From each passing decade, communities across the country have been struggling to maintain law and order within their jurisdictions, while simultaneously causing a reduction in the increasing levels of crime and criminality in their societies, which no doubt pose the most serious threat to their forward movement and the notion of national security.
While most communities in the country have all approached the subject matter differently, most of them have failed in addressing the root causes of crime and criminality, so much so that judicial systems have become ineffective and slothful in the dispensation of justice.
This is not as a result of poor management on the part of the judiciary, or the lack of adequate resources in the form of magistrates or lawyers, but can be directly attributed to a breakdown in the traditional family structures within our societies; the changing socioeconomic, domestic and state environment; the shifting of gender roles; the emergence of new, complex gender identities; and the changing dynamics of a world now driven by newer forms of information and communication technologies.
While all of the above mentioned factors are important to any discussion on solving the proliferation of crime within our collective economy, many community leaders and policy makers underestimate the role of females and girls in growth and sustenance of the community’s crime problem; erroneously thinking that girl-child has less predilection to perpetration of crime.
Against the backdrop of the foregoing erroneous thinking, it is expedient to recall that besides the recent heinous crime committed by Chidinma Ojukwu, the 21-year-old University of Lagos student who confessed to have stabbed Super TV boss, Uwaifo Ataga, to death, there is no denying the fact that many Nigerians have been witnessing horrible advances in murder-related crimes.
The truth is, the girl-child is being poorly socialized, and she has for the umpteenth time not cautioned by each passing day, and prayed in the same light, like it is done to boys in many homes to shield them from vices that cut across drugs, sex, cultism, and what have you. Most parents are wont to erroneously think that it is only the boy-child that deserves to be cautioned on the dangers that loom ahead when he indulges in any of the mind-bending and destiny-killer vices. Most parents do not bother to give enough attention during their early years of development at home, in school, and within the wider society.
Ostensibly due to unprecedented spiraling rate of unemployment, the girl-child is at an early age told by unscrupulous parents that she must “hustle”; a phraseology that simply means anything goes, thereby unjustifiably bearing the burden of providing for their families. They are rather socialized to hide their weaknesses and sensitivities, and never warned to shun conjugal relationship with any married man, otherwise called “Sugar Daddy”.
At this juncture, it is expedient to say that since Chidinma and Ataga’s sexcapade became a public issue that the Court of Public Opinion has literarily been trying the case on diverse social media platforms without sparing a thought about her parental background. For the sake of clarity, Court of Public Opinion refers to using the news media to influence public support for one side or the other in a court case. This can result in persons outside the justice system (i.e. people other than the judge or jury) taking action for or against a party. As for Chidinma, no one cares to understand the circumstance she found herself that she is now in this quagmire and sorry pass. It is sad that Public Opinion Court has already condemned her even before the Court of Law.
A critical sociological cum psychological overview of her parental background will reveal that she did not at her formative stages of life pass through expected parental tutelage. For instance, according to the Nigerian Guardian newspaper edition of June 29, 2021, “There are indications that Mr. Ojukwu, the purported father of the prime suspect, Chidinma, in the brutal killing of Super TV boss, Usifo Ataga, is not her biological father.
“A report yesterday, revealed that Mr. Ojukwu, who was arrested and released by the police was not her real father. According to a source, Mr. Ojukwu is not her biological father but her guardian. The source said her real name is Chidinma Blessing Egbuchu that she is not from Abia State as claimed but from Imo State.
“She is the second child of the late Mr. Michael Egbuchu and Mrs. Kate Egbuchu. Her parents were reportedly separated in the late 90s. Her father died in 2019 and her mother remarried, now bearing Kate Idibia.
“What lesson can parents draw from this situation?” The foregoing question cannot be said to be puzzling as it is incumbent on them to re-educate their girls, and imbue them with the understanding that life is not about just having fun and making money but that there is more to it. It is expedient that moral impartation is given to the girl-child, not only the boy-child, as the level of moral decadence in Nigeria today is by each passing day manifesting in sexual immorality, even as the quest for money making among university undergraduates, call for the re-emphasis and re-orientation of our social values system to the present crop of youths in the society.
In Nigeria, there is a need to view the issue of “Money-for-Hand” kind of sexual pervasiveness with a sense of urgency and dispatch. If not, we are going to continue witnessing the spread of a deviant strand of hyper- feminism sweeping across the education system. This reconstruction of feminism is already manifesting itself in all our schools. Our girls are wearing trousers well below their waists that whenever they mount “Okada”, they end up exposing their undergarments. In fact, our girls have become more violent in recent years, even to the point of seeing them being arrested as crime suspects. Without any iota of exaggeration, there is no denying the fact that moral decadence in Nigeria universities is increasingly becoming rampant on daily basis. The ivory towers that supposed to be places where moral values are acquired have become a ‘showground’ for different kinds of immoral activities. Can we then say that tertiary institutions in the country have failed in articulating the educational values of the nation’s education policy? Your response could be exactly as mine.
At this juncture, it is not a misnomer to ask, “Why blame Chidinma when moral fabric has torn to pieces?”