Traditions & Social Change
There exist age-long traditions that has to be modified or completely abolished across various tribes in Nigeria. Suffice to say that, these traditions affect both the poor and rich class in a social system. While the “rich” barely escape some of these obsolescent traditions, they pay money to appease the once they cannot dodge.
These happenings have given rise to the castigation of these medieval traditions, culminating in branding certain tribes that herald such traditions in bad light.
Like the saying; there are no bad ethnic groups, but bad people exist in every ethnic group. When it comes to traditions, same may not be said because traditions are an expression of a peoples’ culture.
Simplicity of culture entails the psycho-social and physio-social aspects of an environment. The psycho-social aspects of bio-social environment comprises the inner behaviour, attitudes, ideas, desires, values and norms of the human population. Customs, folkways, mores, external symbols and language make up for the external expression of this aspect.
No doubt culture is the total way of life of a people which is learned, shared and transmitted from one generation to another. Nonetheless, enforcement of some obsolete traditions as enshrined in a culture, have made many desert their country home to seek succour among other cultures.
With recent calls, campaigns for and against some traditions that seem to have lost their relevance, I think it is time traditional systems or councils across the country seek ways to repeal such benighted traditions or modify them where necessary. Moreover, every country calls for constitutional amendment or develop new constitution in worse case scenarios. Traditional institutions are not exempted from this.
I won’t fail to acknowledge that some communities are already shifting grounds and accommodating more contemporary ways to address these cultural lags. The pace is rather too slow. The need for more proactive steps in this regard cannot be overemphasized.
These antediluvian traditions affect all genders and class though in varied proportions. Going by this, I think it is time men, women and youth associations/organizations/unions of various tribes across the nation speak up and seek significant ways to end these traditional anomalies. We don’t need another Mary Slessor neither foreign missionaries to help us this time.
It is quite unfortunate that those peddling some of these barbaric traditions at the moment in our country homes are educated fellows. But I believe the tide can change. Like its said; you can fool a person at a time but you cannot fool everybody at the same time. Hence the need to build synergy.
While these campaigns continue, I believe it is long overdue that we build synergy to combat these cultural lags in our respective social systems. Also, it becomes necessary that those at the mercy of such antiquated traditions seek meaningful ways to navigate the tide with wisdom, until it is modified or abolished completely. For, when the hunters have learnt to shoot without missing, the birds will learn to fly without perching.
For the love of country and humanity.