Ethics and Values

By Olaogun Michael Sunkanmi                            

The Nigerian agenda was brought into existence by our founding fathers based on unity of mind and purpose. Of a fact, if the late legends, Obafemi Awolowo, Nnamdi Azikwe, Ahmadu Bello and those who contributed to the Nigerian agenda were to speak from their graves, I think they would express their disappointment over the state of the nation they struggled over; with their lives. Critically looking at the current state of our nation, it is obvious that things as they are are far from being accidents, but are rather, a conscious product of deliberate omissions and actions which have emanated from the attitudes of the citizens particularly the leaders across board.

In the same way, the future of the nation will not be by accident, but by conscious positive actions by all and sundry in the spirit of patriotism. The present situation in Nigeria calls for an urgent and detailed re-appraisal of WHICH WAY NIGERIA? However, there is a school of thought that believes this should begin with another question – What would it mean for Nigeria to rearm INTEGRITY? The answer rests on one factor, whether we acknowledge it or not- our ethics and value system. Some further ask, ‘Do we even have an ethics and values system?’ yes, we do. The fact that our minds have been polluted and distracted such that we lost our ethics and value system has not eroded the fact that it still exists.

In our present democratic dispensation, the adopted slogan ‘CHANGE’ was one which the APC as a political party campaigned upon to secure the highest echelon of political power (the presidency) and in dominating the National Assembly and most states of the federation. Although many occupants of these political seats remain men of questionable history; a topic for another day, the change in political administration occurred because the then presidential candidate; now president was seen as an instrument which could bring about the needed change in governance because of his previous antecedent. However, the question remains: Has the change really manifested as expected by the citizens? History holds that during President Buhari’s first coming as Military leader in 1983, he introduced the War against Indiscipline (WAI), an agency that was created to awaken the consciousness of Nigerians to be orderly, disciplined and comply with the rules and regulations which would invariably build individual consciousness, integrity and responsibility.  The change agenda therefore, to me should have transformed to a change “philosophy” and a “doctrine” to be imbibed by all citizens which should be the primary responsibility of the National Orientation Agency (NOA). What both the philosophical and doctrinal change phenomenon will achieve ranges from the character of all citizens, to the overall national politics and economic objectives as well as national ethics, morals, and values. Meaning change should not be in the political corridor of the country alone, it should also reflect in our attitudes.

To the average Nigerian there was no doubt that the “Change” campaign has yielded no successful results. It seems therefore that the country is not poised for a “Change” to a “new” Nigeria. However, for Nigeria to Change and Nigerians to accept the Change agenda, certain Moral and Ethical Imperatives are essential and inevitable.

Nigerians at this time must go through a moral re-armament. The crisis in Nigeria is predominantly a moral one. Some scholars believe “moral recovery creates not crisis but confidence and unity in every phase of life”. And that “moral recovery is essentially the forerunner of integrity recovery”.

It is clear now in Nigeria that agitations, suspicion, rivalries, apathy, mutual hostility and greed lay behind the bottlenecks that have impeded all efforts towards our national unity and progress. Moral values based on the concept of right and wrong should supplant rivalries, envy and other negative competitions with emphasis on the “permanent struggle between good and evil”. Hence, a well designed doctrine of ethics and moral values for a new Nigeria; particularly the youths has become inevitable.

The DOCTRINE, as in the philosophy of Moral Re-armament will do the following:

  • Respect the dignity of other citizens and help promote the spirit of common brotherhood
  • Change the basic selfishness and greed in our nature (that sabotages even the best economic and political plans) and thus ensures the creation of an entirely new Nigeria.
  • Make positive and useful contribution to the advancement of Nigeria.
  • Develop the moral qualities and character of youths that will enable them take responsibility in the building of a new Nigeria.

(To Be Continued)

   This Article was written by By Olaogun Michael Sunkanmi  E-Mail:   

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