Grace Ego Omoni
We are living in a historical moment with a variety of interconnected global and complex challenges such as widespread inequality, religious intolerance, prejudice, youth hooliganism, degeneration of political crises, terrorism, banditry, prostitution, rape, victimization, national insecurity, low standard of education, examination malpractice, immorality issues, violence, arson, destruction of lives and property, other forms of high level criminality and insensitivity of the people in power. These often truncate the practical and transparent democratic governance.
Nigeria is today under siege of heinous cases of man’s inhumanity to man. Kidnapping, vandalization of public facilities, ritual murder, incest, Yahoo syndrome, plundering of farmlands by Fulani herdsmen, oil bunkering, employment issues, incessant protests, intermittent school calendar and other unpatriotic vices are instances of the dissatisfactions projected by the citizens. Coupled with the above, the presidency and a few individuals engage in provocative statements to indict their critics of obvious unpatriotic administrative mistakes.
All these have worsened the spirit of unity and federal character the nation anticipated at independence. The language now is tilted toward secession. Dividing the country into different states is being echoed each passing day. Nobody is ready to shift ground because there is no spirit of patriotism.
According to Diania and Eboh (2012), the nation has been balkanised along ethnic lines because of the primordial loyalties whereby each section of the country has a political organisation catering for the interest of its own people. The lopsided federal appointments is a typical example which does not in anyway represent the Federal Character being preached.
The failure of the government to give fair judgement to issues pertaining to dissatisfactions is another typical example. For instance, the presidency did not hesitate to declare IPOB a terrorist organisation and marched out to wipe them out instantly whereas Boko Haram and Fulani herdsmen were never declared as terrorists. Instead, billions of money from the government are being used to negotiate with them.
Education has not really met its aims, goals and objectives as specified in the National Policy on Education. This article postulates that one major problem facing this country is because education has failed to produce citizens who are patriotic. The citizens have failed to place the interest of this country above self, ethnicity and religion. For the people to have a sense of patriotism, it is high time the schools take citizenship education as a priority and the right measure for entrenching national interest and consciousness.
This write-up will discuss the following:
a) Citizenship Education
c) Benefits of Citizenship Education as a Vehicle for Transformation
d) Implications for Counselling.
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As observed above, the world is in a state of confusion and Nigeria is not an exception. This is as a result of the failure of education to transform the citizens from the I, me, myself syndrome and the plethora of ethnic tendencies found in the nature of the black man. These have occasioned the chaotic situation and instability in the Nigerian polity.
One can emphatically say that the curriculum content of the subjects taught in the school system is grossly inadequate, especially pertaining to the development of the citizen socially, politically and morally. There has been advocacy for Citizenship Education as is practised in developed countries like the United Kingdom, the United States of America and in Australia.
There is no gainsaying the fact that this subject has helped in transforming most citizens to show undisputed interest in the development of their nations. National consciousness is more pronounced among the citizens in the nations identified.
Citizenship education according to UNESCO is the development of civic skills especially a willingness to investigate issues in the local school and the wider community; a readiness to recognise social, economic, ecological and political dimensions of issues needed to solve them and the ability to analyse issues and to participate in actions aimed at achieving sustainable issues.
Osakwe(1993) asserts that citizenship education conveys to the learner the body of knowledge, set of values and behavioural orientation that are considered vital and necessary for the sustenance and well being of the people. In the same vein, according to Dave in Diana and Eboh (2012), citizenship education is aimed at developing young people into reasonable citizens who can understand their rights and responsibilities and can play an active part in the society.
In other words, citizenship education facilitates the knowledge and competencies necessary to involve people in societal discussions and decision-making processes in a democratic way. It involves the training, awareness, raising information, practices and activities which aim at equipping young people with knowledge, skills and understanding and developing their attitudes and behaviour.
It is designed to empower them to exercise and defend their democratic rights and responsibilities in the society as well as to play active part in the democratic life with a view to promoting and protecting democracy and the rule of law.
This will bring about a transformation and the ability to act as responsible citizens and fully participate in civic and social, economic, legal and political concepts and structures of their nation. Thus, citizenship education in schools to young people is aimed at fostering national consciousness, which when enshrined in them will help them develop the spirit of patriotism.
Patriotism is love for one’s country and loyalty towards it. Patriotism according to Collins English Dictionary is a devoted love, support and defence of one’s country. In other words, it is the feeling of loving your country more than any others and being proud of it. A patriot puts his or her country first, the people and a desire to make it better.
