By Hassan Imam
Etymologically, the term ‘moral‘ is derived from the Latin, word _Mos_ , which means custom or habit.
Technically, it means the principles governing the distinction between right and wrong or good and bad behaviour. It can also be defined as the habits that shape how we think, how we should live or what is good for human life.
Moral decadence can be simply put as a gross reduction in the moral values in a particular society. Afuye stated its forms as rape, cultism, stealing, examination malpractice, prostitution, indecent dressing and drug abuse. It is pellucid to know that moral decadence denies one the capacity for leadership and good citizenship and destroys peace, security progress and real development of the society.
Poverty, according to Merriam Webster Dictionary, is the state of one who lacks a usual or socially acceptable amount of money or material in possessions. It is divided into three; cyclic, collective and concentrated. Of all these types of poverty, the most prevalent and chronic is cyclic. That is, inability to meet basic needs. High cost of living, social barriers, lack of government support, conflict and war and poor infrastructure are amongst the factors that cause poverty.
Poverty has been identified as one of the factors that contribute to moral decadence. Aristotle remarks thus, “Poverty is the parent of revolution and crime.”
Nigeria, a country blessed with tremendous human material resources has been identified as one of the poverty-stricken countries in the world. Not less than 74.5% has been given as the poverty rate in Nigeria. This skyrocketing rate of poverty in the country accounts for the gross reduction of moral values therein. Today, prostitution and cyber-crime have become norms. You will see a “yahoo guy” priding himself, and a prostitute bragging about her work. Truthfully, they are not to blame. It is as a result of the government’s failure to perform its duty that our youths got driven to devilish acts. After spending years in a university, one will become a source of discouragement to the O’level holders who intend to further their education, because of one’s bad financial status. In fact, those who learnt handworks feel superior to their educated contemporaries whose lives are not as smooth as theirs. This is why many people say, “Education is a Scam.“
However, a good name they say, is more precious than gold. A youth who professionalizes cyber crime should remember that when he is caught, his name will be dragged in the mud, thereby tarnishing the image of his family. In the same vein, a lady who takes prostitution as a profession should remember that if she contracts HIV, she will be rejected by the society and this can cause her hypertension.