Straight Talk With Olanike: All Thanks To Our Morals!


See, ours is a nation of high morals. Superior morals compared to those delinquent nations abroad. We pride ourselves in being courteous, honest, with high levels of integrity and honour. This is exactly what I have been trying to say for donkey years. I was once again reminded of our high moral values when I read a story this week. 

An older sister wrote of her younger sister who works for an expatriate company as customer personnel officer. The job in the oil-rich region involves going to night clubs, private-members clubs, staying late until the wee hours of the morning but with numerous financial benefits. As it were, the younger lady who’s under 25 years of age caters for their house rent and possibly the bills. All these have not deterred the older sister from asking time and time again what the younger’s job entails. The latter puts it to attending late night meetings, seeing to the welfare of the expatriate men. Bearing the oddness of the job in mind, the older sister sought for advice on what to do as she was not comfortable with her younger one being out till late with strange men.

True to expectation, the torrents of advice from highly religious and moral citizens poured in. Did the older sister not have her life to mind? What if the younger girl was spending time with various men? Was it not a job, a good job? Is the older not jealous of her younger sister’s wealth and progress? The opinions poured in like smooth-flowing palm oil until the vessels were full. One person even asked if the older sister didn’t realise how difficult it is to get such a high-paying job and that the economic situation in the country has pushed ladies into prostitution.  Who can blame them? Times are hard. Lending credence to that line of thought, turning into armed robbery or kidnapping for ransoms can’t be horrible choices after all. Times are hard and man has to survive.  We understand these choices informed by our moral standards.  We have high morals you see. Situations only push us here and there and what a helpless lot we are. 

Considering the fact that we have high morals, how can we not see wrong in jobs of low virtue? How can we possibly justify the fact that our sisters are fast-moving into prostitution? And that most of their clientèle are our religious brothers and fathers? In reality, do we just brandish morals when convenient but throw them to the dogs during the tough times? If we justify societal ills based on financial difficulties, where do we draw the boundary lines?  By the way, I still hold on to the belief that we have the highest level of morals.

Even in our religious houses, our practise of faith is clearly superior to those fakes abroad who are not so passionate about their beliefs.  We will beat them hands down if there were to be a contest, say against American Christians. They don’t fast and pray as much as we do. Talk of night vigils, they are mostly non-existent among those people yonder.

But wait a second. The level of corruption in their public systems is nothing to be compared to ours. Neither do public officers get away with wrong as much as we have in our moral nation. The inequalities and poverty levels dwarf in comparison to ours.  Fair wages and conditions apply to all workers irrespective of their social classes. Their religious leaders address the government when perceived wrongs are carried out.  Our own moral standards do not hold us to such accounts. Maybe we operate on different dynamics. Nonetheless, we have morals, very high ones. Nothing else comes close.  We are a nation with high levels of conscientiousness. We only turn our eyes away from the sufferings of our fellow citizens.  We accept highly prized gifts without knowing the sources of wealth.  It is what it is. We are a different people and have high moral standards. Other nations need to learn from us. We are a people, great and mannered. All thanks to our almighty morals.

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