Chimezie Agwu is not new on this column. This is another piece from him, please, read on:
The Longman dictionary of contemporary English defines trust as ‘a strong belief in the honesty, goodness, et cetera, of someone or something’. Unfortunately, it is the betrayal of this trust by most people that is making Nigeria and the world at large an uncomfortable place to dwell. Reliable individuals are not available easily.
In a certain village, a man died and for several days his close friend was weeping bitterly, mourning him. His loud cry attracted the attention of a concerned neighbour, who went to him to find out why the death of his friend was very painful to him in that manner. The mourner said, “I have only one testicle, and it is only my departed friend that knew about it and until his death, he did not reveal it to anyone. He was a trustworthy friend”. The neighbour pleaded with him to stop crying, and vowed to keep sealed lips about what he told him, as his late friend had done. He was consoled or so it seemed.
After leaving the mourner’s house, the man went out to divulge the secret to people. “I can now tell you why the mourner has been in deep grief,” he told his eager listeners with gusto, “he has only one testicle, and the only person he ever disclosed it to, was his dead friend, who kept the secret to himself till his death”. The villagers were shocked to hear such a thing, which was considered an abomination in their community, for a man to have only one testicle. The women exclaimed, “No wonder our farm products have been yielding poorly! So, an accursed man had been in our midst!”
A committee of seven men was set up to investigate the matter and then make a report. The day they went to the mourner’s house, he did something dramatic, but decisive. He hurried into his bedroom, stripped naked and lay supine, with his legs spread widely apart. He called the first member of the committee to examine his scrotum and declare what he saw. The man explored the ‘wetincall’ with his left hand. The mourner asked him, “How many testicles are there?” The investigator replied, “Two”. It was the same answer that the other six people gave, when they took their turns. The result was that the mourner had complete testicles – two, not one!
We may not know if he told each of the investigators to use the old man’s eye to examine him, as was the case, when a man stole a cock and hid it inside his bag. The youths saw him and started shouting, “Thief! thief! He picked the oldest man there, and told him to use the old man’s eyes to search his bag. Using the old man’s eyes in searching him, the old man declared that he saw nothing, though the cock was there! The committee gave their report to the village Elders’ Council, which set an appointed day to mete out disciplinary measure to the talebearer. He got a wind of it and ran away. He never returned to the village again. The angry mob had to set his house ablaze. It was a ripple effect of betrayal of trust.
The story of a 13-year-old-school girl, sodomized to death last year by her guardian and his son, is still fresh in our memory. The man, who committed shamelessly, this hideous crime with his son, apart from being a Senior Lecturer at a polytechnic, is also a knight. No matter the angle we look at it, it was a betrayal of trust and it is a common practice today.
Imagine a young girl weeping after being beaten by her mama and another lady pretends to be sympathizing with her. “It’s okay,” she tells her, “nobody can look after a child like her mum. Bear it, one day, you will leave this house for your spouse’s house”. The girl, in surprise, asks her if Mummy is not her mum. “She isn’t, that is why she beats you like this. She adopted you,” the lady informs her. That family will never be the same again, caused by betrayal of trust!
In recent times, pedophiles appear to have gone on the rampage as they do their thing without let or hindrance. Many of our newspapers and social media have been awash with stories of men who defile babies less than six months. Those above them, as well as housemaids, are not spared. It does not matter to them if the babies are their own blood or children of their neighbours. All is fish that are in their net. These are all betrayals of trust, the evidence of moral decay.
Some government officials, past and present, still move around freely under the cover of immunity while the EFCC is waiting for the D-day to unmask them. If a civil servant is busy siphoning public funds for private use, he should realize that a day of reckoning will come eventually. “Bread gained by deceit is sweet to a man, but afterward his mouth will be filled with gravel,” Prov. 20:17. Abuse of office is betrayal of trust. It can turn to gravel in ones mouth.
Sex for marks, which is practised in some of our Universities, is a sad slap on our educational system. It can make a mockery of the certificates obtained from such institutions. Lecturers, who indulge in such shameful act, should know that it is a betrayal of trust. Last year, a serving Police Officer was arrested, alleged to have been selling arms and ammunition to criminals. His confession was that he was making extra money. When a law-enforcement agent takes to illegal business, it is betrayal of trust.
The stress experienced by travellers on our highways is not always due to bad roads. It may be caused by overzealous traffic officials, who under the guise of checking vehicle particulars, are busy extorting money from distraught motorists. It is betrayal of trust. The use of performance-enhancing drugs in sport championships to excel over others is betrayal of trust. It does not bring honour to the user nor to his country. If a Pastor engages in amorous relationship with his female members, it is betrayal of trust. One sure cure of infidelity is emphasis on a good moral upbringing at home and in our education system. A writer, Spurgeon, advises: “Begin early to teach, for children not to begin early to sin”.
When I was in the college, testimonials issued to school leavers bore the true testimony of the character of the student as observed by the school. Today, what it bears is ‘Satisfactory’, even for a student who is a bully, a cult member, or a thief! Until we reverse this ugly trend and have the courage to tell ourselves the home truths, people with questionable character will not mend their ways. For us, we shall continue to lie on our bed, as we have made it.
By Chimezie Agwu , a retired bank manager.
For further comment, Please contact: Osondu Anyalechi: 0802 3002-471; [email protected]