FAMILY VALUES & VIRTUES — IMPORTANCE OF THE FIRST INSTITUTION IN HEAVEN: The cultural heritage and values that young people in Africa adopt are now Western. The impact on youths is now evident in dress styles, among others, with implications of changes in behaviour, morals and aspirations. It is a matter for regrets that the very rich cultural heritage of the black race has over the years been eroded by foreign norms and cultures through the invasion of our airwaves by the foreign media which transmit programmes that negate our values and customs. The influence of Western media on the Third World is dangerously making our young people lose their virtues, values and societal norms; only to be replaced by the cultural they see on incursive programmes shown on foreign media. The impact on youth in Africa by foreign media values is evident in dress styles with implications of changes in behaviour, morals and aspirations, with young boys now wearing ear-rings and plaiting their hair!
THE FIRST CREATION: The family was God’s first institution. Over the years, modernization has drawn family values and virtues towards precipice. It is feared that if the situation persists with the reckless pattern of its rapid desecration of values and virtues, the whole world may not too long from now witness crises in unimaginable proportions. The Declaration by God that instituted marriage relationship designed the family unit. According to Jonathan L. Perz (2008) the downfall of the family unit in society is one of the most tragic things facing mankind. ‘’The destruction of the family unit all begins with the destruction of what starts a family – the marriage of a man and a woman.’’ Why? This is evidently because the institution of marriage and family is generally not held in the esteem that God meant for it to be!’’
PROACTIVE MEASURES AS PRIMARY GOAL; & REACTIVE STRATEGIES AS SECONDARY OPTION: There is hardly any observer who is not worried about the social environment and Western negativities on the upbringing of our youth; and corrosive influence on adults too, these days of Globalization, which makes social vices and ills not to have any borders. In large measures, the society shares the faults of the collective rot in the social systems. Parents no longer pay the desirable/adequate attention to the development of the child. Organizations that exist to build and shape character/personalities appear to be helpless; and are, in many cases, guilty of dereliction of duty. In truth, the task of monitoring youth and societal development is the responsibility of all, including organizations and people charged with parental responsibilities. Available statistics reveal that 61 per cent of websites on the Internet are pornographic sites, which make them easily available to anyone.
HUMAN RIGHTS & MORALS: As rational human beings, parents must engage in introspection and discover where we started getting things wrong; and why we have continued to grapple, almost helplessly, with the problems of low morals and virtues; or even no morals at all. We could then collaborate for the purpose of restoring our values that have been eroded by foreign influences. Man is marrying man; and woman is marrying woman in societies that permit the heresy on account of human rights. Retired Primate Peter Jasper Akinola asserts that: ‘’The Western world is not our moral sample; they have nothing to offer Nigeria, morally speaking. ”Those who claim human rights beyond the rights are going too far as no person has no such right beyond that given by God. ‘’He made you male and female. ‘’If the Lord had wanted it, He would have made you all male or female but He made you male and female, blessed you and said, procreate. ‘’That is God’s order; that is the way it is ordained naturally for human beings to co-exist. ‘’Anything contrary to that is an insult to God Almighty. ‘’The whole problem of homosexuality is not just about people who are homosexuals. ‘’It’s about church leaders who are upturning the true understanding of the scripture. ‘’They are liberalizing the scripture. ‘’That is the major challenge we faced and we still face.”
THE NEED FOR INTROSPECTION: Elsewhere, Jonathan L. Perz attributes the erosion of values to: selfishness, which he says is ‘’the biggest destroyer of marriages. ‘’In turn, the family unit has for the most part come to mean nothing. Children in turmoil and confusion are the consequences of such thinking. ‘’They get wrapped up in a vicious cycle of broken homes that only they can choose to break. That is, the average child of a divorced couple will inevitably divorce unless they consciously and determinably, choose not to fall prey to the same thing their parents did.’’ This is shameful! God never desired these things for the family. Because the LORD has been witness between you and the wife of your youth, with whom you have dealt treacherously; yet she is your companion and your wife by covenant. 15 But did He not make them one, having a remnant of the Spirit? And why one? He seeks godly offspring. Therefore take heed to your spirit, and let none deal treacherously with the wife of his youth.’’
