Vice President Yemi Osinbajo has warned that Nigeria will “fail completely” if the leaders do not “accept and implement an ethical revolution”.
Mr Osinbajo gave the warning on Tuesday in a lecture titled: “Values: the difference between success and failure” which he delivered at the 100th anniversary of the Old Boys Association of Baptist Boys’ High School, Abeokuta, Ogun State.
While imploring Nigerians to change their perception of their country as corrupt, he said no modern society is free of corruption.
He called on the government at all levels to lead the ethical revolution by rewarding good ethical behaviours and ensuring speedy punishment for misconduct.
Mr Osinbajo listed Obafemi Awolowo, Moshood Abiola, former President Olusegun Obasanjo and Bola Ajibola, who were 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.
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“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 ethic of honesty, of hard work. It is what is taught and learned that shapes the character of individuals and nations. But it is not just teachings, the government must also lead this ethical revolution by rewarding ethical behaviours and ensuring speedy punishment for misconduct”, the vice president said.
“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 have 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 standards to succeed”, he stressed.
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