By Sunday Afolayan

When scholars came about the concept of the “new world order”, sometimes towards the last quarter of the 20th century, little did they know that their idea would soon bring negative occurrences as we now witness in our societies, instead of evolving a new paradigm of positive transformation of the peoples and nations of the world, as intended. 

With the quantum of bizarre and untoward happenings here and there and the type of stories that daily fill our media space, one is left with no option than to keep asking “how did we get here?” 

In spite of the mind rendering nature of this question, we find it difficult to provide concrete answers to the quest to know how we got here. Rather, we are lost in an endless voyage, seeking an answer that is more elusive than mere shadow. Today, our world is full of recklessness and absurdity.  We have literally turned away from the voice of wisdom to the echoes of foolery.

Rather than strengthening our moral fitness by maintaining the cultural norms and principles that have moved our society forward for ages, what we now see everywhere is a new world order of cultural erosion and moral degeneration transcending borders and barriers. 

Today criminality and moral deficiency, pervading the nooks and crannies of our cities and villages, have almost reduced humanity to mere animals in the jungle where instincts, other than reason, propel people to action.

Hence negative behaviours have almost become an acceptable norm of our daily living. A new world order of moral breakdown has, painfully, come to stay; and our new world is in for it!

These days, each time we listen, for instance, to the news, television screens and radio air waves are awash with stories of corruption, armed robbery, banditry and terrorism, killing of innocent people by faceless gunmen, among others. 

Every time we also hold the newspapers, raping and defilement of toddlers and minors are major spectacles of the banner headlines. Fathers now pride in sleeping with their teenage daughters. Morals are now for the dogs. 

The society is in for spiritual decay. Even the house of God is not getting better. The supposed sacred temple, where truths from the heart beat of God are dished out to correct the ills of the society, has been badly battered by the love of filthy lucre and all manners of sacrilege.
Criminals and fraudsters are now celebrated as Yahoo boys.  It is no longer rituality or blood money but Yahoo plus. We are gradually phasing out prostitution in our dictionary and beginning to replace it with such words as aristo or slay queens. 

A mere harlot is now a runs girl. We brand immorality and criminality with new nomenclatures, just to make evil acceptable in our decaying society. So disheartening! 

Those unwholesome practices we saw as aberration in the past are now the order of our new world.  Drug dealers are now called hustlers. It is no longer fornication but love making. Even nudeness or nudity is now a social practice that defines the status of our female folk as being big girls. 

In those days, playing pool or gambling was like committing profanity. A gambler was then treated like a leprous person. He was shunned and despised.  But today, gambling has been upgraded to Bet Nija, Bet King and the rest. 

So gambling has been dressed in a new cloak. Our youths can now play pool in the open glare under a new world order with all impunity.  

Technology by intention evolved to advance the course of humanity but today, technology has become a tool for heinous crime. For instance, pornography is now part of what people watch freely for leisure on android phones. We now live in a new world where illicit sexual escapades are gradually becoming an exercise in physical and health education. 

Can you see how criminals with the hearts of stone now deploy android to record and share gruesome videos of killing and slaughtering of victims on the social media for people to watch?  Human emotion and feeling are fast melting away like a piece of ice in the sun.  

These days, ladies find it difficult to allow guys have access to their ATM codes, account balances, birth certificate, and other vital personal information or document they Consider sensitive, yet they commonly allow them easy access to their private parts without shame. 

Even in the Big Brother Naija, open sexual notoriety is part of the criteria for winning millions. Life is turning upon its head. Decency is no more available in the market place! Today’s youths pay more attention to the voice of immoral celebrities than the voice of God as entrenched in the Holy Books. 

This is an era where people want to reap without sowing; where one waits for gains without pains. The students, for instance, want to pass, even with high grades without studying enough to earn good mark while the teacher also want to exploit the innocence or ignorance of the poor student for pecuniary and other advantages. 

Some parents now conspire to such length as buying grades or admission for their unmerited children. By implication, such a parent imprints in the heart of their children a notion that it pays to seek the devil’s alternatives than to work hard, forgetting that a penny earned is better than a dollar obtained by fraudulent means.  

It is not uncommon to see both the husband and the wife keeping secret lovers and still pretend at home that that all is well under the oath of “for better for worse”. Instances abound where unscrupulous wives bear children out of wedlock for unsuspecting husbands while the unruly man too keeps hordes of concubines in secret places. At home and out there, decadence holds sway like parasitic annelid destroying the fabric of our private and public lives. 

The rich are resilient in keeping the poor perpetually poor while the poor is wishing the rich man dead or planning to loot his booties. Nobody wants to be his brother’s keeper any longer. Ironically, both the blind man and his guide are looking out for ways to outsmart his partner. In other words, the leader and the led, the big boss and his servant are, not only unfaithful, but full of fraud and mischief. Behold, everybody wants to cut corner. 

Getting a job or appointment in our new world is no longer by merit but by who you know. Mediocrity is placed above meritocracy. The state or region of your origin is more important than your nationality. Even in the military, your sponsor among the officers determines your placement. Some swim in abundance and waste while others wallow in doldrums and conundrum. 

As some are badly weighed down by the load in their bellies, others sleep and wake up in penury and abject poverty. We are in a world where laws are made without order. We keep long list of contacts on our phones but maintain few friends. 

We share many messages but little intimacy. Rather that showing real emotions of love, empathy or pains, as the case maybe, we have now reduced our emotions to mere icons sent to our contacts in response to messages. 

Needless then to say that we now live so close to one another in our new world, yet far apart by the way we relate. 

The question still remains: How did we get here? 

Sunday Afolayan, novelist, poet and public affairs analyst, is a lecturer in the Department of Mass Communication, Rufus Giwa Polytechnic, Owo, Nigeria.

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