Harmful Traditions in Nigerian Society


13 Apr 2018

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Meta cognition is the higher order thinking which involve active control over thinking processes involved in learning. It refers to the process by which people’s knowledge controls their thinking and learning activities (It involves “thinking about thinking”). It can also be defined as thinking about one’s thinking i.e. it involves the process of stepping back to see what you are doing, as if you were someone else observing it. Meta cognitive activities helps people especially students to reflect on what they know, care about and are able to develop an awareness of themselves, and it gives them opportunity to reflect on their learning because it is often difficult for them to realize what they are doing. Meta cognition is also the ability to manage one’s own thinking processes.

Problem solving refers to the process by which difficult issues are tackled and solved whereby doing this the causes, solution and prevention to the problems are known.

Inn problem solving, we need to use THE RARE CONCEPT as a guide for us to know what we are doing. For instance, the present fuel scarcity; the government need to think of what they can RAISE up in order for the productivity of petrol to be constant; the need to think about what they can ADD in order for the refineries to be in good conditions and work effectively which can make life easier; they also need to think of what they can REDUCE i.e. those things that are not relevant to the production of fuel, they need to think of those factors that leads to time wasting and finally they need to think of what to ELIMINATE in terms of bad habits, the bad habit of hoarding fuel for personal use or the habit of using the resources meant for the production of fuel. If all these factors are put in place, the problem of fuel scarcity will be averted.



  1. CULTISM: Cultism has to do with belonging to a secret cult and practicing cult activities which involves performing rituals, killing, fighting, strange oath talking, rape, etc. Cultism is a negative behavior which is rampant in tertiary institutions today, they usually attack, intimidate and kill both lecturers and students, destroy school property. Members are mainly truants that do not take their education seriously, thereby performing poorly and expecting to pass by intimidating lecturers and students. Therefore, in order for us to be alive, productive and useful in life, we should not indulge or belong to secret cults.
  2. DISREGARD FOR TIME: This is another negative behavior of our people. Nigerians do not keep to time. They disregard time. No matter how important a program, meeting or event is. For instance, if a meeting is scheduled for 9.00am, by 10:00am or 10:30am, the meeting may not have started because they believe in their so-called “African Time”. This is bad because lateness leads to inefficiency in our activities.
  3. DRUG TRAFFICKING: This is a globally illicit trade involving the cultivation, manufacture, distribution and sale of substances which are subject to prohibition. Drug traffickers are many in Nigeria and many of them peddle hard drugs like cocaine, heroin and marijuana. These drugs contribute to many crimes because as traffickers increase in numbers, users and abusers also increase. Many of our youths have been made useless and some wasted as a result of drug trafficking.
  4. ETHNICISM OR TRIBALISM-DISCRIMINATION AMONG ETHNIC GROUPS: Our country, Nigeria is made up of many ethnic groups and these ethnic groups have different languages but all these ethnic groups makeup the nation called Nigeria. Nigeria adopted a common language known as English from her colonial master to be used as a common language by all the ethnic groups as one country. The three major tribes which are Igbo, Yoruba and Hausa, discriminate in the offer of employment, appointment, admission, distribution of resources, governance (who produces the president). Some believe they are born-to-rule and be in power all y=the time, that’s why they choose and rotate leadership among families, the same tribe and religion.
  5. EXAMINATION MALPRATICES: This is seen in the behavior of all categories of students (primary school to tertiary institutions). There are cases where primary school pupils are given assistances in form of cheating to pass their examinations e.g. common entrance, by their teachers due to the money paid by their parents. Secondary school students do not register for external examinations in most public schools, instead, they register with huge sums of money in special centers. These centers are known as ‘miracles centers’ where examinations are made easy; parents, principals or proprietors of schools, invigilators and officers of examination bodies collide and perpetrate the crime for money and this has now become a culture in our society.


a. MALTREATMENT OF WIDOWS: In most communities in Nigeria, widows are given harsh treatment and conditions. When a woman lose her husband, she may be made to cut her hair, put on white cloth or black cloth for a year after the death of her husband, made to remain indoors and should not visit friends or go to market for some months. She may be forced to drink water used in bathing the dead body of her husband. Besides, the property of the husband i.e. land etc. is sometimes taken away from the widow by relations of the dead husband leaving the widow and her children to suffer. Sometimes, they are forced out of their husband’s house but all these depends on the custom and community in place.

