The phrase “Ozota Hurete Ebira” translates to “No good person and deeds in Ebiraland anymore.” It is a phrase used by ohiku anebira (the ancestors of ebira) that holds deep rooted sentiment that is used in expressing a perceived decline in the moral values and behaviors of individuals within the Ebiraland. This viewpoint suggests a concern over the decline of traditional virtues and the rise of negative behaviors or vices among community members of Ebiraland.
We had consulted the elderly ones in Okene before we could write this article. We asked them to give us a deep explanation of what this phrase holds. In this article we will discuss briefly what “Ozota Hurete Ebira” means, the underlying factors tha might have caused a decline in the postiive values of ebira people, the potential consequences of the decline, and the role of collective action of anebira in reviving and preserving the positive values of the ebira people.
To fully grasp the concept of “Ozota Hurete Ebira,” it is essential to recognize the founding principles and cultural values of the Ebira people. The Ebira people have a rich heritage, characterized by strong communal bonds, respect for elders, and a commitment to social harmony. Traditionally, the community placed great emphasis on values such as honesty, integrity, hospitality, hard work, and selflessness. These values guided individuals’ actions and promoted the well-being of the community as a whole.
However, in recent times, concerns have arisen about the perceived decline in adherence to these values. This is portrayed by the intercommunal riots, socio-political disorder, and conflicts arising among ebira people. The phrase “Ozota Hurete Ebira” encapsulates the sentiment that the virtues and behaviors that once defined the Ebira community are gradually fading away. It reflects a perceived shift towards selfishness, dishonesty, materialism, and a lack of concern for the common good.
According to an old man which we consulted he said:
“Awanhi ohomorihi ota inengwu eyanebira sakasaka, ye du engwu ayi, yeyaku vayengwu“
The above statement translated in English implies:
“The Ebira people no longer have the fear of God as it is long lost. The Ebira people now find joy in seeking the downfall and sadness of another, without empathy”
Several factors may contribute to the perception of “Ozota Hurete Ebira.” It is important to explore these factors to gain a holistic understanding of the situation. Some key considerations include:
Modernization and Globalization
As society modernizes and becomes more interconnected, the influence of external factors and cultural shifts can impact local communities. Globalization, urbanization, and the influx of new ideas and values may challenge traditional norms and practices, leading to changes in societal attitudes.
Economic challenges, unemployment, poverty, and inequality in the ebiraland have catalyzed the creation of a sense of desperation and erode moral values among the ebira people. When anebira struggle to meet their basic needs, they may resort to unethical practices or prioritize personal gain over community welfare.
Education and Awareness
The quality of education and the emphasis on moral education play a significant role in shaping individual values and behaviors in Ebiraland. If educational institutions fail to instill ethical principles and promote a sense of social responsibility, it can contribute to the perceived decline in moral values.
Leadership, politics and Governance
Effective leadership and governance are needed to foster the cultural integrity the ebira communities. When the political and traditional leaders are bad, the people will also follow their lead. When leadership fails to uphold ethical standards or engages in corrupt practices, it can erode public trust and contribute to a negative perception of the community.
The perception of “Ozota Hurete Ebira” has far-reaching consequences for the Ebira community. It can impact social cohesion, trust, and overall community well-being. Some potential implications include:
Diminished Social bond
A decline in ethical values can lead to divisions within the community, eroding the sense of unity and shared purpose. This can weaken social bonds, hinder collective progress, and create a fragmented society.
Distrust and Mistrust
When individuals perceive a lack of integrity and honesty in others, it breeds mistrust. Trust is essential for healthy relationships, cooperation, and community development. A pervasive sense of distrust can hinder collaboration and hinder progress.
Erosion of Cultural Identity
The loss of traditional values and virtues can undermine the cultural identity of the Ebira community. Cultural practices, customs, and norms are an integral part of a community’s heritage, and their erosion can lead to a loss of identity and a sense of disconnection.
While the perception of “Ozota Hurete Ebira” raises concerns, it is important to remember that change is possible. The Ebira community can take proactive steps to revive and preserve its positive values. Here are some suggestions:
Strengthen Moral Education
Emphasize moral and ethical education within schools, religious institutions, and community organizations. Instill values such as honesty, respect, empathy, and social responsibility from an early age.
Engage in Community Dialogue
Foster open and constructive dialogue among community members to address concerns, share ideas, and collectively identify strategies for promoting positive values. Encourage the participation of individuals from different backgrounds and generations.
Promote Positive Role Models
Highlight and celebrate individuals who embody the positive values and deeds of the Ebira community. Recognize and appreciate those who demonstrate integrity, selflessness, and commitment to the common good. Their examples can inspire others and serve as a reminder of the importance of positive values.
Leadership and Accountability
Demand transparency, accountability, and ethical conduct from leaders within the community. Encourage leaders to lead by example and promote a culture of integrity and good governance.
Support community-led initiatives that promote positive values, social responsibility, and civic engagement. Encourage volunteering, community service, and activities that foster unity and collaboration.
The perception of “Ozota Hurete Ebira” reflects concerns about the declination of positive values and deeds within the Ebiraland. While the challenges are significant, it is crucial to approach them a sense of responsibility. By recognizing the factors contributing to the perception, understanding the consequences, and taking proactive steps to revive positive values, the communities within ebirand can work towards a brighter future. Through collective action, dialogue, and a commitment to ethical conduct, the Ebira people can reshape their community and restore the virtues that have defined them for generations.
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