An immoral act is one which is not acceptable by
the society. The adjective “immoral” refers to people whose behavior or action is not considered good or honest. To be immoral can also mean not following the accepted standards of sexual behavior.
First, unemployment has been discovered to be a major cause of immorality. In Nigeria alone, for instance, more than 10 million able-bodied youth, particularly those who have concluded their service year, are jobless.
Majority of these youth have little or no resources to set up their own businesses and, therefore, they remain idle throughout the year. The adage is true which says, “An idle mind is the devil’s workshop.” Unemployment has created an idle situation for many and this has given rise to various forms of immorality like stealing, fornication, prostitution, violence, just to mention but a few.
Unemployment begets poverty. Hardwork creates wealth. The purchasing power of a poor person is weak. Such a person can engage in stealing just to make ends meet. In other words, poverty can cause crimes like theft, cheating, thuggery, among others. Indeed, many of our unemployed youth have often accepted to act as thugs for politicians who entice them with money – all this happens because of poverty. Poverty has made many of our Nigerian girls to take to prostitution, even, as a means of livelihood.
In addition, watching films with violent and pornographic contents has often resulted in actual violence and sexual immorality manifested by such heavy viewers in the society. it has been proven beyond reasonable doubt that most acts of violence exhibited in the society nowadays result from watching films and movies with such negative contents.
Before the advent of home videos, foreign movies had been discovered to have violent and pornographic contents. It was thought that viewing such movies with negative contents was responsible for the various heinous crimes in the society.
Supposedly, home videos emerged in the early 80s so as to right these wrongs. Home video producers were supposed to produce films that reflect the Nigerian culture, besides correcting the ills in the society. Regrettably, however, home vices and other Nigerian movies merely replicate and, indeed, promote the same crimes like violence, illicir sex, greed, jealousy, cultism, prostitution which characterised foreign movies.
Similarly, watching films with pornographic contents popularly known as “blue films,” has given rise to crimes including rape, fornication, prostitution, among others. About a year ago, a police constable was accused of raping a two-year old girl-child. This crime might have been an aftermath of watching “blue films.” Unfortunately, contemporary Nigerian youths derive pleasure from watching such films.
Crimes are on the increase today, because parents are failing in their duty towards their children. The Book of Proverbs 22:6 says that parents should train up their children in the way of the Lord, and when they are getting old, they will not depart from it. The Good News Bible puts it this way, “Teach children how they should live, and they will remember it all their lives.” Children have the opportunity of watching “blue films” for instance, because there is little or no parental mediation. Some Nigeiran parents are so busy nowadays that they hardly have time to find out the type of films their children watch.
During my holiday in Lagos last year, a woman accosted me and reported that her three children within the ages of six and had not seen their father for three months – ten. When asked what was responsible for this abnormal situation, she explained: “My husband wakes up at 3:30am every day to prepare for work, and returns at 11pm. When he wakes up, the children are still asleep and when he returns, the children would have gone to bed.” Of course every serious minded civil servant in Lagos must wake up early to prepare for work in order to boycott the heavy traffic, and since some of them close late because of doing what they call “over time” in order to earn more money, they will not be able to avoid the heavy traffic on their way home. It is obvious that such parents would not be able to carry out the aforementioned biblical injunction. In fact, children of such parents would lack parental mediation in the types of films they watch. Indeed, they would lack parental care, love and guidance generally.
Peer pressure is another major cause of misdemeanor and misconduct in the Nigerian society. When parents do not give much attention to their children, often times the children are left at the mercy of their colleagues. Such children are more easily influenced negatively by the bad company they keep. Due to influence from bad company, many of our youth have been initiated into secret cults, cultism and other forms of immorality in the society.
The dichotomy between religious faith and practice has also been identified as a cause of immorality in Nigeria. As explained in Foluke Ogunleye’s Africa Video Film Today (2003, P77), Onigu Otite has described the Nigerian society as a morally decadent one. Although it preaches uprightness and its people are religious, their religious faith is not translated into action. Although the society preaches moral sanctity, its people are merely sanctimonious. The yawning gap between the holy moral proclamation and dishonourable moral recklessness of the larger society has created a fertile ground for the blossoming of practices that are morally unacceptable.
The gap between the “haves” and the “have-not” increases by leaps and bounds everyday. While the rich are getting richer, the poor are getting poorer. In Nigeira, conspicuous wealth exists side by side with abject or despicable poverty. This kind of unjust situation can only call for violence and war. Certainly, the poor majority of the masses cannot be happy with this situation, particularly when it is obvious that most of the rich minority of the Nigerian populace acquire such riches through dubious and crooked means like stealing, embezzlement and lack of accountability.
Ajiga is an intern with The Tide.