b. PREFERENCE FOR MALE CHILDREN: In the olden days, female children were not recognized because they believed training her in school was a waste because she will still have to end up in the kitchen, so only male children were given preference and recognition in the family. Discrimination in training of children in our communities is harmful, so therefore equal education should be given to both sexes (male or female).

c. CIRCUMCISION: This refers to the removal of some parts of the body organ either male or female circumcision is practiced in most communities of their world but female circumcision is common. Some part of the female genital organ removed, is believed to be the most sensitive and sensational part of female sexual organ and that by circumcision females sexuality will brought under control. This practice brings about a lot of health problems e.g. fibrosis, Hiv/Aids due to the instruments involved in the act.

d. SLAVERY: This is the illegal trade of human beings for the purpose of commercial, sexual exploitation or forced labour. It is also the transportation, transfer, harboring or receipt of persons by means of threat or use of force or deception in order to receive payment or benefit. Slavery also involves deals with the transportation of women, men or children.

e. INFANT BETROTHAL AND EARLY MARRIAGE: In some communities, marriage formalities are fulfilled for the couple before their maturity, whereby parents betroth their female children to older men or to their friends either for money or in order to achieve a goal. This early marriage leads to poor sexual and reproductive health of the victim, in some cases leads to the lickage of vagina due to child bearing, as well as depriving the girl the joy of youth or going further in her education. This affects the girl socially, psychologically, physically and emotionally.


Values are attitudes or beliefs which people should do, the standards they should live by, or the things they should endorse or maintain. Values are the principles we hold as important and worthwhile and which possess quality or merit. Values helps to direct our behavior and relationship with other people.

Right values we should possess are as follows:

  • Having belief in hard work.
  • Performing selfless service in our community.
  • Showing commitment towards the security of life and property of the people and society.
  • Being punctual at all times.
  • Honesty or truthfulness.
  • Having patience.
  • Co-operation and willingness to share with others.
  • Being dedicated to work etc.


1. INTERGRITY: This is the quality of being honest and having good moral principles and uprightness. Having integrity means doing the right thing in a reliable way. It’s a personality trait everyone should have, it literally means having “wholeness of character”, being unbiased always i.e. always standing by the truth.

2. DELIGENCE: This means careful and persistent work or effort. It is determination and perseverance when doing something; it is also the act of being hardworking in order to achieve a certain goal or goals. It involves being meticulous in duties, showing care and steady effort in discharging our duties in our life activities.

3. PUNCTUALITY: This is the act of arriving or doing something at the expected or planes time. This also means attending to any duty assigned to us to do at the right or appropriate time.

4. COMMITMENT AND DEDICATION: This is showing interest and good sense, responsibility in carrying out our duties. This is about having passion for the work we do and we are committed to our work, it brings success. It also means committing ourselves to something special. For instance, Mandela was committed and dedicated in bringing his country justice and democracy, he had great passion for what is right.

5. REGULARITY: This involves being in our place of work always and doing our work as supposed. This involves always in order and all constant.


1. EDUCATION: Educating people about positive behavior and making them know the benefits of behaving right. Also through public enlightenment which have to do with the public aware of the dangers associated with negative behavior.

2. PUNISHMENT: This is using sanctions and punishments to discourage negative behaviors in order for them to know that negative behavior is bad.

3. ENFORCEMENT OF LAWS: The government should make strict laws against negative behaviors and make sure the laws are enforced tom the letter i.e. enforced on anyone going against the law.

4. REWARDS: Rewards should be given to people who portray positive behavior in order to encourage them and serve as motivation.

5. EMPHASIS ON GOOD MORALS: Lecture on good morals should be made in order to let people have discipline and abstain from negative behaviors.


Culture is the way of life of people. It is a set of people grouped together having common accessories (linage) or parenthood; it includes the totality of people’s beliefs, their modes of worship, their occupation, ways of thinking etc. Culture varies from place to place and it is passed down from generation to another through learning. It grows and changes with time and through contact with people from outside our own groups. In Nigeria we have over 370 ethnic groups of which the three major and largest are the Hausa-Fulani, Igbo and Yoruba, and these people have different culture, for instance, the culture of the Yoruba’s is different from that of the Hausas and Igbo culture is different from those of the Hausas and Yoruba’s. Examples of the various cultural patterns are language, music, religion, art and craft, food, trading, occupation, traditions, architecture etc.


