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The recent murder of Cynthia Osokogu by two male assailants has shocked millions of Nigerians. The fact that Cynthia was just 24 years old and the only daughter of her parents while her assailants were both under-30 years old undergraduates of Nigerian universities has made the story all the more gruesome.

Reports have it that she was drugged, raped and beaten severely before being strangled to death by the two heartless young men on realizing that she did not have money on her person as they expected she would.

What would have occasioned such a beastly act in this modern age of computers and spaceships is far beyond comprehension of the average Nigerian who sees the other Nigerian as his neighbor and brother’s keeper. Alas, times are fast changing. True, we live in a modern age where the advent of social networking has made the world an even smaller global village. People who hitherto would not have deemed it possible to encounter each other in a lifetime are now given the opportunity to interact freely on the social networking platform.

Needless to say, the benefits of this new form of interactions amongst people and cultures, courtesy advances in technology, abounds. Unfortunately, so does its disadvantages. I will not go into the extensive debate of the advantages and disadvantages of technology and social networking here.

Cynthia’s gruesome murder, of no doubt came as a shocking and heartbreaking news to her family and unfortunately, would remain for a very long time in their minds. Nigerians, on the other hand, have been given another discussion topic to add to the already teeming and controversial topics making waves all over the country. In fact, her story is already making its way to the back shelves of the interest cabinet as the cases of past victims, who have been emboldened by the assailants’ capture, and who are now emerging to testify of similar assault at the hands of the accused, are already gaining rapt interest.

In the midst of all these drama, the real lesson or impact of Cynthia’s unfortunate demise will as usual be lost on Nigerians. And what is this lesson you may ask? The fact that such an unhappy incident and wanton taking of life could only occur in a society where values have been thrown to the winds and morals have become old wives boring tales. We are now living in a society where a whole new generation, the so-called future leaders of Nigeria are being brought up to enshrine materiality whilst treasuring as a sacred mantra, the lyrics of a gangster song that goes ‘get rich or die trying’.

Whatever happened to the warning inherent in the old saying ‘the love of money is the root of all evil’. One of my favorite quotations and guards against present day materialism is culled from a book ‘The Far Country’ written by Paul Twitchell and it goes thus:

‘A man without the armor of values has no defense against the pressures of society. It is precisely the loss of value which has turned that inner directed man of the nineteenth century to the outer directed automaton of today.’

As unfortunate as Cynthia’s murder was, it would nevertheless profit Nigerian as a whole to take a detached but an in-depth look at the sorry incident and realize that but for the excessive lure of materialistic inducements; Cynthia would still have been alive today.

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