In patriotism, the individual engages in promoting national interest, placing the nation before self and exhibiting loyalty to his or her nation. Patriotism which is also called national pride is a feeling of love, devotion and a sense of attachment to a homeland and alliance with other citizens who share the same sentiments politically, culturally or historically.
For patriotism to have meaning in the lives of individuals,schools should start taking the right measures in teaching citizenship to create national interest and consciousness in learners because it fosters a deep psychological attachment and pride to their nation – a disposition of uncritical support for correct political leadership. The point being made here is that there is a relationship between patriotism and citizenship education.
Benefits of Citizenship Education as a Vehicle for Transformation.
Citizenship education is that which demonstrates how the school plays an important role in creating an informed electorate. It gives people the knowledge and skills to understand, challenge and engage with the democratic society including politics, the media, civil society, the economy and the law.
The teaching of citizenship education helps the citizens in developing positive attitude towards their homeland. Research suggests that this type of education in schools in western democracies emphasizes political institutions, rights and responsibilities of citizens and debate on current issues. In citizenship education, it is the responsibility of the schools to teach about democracy and prepare the young people to become effective democratic citizens.
In this sense, the subject is a programme behaviour modifier. In citizenship education, young people learn about politics, parliament, human rights, justice, the law and the economy. They also learn about active citizenship and teaching is brought to life using real issues and events in local and global contexts.
It promotes those skills that allow people become active and responsible citizens in a society that respects the rights and involvement of individuals. It helps young people to deal with situations of conflicts, controversy, intolerance. It helps them to understand the consequences of their actions and those of others.
Students learn how to recognise biases, evaluate arguments, weigh evidences, look for alternative interpretations, viewpoints and sources of evidence to give good reasons for the things they say or do. The school not only plays a critical role in educating students about the formal curriculum but also on how to be active members of a democratic society.
Citizenship education seeks to cut across all subject areas, integrating many skills, competencies that will benefit the young, individuals, community members and professionals and transform the society. It makes for more thoughtful and engaged citizens leading to a stronger and more just society. Citizenship education helps individuals to be equipped with and empowered to face the challenges ahead of them on a personal, community levels and global scale, think critically about the world around them and make empowered and informed decisions
This education according to Obike(1993) should teach attitude and values that will foster the ideal of democratic practices, national consciousness, and patriotism for the Nigerian citizens for them to understand their rights and duties.
Citizenship education will help inculcate national and moral values and develop patriotic citizens whose worldviews will transcend ethnic boundaries.
Nigeria is a pluralistic society with over 250 ethnic groups, so the religious belief system, political understanding, culture and values are diversified and these can be used to entrench national consciousness and pride in the learners.
Implications for Counselling
The development of right attitudes, values, beliefs, skills, competencies, knowledge, national, consciousness, pride and behaviours as we have seen come from the teaching of citizenship education in schools. The school is the best place for cultivating and inculcating these. Therefore:
a) All schools from the primary to the tertiary levels must have citizenship education as part of the subjects to be taught.
b) The curriculum content of citizenship education must as a matter of urgency be reformed and the multi- cultural nature of Nigeria must be put into consideration.
C) Curriculum content should include conflict resolution strategies.
d) Teachers trained in teaching citizenship education should be appointed and not just any teacher in the arts.
d) Emphasis should be laid on patriotism.
e) Counsellors should be posted to schools to assist in helping the learners to understand themselves and the world around them.
Since we are living in a world of I, me ,myself, it is necessary for the school to give students and pupils a new orientation where they will value and protect the lives of others, protect the integrity of their nation, and show loyalty and love to their country by developing national consciousness and pride.
This transformation will go a long way to helping them re-evaluate these evils going on in the country with a view to bringing about stability and serenity.
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Poisoning And Witchcraft Accusations In Africa
By Leo Igwe
Witchcraft accusation is a form of death sentence. The accused are often attacked and killed. As this case has illustrated, the accused poison themselves or are poisoned. Alleged witches are forced to drink poisonous concoctions, which lead to their death or health damage. The belief is that this concoction removes, or disables witchcraft powers. The concoction supposedly cleanses suspected witchcraft. The taking of this substance is an exoneration process to establish the guilt and innocence of the accused. Some local medicine men or women administer the concoctions. The recipe for preparing these concoctions is known in many communities. As in this case, alleged witches do not wait to be given the concoctions, they prepare and take the substance themselves.