  1. DRESSING: Among the different ethnic groups in Nigeria, their dressing is also a common factor. For instance, a Yoruba man is known for wearing agbada and Abeti-Aja Cap, while an Igbo man is known for wearing awka-ochie and a red cap. They dress differently because of their tribes and culture.
  2. MUSIC: Different ethnic groups have different music they listen to. This songs are sometimes in their different languages or traditions. For instance, an igbo music and meaning is different from that of an Ijaw man or that of an Hausa man. There are different music have different meanings to them and they appreciate it according to their traditions or culture.
  3. LANGUAGE: in Nigeria different ethnic groups speaks different languages. For example, A Yoruba man calls plate Abo while an Igbo man calls plate Efere, this is because they are from different tribes and the way they think and view the world is determined by their cultural language differences.
  4. FOOD: The food of ethnic groups are different. This ethnic groups enjoys different delicacies according to their culture or tradition. For instance, Yoruba enjoys Amala and Ewedu While Igbos enjoys Fufu/pounded yam with Egusi or oha soup, likewise other ethnic groups have their own special delicacies.
  5. RELIGION: Religion is the belief in of people, therefore, different ethnic groups have their own different beliefs and religions. For instance, some Yoruba religion is Christianity while some are Muslims likewise Hausa are mainly Muslims. They have different religions because of what they believe to be sacred and of great value and moral standard.
  6. MYTHOLOGY: Different ethnic groups originated from different places and source. For instance, the Yoruba came from ododuwa in ile-ife while the Igbos also came from another source. This different historical backgrounds shows the different in their way of life and traditions.
  7. MARRIAGE: Different ethnic groups have different ways of marriage process and system. For instance, the traditions and ways a Yoruba person will get married is different from the way an Igbo person will get married. They have specific traditions which they must follow when performing marriage rites.
  1. LEVEL OF POLITICAL INTEGRATION: This refers to the general types of political systems used to organize and manage societies. As a society increases in population size and territory, it must develop new political solutions to keep or avoid them from splitting apart.
  2. CHIEF-DOM: This is when a society has more or less permanent political leader i.e. a chief but has no division of governing tasks into specific categories. The chief provides direction and authority for the society as a whole.
  3. KINDRED: This is a family group bound together by their kinship ties to one person i.e. relationships between individuals who are commonly thought of as having family ties. An individual’s kindred consists of all the people whom are related to him or her biologically and sometimes spouses.
  4. DIFFUSION: This is the movement of cultural traits and ideas from one society or ethnic group to another. While the form of a trait may be transmitted to another society, the meaning may not be used. For instance, Chinese foods are seen as normal delicacies in china but are seen as special foods in Nigeria.
  5. ACCULTURATION: This is defined as the process by which a culture is transformed due to the massive adoption of cultural traits from another society. This is when particular culture is changed from the different one it has. It can be seen as an individual moving to a new society and adopting their culture.


Social interaction can be defined as the process by which we act, relate and react to people around us. It is also those acts, actions or practices of two or more people mutually oriented towards each other, i.e. any behavior that tries to affect or take account of each other’s experiences or intentions. It includes those act people perform towards each other and the response they give in return. For instance, it is the way an ethnic group relates with another ethnic group. In relating with people, we must know their do’s and don’ts I.e. respecting them knowing what they like and do not like. In other words, parties in social interaction must be aware of each other’s self in mind. Social interaction can involve smiling, talking, winking, debating, negotiating; they can also be active or passive, brief or long-lived, organized, unorganized or disorganized, direct or indirect, shallow or intense etc.


  1. INTER-MARRIAGE: When people marry from different tribe and culture, they tend to know more about each other and then they respect and interact with themselves effectively. It enables them meet people and express themselves without segregation.
  2. AGE GRADE: When people belong to the same age grade, it helps makes them free and allows them to interact with one another. For instance, children when playing with each other, interact and mingle up with themselves irrespective of their different families and tribe. It gives them a sense of belonging in sharing things because of their age grade.
  3. FAMILY: Members of family who experience the security of other family members and have strong attachment to them, are better able to reach out to relate with others. Family members use this relationship as a support to venture out and explore their environment. They are able to use the image of each of them when interacting with others.
  4. MUSIC: When people listen to songs together irrespective of the language used, they interact well. For instance, at an occasion where a song is played, people of different tribes can just fall in love with the particular song and everyone will dance and sing to it. The song here has brought about love and enjoyment in their mist and it helps them interact with one another.
  5. OCCUPATION: When people of different skill meet just with the sole aim to work and achieve a certain goal, it builds their abilities and interaction among them. People have the chance to learn more from each other and by doing so their friendship and interaction increases. It helps them in understanding each other better and also in building of the society.


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