IN the circumstances we find ourselves right now, our country is at a cross road as we await the result of the Presidential election of March 28, 2015. We are, therefore, in a tense situation. Because of this, I won’t write on policies, politics and governance during this period. That is why I have chosen this topic this week.
Children from hell is a phraseology for capturing the demonic idiosyncrasies of bad children now all over the place in our dear fatherland.
Prologue
Efe Osafuonmwan, the futuristic anchor of MAN AROUND TOWN programme of Independent Radio, Benin often warns about our lackadaisical attitude towards the menace of these bad children. Hear him:
“If good parents today bring up bad children, how will the future be when bad children become bad parents and give birth to worse children?” definitely, the scenario is fearful.
But do most of us care about this? Who side!! This is because in Nigeria, kiosk is better than provision store. Yes, prevention is not better than cure. And, so, we allow preventable events to occur before we shed lachrymose tears trying to solve them as it is now the case with Boko Haram insurgency today.
Example from the Bible
Every bad child is literally a bomb waiting to explode with direct and collateral impacts. For instance, take the story of the sons of Eli the great priest of God – namely, Hophni and Phinehas. The bible tells us that they committed serial abominations against God. How? It is by greedily and forcibly appropriating the choicest of offering brought by worshippers to God’s temple. Furthermore, the sons of Eli slept with women at the door of the tabernacle where they had assembled for worshiping service.
Eli, now over 90 years old, advised Hophni and Phinehas to mend their evil ways. No dice. They carried on with their bestial practices. So, God told Eli: “Behold, I will cut off thine arm and the arm of thy father’s house so that there shall not be an old man in thine house for ever. All the increase of thine house shall die in the flower of their age. And this shall be a sign unto thee that shall come upon thy two sons, Hophni and Phinehas. In one day, they shall die. Both of them.”
God’s words came to pass. Hophni and Phinehas were slaughtered in the subsequent war between the uncircunmcized, unclean Philistines and the supposedly, Godly people of Israel. Thereafter, the priestly dynasty of Eli was taken from his family and given to Samuel faithful servant of God.
Briefly, what this story illustrates is that bad children bring a deluge of catastrophy to themselves, the ambient society and their parents. This scenario is still played out in our society today as we would soon see.
Evil Sons
My research has revealed that the first armed robbery in Mid-West State executed by firing squad at the present location of Benin Museum. And Monument, Benin City was the notorious son of a big-time lawyer. The event occurred during the civil war when a decree was promulgated by General Yakubu Gowon sentencing any convicted armed robber to death by firing squad.
For reason of anonymity, let call the son of this lawyer Kelvin. Right from childhood, Kelvin had been a delinquent. His father, who struggled hard from being a vice-principal of a secondary school to becoming a successful lawyer, placed Kelvin in a secondary school in Auchi. But troublesome Kelvin had to be relocated to Agbede to continue his education following his expulsion from the Auchi School.
However, Kelvin later truncated his academic journey at Agbede and without informing his parents joined the army while the civil war in Nigeria was raging in the late sixties. Not long after he enlisted in the army he was found wearing the rank of a Leutenant. Then, one day he snatched the car of a commercial driver after shooting him and leaving him for dead.
The robbed driver reported Kelvin to the military authorities. Kelvin was arrested in Benin while riding his “new” car!! He was tried, found guilty of armed robbery and shot in Benin.
Once again, there was this other rascal, bad child called Oscar (not real name). He wrote his WASCE with the aid of mercenaries and came out with brilliant grades. His indolent father, a vice-principal, was impressed by the result. He showed off Oscar’s performance to a cousin of his who is professor in a university in Lagos. The professor was equally overwhelmed by Oscar’s score card. He took Oscar along with him to Lagos with a plan to educate him to the university level.
But a leopard can never change its spot. A bad child is a bad child. Oscar while Lagos took his nuisance value to a new level by joining leagues of spoilt children. Matters soon came to a climactic diabolic crescendo for Oscar. He would go out in the morning and return at 11pm when the professor and his family are asleep. Soon, Oscar was planning to travel to Spain without a visa through the desert. This was the last shrew that broke the  Carmel’s back. The professor was angry. He ‘repatriated’ Oscar home to his father.
In attempting to salvage the lost situation, Oscar was enrolled in a polytechnic. But he spent his time there, on the laps of erotic campus girls. And, so, he dropped out. But, he collected his school fees for his second year, pretending that he scaled the first year examinations. Having done this, he disappeared into thin air. He was no where to be found even when his father fell ill and was dying instamentally in hospital. It was only when his father passed on that Oscar showed up. Without apology or a feeling of empathic loss of a father.
Daughters of Belzebub
We have bad daughters just as we have evil sons. Enter Queen (not real name). Her elder brothers didn’t go to a tertiary school because of poverty. So, when they ran into fortune selling motor spare parts, they resolved to ensure Queen goes to a university. Unknown to them, she was already a spoilt girl at 12, sleeping around with street boys. Hence she wasn’t an academic quantity for a university.
All the same, she was able to ‘smuggle’ herself into a polytechnic. She, however, dropped out of school in her first year after which she disappeared from the family radar. Moments later, she was found with an unaccredited pregnancy courtesy of her boy friend on campus!! Behold, the brothers wept at the sight before the owl shrieked.
Also, there was this other girl who couldn’t cook a decent meal and dressed in borrowed clothes. One day, she crowned her infamous failure story with sleeping with a married man on his matrimonial bed while his wife and her friend wasn’t at home!!! Well, today, she is no more. She died in labour while trying to deliver his child.
Last Line: Look around you. You will find children of these bad conduct all over the place. So, you can understand why people like Efe Osafuonmwan worry about this development. Let’s heed his advice to bring up righteous children or else we will only be programming our society towards cataclysmic self – destruction.