Lawrence Nwimo, Awka
Veteran Nollywood actor and activist, Kanayo O. Kanayo, has accused politicians and government officials of being responsible for the growing rate of crime and ritual killings among youths of the country.
Kanayo was presenting a keynote speech at the Ikengaonline virtual town hall meeting on Tuesday when he said the lifestyle of government officials, and their culture of affluence “are what pushes Nigerian youths into crime and criminality.”
According to Kanayo, bad governance, and corruption amidst the harsh economic condition of the country have birthed an atmosphere of crime, where Nigerian youth seek quick ways of making money to be at par with their peers in society.
Speaking on the topic: “Rituals, Riches, and Realities: The Myths of Money-Making and the Dignity of Labour,” Kanayo denied that ritual sacrifices for money played in Nigerian movies are what motivate Nigerian youths to engage in rituals crimes.
He rather argued that corrupt politicians and public office holders should be held accountable.
According to him, it is not what the youths watch in movies that move them but what they see, particularly the relative ease with which politicians amass wealth at the slightest stint in office.
He also attributed the situation to the economic hardship currently experienced in the country.
Speaking further, Kanayo said there has been a complete loss of values among the leadership class and the masses in the country.
He said “Nigerian legislative officers earn the highest in the world. The current discourse in Nigeria is that an SUV for each of the current serving senators costs N160 million.
“Most of the senators are very rich, should this be in a country where things work, they would have asked that their stipend and allowances be cut down to help the economy.
“There are wicked politicians that have taken the oath of office to destroy the country by what they earn. The youth being talked about are angered by what they see. The kind of house bought by politicians is mind-blowing.”
Kanayo also hit out at professors in the Nigerian tertiary institutions for the roles they played in the country’s democracy. He said bad leaders in the country are regularly foisted on Nigerians by Professors who he said instead of devoting their time to research and other innovative ideas gang up to rig elections for politicians.
“In Nigeria today, what the professors gang up to do is to rig elections. Electoral Officers and Resident Electoral Commissioners are all professors. In Western countries, professors gather to research to bring in innovations. Here, we gather to rig elections in Nigeria. It is a very bad case,” he said.
“There are no jobs for the youths in the country but people are stealing government blind and flaunting wealth. It is not every Nigerian youth is dubious or a scam. Something has chased them to do what they do and that is the economic condition of the country.
“Most of them are so angry with the country called Nigeria that they want to seize any opportunity to get back at the country. In as much as we (filmmakers) try to mentor the youths to be positive, the politicians have been a big chunk of the reason why youths do what they do.”
Kanayo said to correct the growing anomaly, a conscious effort needs to be taken to recreate the values that held the Nigerian state together. He also said efforts must be made to look at those structures that will make the people honorable men and women.