In many cases, family members pressure the accused to take these substances, to cleanse themselves, to free and exonerate themselves. The belief is that if they took the concoction and died, then they were witches. The concoction could make them vomit, and the belief is that the vomiting helps expunge witchcraft particles and powers. Sometimes, the concoction makes suspected witches hallucinate and begin to make utterances often mistaken as confessions. Most often those forced to take this concoction are elderly women and men who can barely resist the process. Poor people in rural communities, widows, and aging persons living alone with limited social support are usually the target.
This form of witch-hunting is pervasive in the villages. It is difficult to know the number of alleged witches who poison themselves, or are poisoned each year. They would be in their tens of thousands because these poisonous concoctions form part of the witch-hunting accessories. In witch hunting, the motivation is to eliminate the suspected witches, to murder and get rid of them. Cases of alleged witches who were poisoned have been reported not only in Malawi but also in Nigeria, Liberia, and Gambia.
Self-esteem Of The Male Child, A Tool for Peaceful Marriage
By Hope Nwawolo
Self-esteem determines how much you value yourself and believe in your ability to succeed. If you feel confident in being yourself around others, then you likely have high self-esteem. Having high self-esteem is related to increased happiness, relationship satisfaction, and resilience in the face of adversity. Some men went through bullying in childhood or adolescence, grew into men with deflated self-esteem.
In more recent times, the society is veering off the mindset of training only the girl child. This is because the disturbing experiences of ladies, who were trained to be submissive to their untrained husbands, have changed the dynamics of child training. Eyes have opened to realize that if you train your girl child to be an angel in marriage, she might end up with a male child who grew into a monster in the same marriage because he was not trained.
Training has different dimensions and the common one being offered the male child is that of having a caring heart and respect for his wife in future. This is highly commendable but not all encompassing. One aspect of training that is silently being ignored is that of development of self-esteem in the male child.
Nowadays, the girl child is encouraged to look at herself as one who is wonderfully made and should not be trampled by anyone, particularly, the opposite sex. This is helping to build the confidence and self-esteem of many girls who can now stand their ground on who they want to be as they grow older. These girls grow into ladies with confidence, taking on different challenges they come across as they aspire to reach the zenith of their careers. Observably, many successful ladies are able to balance their careers with demands of the home, and succeed. Now, women have their voices and demand to be heard, instead of only being seen as it was the case in the past.
Unfortunately this new trend seems to be breeding a counter reaction in some men. There is the growing tendency for these men to become uncomfortable in the face of the obvious confidence of their wives. Unknowingly, some of the men sabotage their marriages because they fail to value themselves as persons to match their wives’ self-esteem. This is the crux of the article, and for the need to inculcate high self-esteem in the male child to balance the training of the girl child, if and when they come together for marriage, instead of seeing her as a threat because of her self-esteem.
Expectedly, a woman with dignity and high self-esteem, will stand out anywhere and anytime. This has nothing to do with pride and does not even give the woman the right to attempt to usurp authority from the man. In fact, such a woman may go an extra mile to clothe herself with humility, particularly, in the presence of her husband, at home or functions. Unfortunately, many men cannot just manage the success of their wives. They would rather see them as threats. Some expect the women to be seen and not heard, forgetting that silence in dignity can attract attention from those around. Of course, men with high self-esteem, are proud to have such women as their wives.
Furthermore, it is unnecessary, particularly in the present economic hardship where the woman is almost sharing responsibilities with the man. For such a woman with financial independence, the man must be ready to witness some temper flings. And if the general admonition to women is that they should study the men and know when to talk to them, the man should also understand that the woman might be on the wrong side of her temper, due to pressure at home or work, sometimes, rather than seeing her when she is in a bad mood, as insulting him, because of his low self-esteem.
A man with low-esteem, often finds it hard to believe that he is lovable or worthy of being respected, particularly, if he sees the woman as one who is independent to some extent and capable of taking care of herself, and sometimes, the children . Such mindset can suffocate a relationship, as it may become almost impossible to please him. Understandably, the behaviour may not even be reflective of his character but symptoms of an internal struggle, and can indeed be a cause for concern, if left unaddressed. Unfortunately, there are cases of such marriages that went sour.
However, this can be checked in adolescence or teenage years before it gets full-blown in adulthood, especially in marriage. It takes an intentional stance by parents to ensure regular self-expression by the male child, as a way of building his self-esteem to go through the rigours of life. He needs to understand that marriage should be that of partnership and not absolute subjugation of the woman, no matter her level in career and society. The man remains the head of the woman, and the home!
