By Wahab Akanji, Abuja
President Muhammadu Buhari has called on Nigerians to change their ethical value if the country must witness the desired progress and development.According to the president old habits of partisanship, pettiness and immaturity must give way to new order characterized by a new spirit of responsibility, spirit of service, of patriotism and sacrifice
Buhari made the submissions at the Presidential Villa in Abuja at the launch of national re-orientation campaign, titled “Change Begins With Me”.
He said the nation must be ready to put an end to the tyranny of rent seekers and vested interests, while the majority suffers, saying however that Nigerians should not be under no illusion that the changes will happen overnight.
“I am therefore appealing to all Nigerians to be part of this campaign. Our citizens must realize that the change they want to see begins with them, and that personal and social reforms are not theoretic exercise.
“If you have not seen the change in you, you cannot see it in others or even the larger society. In other words, before you ask ‘where is the change they promised us’, you must first ask how far have I changed my ways ‘what have I done to be part of the change for the greater good of society.
“Nigeria today is passing through a challenging moment where hardly anything works in a normal manner. Many have attributed this phenomenon to the total breakdown of our core values over the years.
“It is safe to say today that honesty, hard work, Godliness have given way to all kinds of manifestations of lawlessness and degeneration in our national life. This is why we have among our cardinal objectives ‘change’, which implies the need for a change of attitude and mindset in our everyday life.”
The President said with the success of the anti-corruption crusade of his administration, there is need to put a sustainable framework in place to change the attitude and mindset of Nigerians.
He added: “I need not mention the serious effort we have engaged in since the inception of this administration on the fight against corruption in our public life. With the progress we have so far made in that regard, we feel the need to ensure that we put in place the necessary sustainable framework for action and measures that will help to entrench and consolidate the progress achieved so far.
“This we believe can best be maintained through attitudinal change, and the change of our mindset in private and public life.
“ The campaign we are about to launch today is all about the need for us to see change not merely in terms of our economic, social progress but in terms of our personal behaviour on how we conduct ourselves, engage our neigbhours, friends and generally how we relate with the larger society in a positive and definitive way and manner that promotes our common good and common destiny, change at home, change in the work place, change at traffic junction, change at traffic lights etc.
“This campaign is part of the determination of our party to seek to carry all Nigerians along on the journey to a better and greater society that we all can be proud of.”
Reviewing how the nation has degenerated, Buhari regretted that Nigerians now give preference to dishonesty, indolence, unbridled corruption and widespread impunity.
He said: “There is no doubt that our value system has been badly eroded over the years. The long-cherished and time honoured, time-tested virtues of honesty, integrity, hard work, punctuality, good neighbourliness, abhorrence of corruption and patriotism, have given way in the main to dishonesty, indolence, unbridled corruption and widespread impunity.
“The resultant effect of this derailment in our value system is being felt in the social, political and economic sphere.