Certain realities have dawn on me as a young adult. When I was a kid, my parents used to force me to the ‘Naughty Corner’ instead of using the ‘rod’ on me. At a point in time, I fully adapted myself to the enclosure of my cozy ‘Naughty Corner’. The initial shame it invariably brings to my memory crosses out itself completely. Sometimes, I deliberately do what will surely provoke the raging fury of my parents just to please myself—blatantly damning whatsoever ramifications therefrom. This terrible behaviour used to excite me and my contumacious display was almost becoming wild. I was practically becoming an urchin! Whenever I was asked to go to my ‘Naughty Corner’, I would delightfully do so. On few occasions, I will cry and plead with my mum to send me to the ‘Naughty Corner’ knowing fully well that some ‘BIGGER’ boys who had threatened to beat the hell out of me earlier will gladly do so. But there came a time when that ‘Naughty Corner’ got a suitable replacement—the ‘rod’. When the ‘rod’ started caressing my back, nobody tell me say Kharki no be leather. I know am by force! You are free to call me an impish urchin,but you and I know what I am talking about since we all must have put up those childish escapade at a point or two in our lives! Chai! I hope say my parents no dey read this sha!
I woke up to the news today that President Goodluck Jonathan has concluded to institutionalize ‘The Hall of Shame’ for all the ‘prophets’ and ‘followers’ of criminality. What a brilliant move I said to myself! But when I thought about the high recurrence of blatant impunity in our convoluted system, I sincerely doubt how sterling such an audacious move will curtail and dissuade the core matrix of criminal propensity in this country.
Truth be told. I was enraptured with measurable elation when I saw the news. This is what we the masses have been clamouring for over the years. Thank Goodness! ‘We will now know all the names of the evil elements destroying this country’,I said to myself nodding. We will boo and shame all those corrupt elements who are busy looting of our national coffers.
However, I doubt the feasibility of this move. It can easily be politicized! This is Nigeria for crying out loud. Our political leaders are yet to prove themselves reliable to us and how are we sure they are going to effectively execute this.
The one billion naira questions now are: What would be the yardstick to measure these potential criminality victims? Who are the ‘saints’ who will execute this move? Is it going to be the same criminally-minded politicians who have battered our polity? Or the police? Won’t this ‘Hall of Shame’ initiative by Mr President be used as a weapon to victimize and intimidate opposition party members? Would the names of his supporters be found in the Book of Public Contempt? Well,time and time alone will tell.
Speaking the mind of a sizable number of Nigerians out there,I don’t think this ‘Hall of Shame’ of a thing alone will dissuade the act of criminality in our society. Rather,stiffer disciplinary measures ranging from protracted jail terms,assets or property confiscation to outright impeachment,should also be instituted as part of this ‘Hall of Shame’ initiative. Let’s not shy away from the truth. Neither constructive words nor public contempt can sink into the brain of hardened criminals. It can never discourage their heinous practices,because their thought is so completely absorbed in the potential snugness that thievery enterprise will bring to their table if they succeed.
The presidency should realize this: The sure way to vanquish criminality in our society is not just by shaming those culprits but by making sure that his administration encouraging transparency,good governance,opposition tolerance,massive employment opportunities for youth,improved economy and a corrpution-free cabinet.
God bless us and the Federal Republic of Nigeria