Vice President (VP) Prof. Yemi Osinbajo yesterday raised the alarm that Nigeria will “fail completely” if the leaders do not accept and implement what he described as ethical and values revolution, saying solution to problems bedeviling the country lies in the two.
Osinbajo also said that all Nigerians, particularly leaders in various levels of society including religious organisations, must deal with corruption.
The VP stated this while delivering a lecture titled: “Values: The Difference Between Success and Failure” at the Centennial Anniversary of Baptist Boys High School, Abeokuta, Ogun State, organised by the old students of the school, founded on July 23, 1923.
Osinbajo insisted that the government must lead the ethical revolution by rewarding good ethical behaviours and ensuring speedy punishment for misconduct.
He noted that Nigerians must change their view that corruption is not only in Nigeria and that there are many countries that are more corrupt than Nigeria, saying no modern society is free of corruption.
He said the elites and leaders of other modern societies, sat down and deal with the scourge, which must happen in Nigeria.
He said:”There is a need for a national consensus or at least an elite consensus. The political elites, the religious elites and the business elites must agree that our country will fail completely if we do not accept and implement an ethical revolution.
“One where we establish a national work ethics of honesty and hard work. It is what is taught and learned that shape the character of individuals and nations.”
“But it is not just teachings, government must also lead this ethical revolution by rewarding ethical behaviours and ensuring speedy punishment for misconduct”, Osinbajo
He called on educational institutions to inculcate the value of honesty, diligence, hard work, respect, trustworthiness discipline and integrity in their students so as to raise youths with the right thinking.
“Every modern society has had to deal with corruption. Corruption is not a Nigerian thing, sometimes we deceive ourselves it is Nigerian, no, many countries, in fact most countries of the world had been more corrupt than us, but their elites sat down and decided they have to deal with it because if they do not deal with it, it will deal with them.
“There is no modern society today that has not had to deal with corruption and they deal with it by their elites sitting down and saying we have to agree this is the way forward, we cannot continue to repeat the same thing, we must enthrone minimum ethical standard to succeed,” Osinbajo affirmed.
The VP said the BBHS has shown that Nigeria can produce citizens that can have values and that can stand a test of time and resist temptation to compromise.
Osinbajo listed the late sage, Chief Obafemi Awolowo, MKO Abiola, former President Olusegun Obasanjo and Chief Bola Ajibola, who are all old students of the school as exceptional Nigerians who recorded great achievements in public service as a result of the training and values they got from the school.
He narrated how the four personalities resisted several temptations put before them, by some individuals and institutions to compromise their values.
The vice presiden,t on arrival in the school compound inaugurated several projects donated by some individuals and old students of the BBHS.
Speaking earlier, Governor of Ogun State, Dapo Abiodun commended the old students of the school for several efforts at raising the standard of infrastructure in the school.
The governor, who expressed delight at the calibre of several products of the school and their contributions to socio-economic and political development of Nigeria, declared, “the motto of the school, Nulli Secondus, is prophetic”
Abiodun seized the opportunities to highlight some of the government’s feat in the education sector and which has earned the state and individuals including himself many laurels.
In his remarks, the National President of the Old Boys Association, Prof. Kayode Oyesiku, said the association would continue to support the school in the area of infrastructure and create a conducive environment for students to learn.
He listed some of the projects executed by the association in the school to include: the construction of a mini built stadium, an ultra modern and well equipped library, an alumni hall, art studio and a car park.
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