Nwawolo, PhD, writes via
Mohbad: When Love And Light Are Not Enough
By Toyin Falola
I did not want to write about Mohbad until a student of the University of Babcock contacted me, asking me to lend my voice to it. The seventeen-year-old student emailed me in sentences that come with anguish and pain. I was moved by them. Nothing I write can restore the damaged emotions of this teenager, but I am glad to run this errand. The purpose of old age is to restore the broken fabric of society.
A sea of shimmering lights dotting the darkness of an evening sky is not a common sight anywhere in the world. In Lagos, Nigeria, it holds even more significance. It seems only a few months since a peaceful demonstration of young Nigerians was interrupted at the Lekki Tollgate in October 2020. As though the tragedy that would follow was scripted, solemn protesters who held out candlelights in their numbers in memory of fallen comrades were dispersed by live rounds and coercive military actions.
This time around, on the evening of September 21, 2023, the collegiate crowd, candle lights, and stars you saw were not to mourn the youths who had fallen to SARS’ brute force. This was the candlelight procession in honour of Ilerioluwa Aloba, popularly known as Mohbad, a young Afrobeat singer in his prime whose death and the events leading up to it have been controversial.
But these two nights have more than one thing in common. Just like in 2020, the concerned fans of the late music artiste had chosen Muri Okunola as their rendezvous, a park along Ozumba Mbadiwe Avenue, Victoria Island, Lagos, which is only a few minutes from the venue of the 2020 #EndSARS demonstration. Also, the candlelight procession featured youths, some with their placards with the inscription: “JusticeforMohbad,” bringing back memories from that fateful night. Just like three years ago, the candlelight procession for Mohbad ended with police action, the police dispersing “unruly protesters” off the scene. At least, the singular observation that some ill-trained, trigger-happy policemen did not kill Mohbad brings some solace. Nevertheless, murder is murder regardless of who pulls the trigger is an aphorism that admits very few exceptions.
At this point, one would imagine how a solemn event like a candlelight procession could have transformed into a protest that would warrant a dispersal of the “unruly crowd” by men of the Nigeria Police. In the defence of the Police Force, dispersing the procession was in the interest of ensuring the safety of lives and properties. For one thing, an exodus of young people with dread, tattoos, exuding palpable deviance is enough danger to the lives and properties in the surrounding communities; talk more of a rampant exodus of youths bearing weapons of mass destruction like naked fire and placards.
This is why the police had to think up their best initiative to nip the danger in the bud—quench the fire, whether candle lights or flickers of agitation. This is not unusual, especially in a country like ours where the primary security company has an unyielding aversion to demonstrations and an uncanny penchant for forceful responses to demonstrations, no matter how peaceful. Pardon me for this segue; it was necessary.
But will the young, towering late musician ever get justice? Would the enemies, frenemies, and evil conspirators he talked about before his death be brought to book? If anything, Ilerioluwa would take solace in the candlelight procession organized to send his soul home to his maker, as this symbolizes what he stood for. Shortly after announcing his departure from his former record label, Marlian Music, Mohbad announced his label titled “Imolenization.” In the Yoruba language, Imole means light or illumination. So, despite having had his light snuffed out in his prime, his soul would journey to the heavens buoyed on by an array of lights and love.
To many young Nigerians, Mohbad was a leading voice on the street. His songs, K.P.K., Feel Good, Peace, and Ronaldo
(https://www.google.com/search?q=K.P.K.%2C+Feel+Good%2C+Peace%2C+and+Ronaldo&rlz=1C5GCEM_enUS1077&oq=K.P.K.%2C+Feel+Good%2C+Peace%2C+and+Ronaldo&gs_lcrp=EgZjaHJvbWUyBggAEEUYOTIHCAEQIRigATIHCAIQIRigATIHCAMQIRigAdIBCDE4MDhqMGo3qAIAsAIA&sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8#fpstate=ive&vld=cid:1c3f2f36,vid:wB9Vym8SWmU,st:0), are not merely hits but have become street anthems. For many whose lives revolved around the trenches and suburbs of Lagos, Mohbad was also an emblem of hope. Like most of his contemporaries, Mohbad’s discography showcases deviance, survival, internet fraud, high life, and the never-say-die hustling spirit of the average Nigerian youth.
