationship with God. A Christian woman must support her husband, family and the church of God Money has a role in being a good wife, mother, a good Christian and a responsible citizen to your country.”
Charity begins at home. If the Nigerian society is devoid of it, then the fingers must point to the home.
culled from www.vanguardngr.com