By Emeagi Emeka Williams
Demoralised, disturbed and disheartened by the spate of moral decadence which has impacted negatively on general socio economic texture of the African continent, Dr. Henry All Akintunde has offered panacea with his book “Value Shift”.
The book which was officially launched yesterday at the magnificent Southern Sun Hotel, Ikoyi, Lagos was creatively and emotionally prepared with departments that highlighted the few pluses and the numerous minuses that characterise the value system of Africans.
According to the author while presenting the synopsis of the book, the nudge to write the book came from his experience in the United Kingdom as a medical Doctor when a citizen took overdose of drugs.
Dr.Henry stressed that the response of the society and the hospital to save that life was an amazing one which reflected the height and degree of premium attached to human life.
Citing a distinction, he noted that on mother land Nigeria or Africa, such life, even many more will be left to die and waste away, situation he attributed to a poor value system.
Shedding greater light, Akintunde disclosed that the book ‘ Value Shift’ provides an opportunity to learn from the best of two worlds- the UK and Africa.
Lamenting the extent of bastardisation caused by Africa’s weak value system that has grossly militated against socio economic advancement, Dr. Akintunde emphasised that it is myopic to view advancement from only the viewpoint of infrastructural provision by leadership, stressing that a proper value system will result in holistic development enhancement capable of renewing or salvaging Africa from colossal degradation which ascends and cascades, from bottom to the top, vice versa.
“Wrong values are behind the crises in Africa. It becomes more worrisome when the same negativities become acceptable standards.
“It hurt me so much when I returned to Nigeria to find young people using the term to describe success.
“More hurting was the knowledge of the fact that the word ‘blow’ represents a violent and desperate attitude of seeking wealth, and that value line has birthed kidnapping, ritual killing, robbery and diverse fraudulent engagements.
“Too bad, young people have been made to accept the falsehood that labour no longer has dignity, and that those seeking honest prosperity are foolish”, Akintunde highlighted.
In an attempt to strike justice, the book also contains those enviable mentalities or values that make Africa unique, but ultimately addressed the need for the people of the continent to embrace golden aspects of the west so as to rewrite the narrative and accelerate development in all spheres.
One of the recent ugly phenomena pointed by Dr. Akintunde is the widespread promotion and acceptance accorded a certain TV reality show which merely encourages immorality and preaches dirty quest for money.
According to him, knowledge based shows like the then popular ‘who wants to be a millionaire?’ have sadly gone to the oblivion, a reason he prescribed
“Value Shift” as a direly needed antidote in the urgency of now when dangerous trends are saturating the African space.
Dr. Henry Akintunde is a Nigerian; he studied Medicine at the Obafemi Awolowo University, and has lived and worked in both Nigeria and the UK.
He is a General Practitioner (Family Doctor) in the UK National Health Service.