THE DAVID OYEDEPO RECIPE FOR BREEDING RESPONSIBLE LEADERS OF TOMORROW: Bishop David Oyedepo, Chancellor, Covenant University, Otta, Nigeria while defending the operational style of Covenant University, Otta, Ogun State, Nigeria stated that: ‘’Some people say how can you tell children how to dress? We have to do that so they won’t behave like mad people on the street. ‘’They say how can you tell them they can’t use phone? We tell them so they would be disconnected from cultism. “Ask me anything, I can tell you why we did it. Where are you going to find the President of a nation with a woven hair? I can tell you that in the next 100 years, you won’t find a male president using ear-rings because they would count you as irresponsible; even in the secular world they won’t see anything in you. ‘’As free as America is, have you ever seen any minister there with earrings? The person may be qualified, but he will be termed irresponsible. ‘’But if you train these children how to carry themselves, it will open up their future. “Everywhere you get to in this world, people are looking for responsible people, who don’t only say so, but prove so. ‘’So, all the opinions on Covenant University have died now because we didn’t stop pursuing what we believe was right and now it has become a standard” There is no magic wand for turning the situation around, beyond getting parents, organizations with parental responsibilities, and the appropriate agencies of government to be more committed to youth development.
EXTRA-VIGILANCE – AFRICA HAS BEEN THE VICTIM OF OTHER PEOPLE’S INFORMATION DOMINATION: Our progenitors nurtured high moral standards which they hoped would be passed on to even generations yet to be born. It is true that Government has a key role to play with regard to moderating the polity. But it is not only government that should be held responsible. Many parents are irresponsible and cannot manage their homes. For major events happening in Africa, the local media rely on the British Broadcasting Corporation, the Cable Network News and similar news organizations to feed their audience. A Nigerian expert in Mass Communications, late Prof. Alfred Opubor argued that: “Africa has been the victim of other peoples’ information domination. ‘’Historically, Africa’s image in the world has been largely managed by non-African interests and institutions. ‘’Those who had the means to create powerful channels to disseminate information widely, had pre-empted the definition of what was good, what was right, what was important, and what was civilized. In general, even the achievements in science, in art and culture that were African in origin or inspiration, were often attributed to others, because their provenance was obscured in Africa’s inability to proclaim its stake. Through literature, visual arts, the mass media, and popular culture, the agenda of world discourse has been hijacked by other cultures and peoples for a long time.’’ It is always better to personally get a real feel of the situation.
COUPLES & PARENTS OF VIRTUES & VALUES — A CONTINUOUS PROGRAMME (ALL YEAR ROUND) — OUR TASK: Evidently, there is the need for respect for core and shared values, and the collective ability of the citizenry to do away with attitudes and cultures that have continued to incapacitate developmental strides. What we at TERRIFIC HEADLINES are doing is to promote family values and virtues through a multi-pronged media agenda that is attacking the scourge of social and criminal conducts by raising the level of awareness of our target audience through a Strategic Communications agenda
NOT JUST ANOTHER AWARD: This campaign is distinctly unique. Its objectives are not about choosing the best personalities in any segment of the society. It is about utilizing excellent and commendable conducts to encourage others to pattern their lives after those of highly successful personalities.. Couples have the greatest role to play in ensuring that the principles of family values are promoted. We took it upon ourselves, as social responsible professionals and patriotic Nigerians with good intentions. People tend to look only at the awards/honours ceremony that is being planned to generate feelings of empathy as lives and relationships of ROLE MODEL COUPLES & PARENTS could further assist in shaping the tomorrow of our younger ones and spur the younger generation on to achieving higher standards of morals, virtue, integrity, uprightness and decency.
NO SOCIETY COULD PROGRESS WITHOUT FAMILY VALUES: So far, this lofty programme that is of public and national interests has been wholly funded by TERRIFIC HEADLINES. This activity comes up regularly to influence behaviour and attitudes with a view to developing Nigeria. But that is just one event holding one days out of the 365 days our campaign runs in one year. Nobody could successfully fault the need for mentoring and reshaping the society through copy good examples provided by ROLE MODEL COUPLES & PARENTS. To those who wonder every so often if Nigeria will be great again, I say let us never lose hope, but endeavour to work and pray harder. It is not yet past midnight for Nigeria. Biblical Joseph was in the dungeon when the God of suddenly moved and promoted him to the post of prime minister of Egypt, the then most powerful nation on earth. .David was a shepherd boy when the ‘’God of Suddenly’’ moved to make him king of Israel. — No campaign, no posters, and no radio and television announcement.. All of us have the shared responsibility of developing our dear country; our own Jerusalem. Those good prophecies concerning Nigeria have to be properly prayed in to happen. And we must start must start from the level of family units. May the Good Lord bless Nigeria.