Mohbad’s music career took a different turn when he joined his former record label, Marlian Music. On the back of the label’s popularity, Mohbad’s stock rose exponentially, even attaining stardom with two successful albums and an E.P. Without dwelling much on what may have gone wrong between the musical art and his label, it was clear that his departure was not well received. In most departures of this kind, bad blood and legal skirmishes are not uncommon.
However, when bad blood brews into assaults and unending threats to life, and parties take laws into their hands rather than ply the legal route, the assailing party would be said to have crossed the line. As the elders would say, a fight is already set in motion when the handshake goes beyond the elbow. Mohbad, upon leaving Marlian Music in 2022, premised his departure on the failure of the label management to remit his music royalties and other entitlements. Months later, the late musician had severally released materials on how his ex-boss, Afeez Fashola, had been after his life. This leads to the question, what more would tilt the suspicion of the police towards a suspect than the declaration of a deceased person before his death?
The events surrounding the death of Mohbad raise many questions. First, could there be any connection between the frenemies he lamented and his death? Why was his burial hurried, even by his kin? Are the police doing a good job of arresting and interrogating prime and remote suspects? Was the government of Lagos right to have exhumed his remains to conduct an autopsy? Going by the Coroner’s System Law of Lagos State, “a report of death shall be made to the office of the Coroner and be subject to post-mortem examination where there is reasonable cause to believe that the cause of death was violent, unnatural, or suspicious”.
Matter-of-factly, even in this cruel world, the death of a 27-year-old is presumably unnatural except where the circumstances reveal otherwise. In Mohbad’s case, the circumstances seem to agree that a post-mortem examination is more than necessary. It becomes even more suspicious when the allegations of hostility, threats to his life, trespass on his person, and unending battles, as lamented by the late musician, are put into context.
Admittedly, the law books teach that suspicion and subjective opinion are not a sufficient basis for proof of facts. Hence, the need for empirical examination will further drive us to the point of certainty, at least for the sake of the deceased, whose life may have been cut short by unnatural forces. Maybe this would also provide context or answers as to why his burial was hurried.
When an unnatural or suspicious death occurs, the police ordinarily conduct a post-mortem examination, interrogate close associates, and scour through correspondence, recent contacts, and perceived enemies. This information becomes even more relevant if the deceased claims to have been bullied, threatened, or attacked.
Mohbad’s death has provoked commentaries and opinions from different quarters. While some have been more cautious in pointing fingers, others have thrown caution to the wind and have demanded the arrest of individuals like Afeez Fashola and Samuel Balogun. One salient issue that must be addressed before this momentum dies down is the need to redefine lost values in light of the infiltration of foreign values. In foreign climes like the United States, it is not unusual for bad blood of this kind to brew into assassinations. A case in mind is that of Tupac Shakur, who was murdered exactly 27 years ago in Nevada, United States 1996. Six months later, Christopher Wallace, Notorious B.I.G., was murdered similarly.
While Mohbad may not have died from gun violence, his death was no less violent, given the circumstances that culminated in his untimely demise. When viewed in light of his industry, we begin to see the impact of foreign elements in the Nigerian music world. A look through the boards shows artists with criminal histories ranging from assault, internet fraud, marijuana abuse, and sexual violence to homicide. It would seem that Nigerian pop artists have not only taken music inspiration from the West but have also taught their dark penchant for vices.
The cause of death might have been speculative, and the range of agitation could also have been built on unsubstantiated emotional outbursts on circumstantial evidence, a little bit shy of mathematical accuracy. Even at that, they have established the undisputed need to chase the issue to the root and also raised a disturbing concern that a lot has been overlooked in our complacency. Unfortunately, the police, in their usual brutes, have dispersed away such voices that would keep them on their toes like in the EndSARS period.
It begs the question that the current continuous show of love and a thousand sessions of candlelight will not fill the societal lacuna that might have occasioned his death or brought about the ugly incidences that built momentum before it. An enabling system has nourished the powers that have pressured Mohbad for months before his death and have continuously caused the demise of many of our fallen heroes, even if they are social stimulators like Mohbad.
To the young Babcock student, let me close as an elder: When someone else dies with similar circumstances, the same love and light will fall along with them. We have seen it continuously in recent history. We have seen brutality on helpless individuals and the government being continuously inconsiderate, but we have not seen an end to the circle. The love and lights are insufficient, but the nation has been too sleepy to fill the void they could not cover. May your fate be different, and may you live past 100 years. Amen. I will come to your campus and speak with you in person, sharing my story of survival as a teenager in the bush.
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