Some eminent Nigerians and Public Relation gurus have called on Nigerians to embrace change of mindset and value reorientation towards driving the much desired transformation on the nation’s economic and political fronts.
They also urged the political class and government functionaries in Nigeria to lead by example for the country to succeed in its new quest for ethical rebirth.
These were part of the submissions of the President, Nigerian Institute of Public Relations (NIPR), Dr. Rotimi Oladele; former Chairman, Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), Ikeja branch, Monday Ubani; and former Commissioner for Information in Ogun State, Chief Fassy Yusuf, among other speakers, at the 2016 annual colloquium of Ogun NIPR in Abeokuta.
The colloquium, with the theme: “Nigeria’s Ethical Rebirth: The Role of Public Relations in Resetting Mindsets,” was attended by the Ogun state First Lady, Mrs. Olufunso Amosun, who was represented; Lagos State Commissioner for Housing, Hon. Gbolahan Lawal; Head of Service, Elder Sola Adeyemi, and the Towulade of Akinale, Oba Olufemi Ogunleye, among others.
Ubani, who was the lead speaker at the event, said the various campaigns of successive governments aimed at inspiring behavioural transformation of Nigerians failed because people did not lead by example.
The former NBA chief noted that the current anti-corruption war of the President Muhammadu Buhari administration may not succeed if the citizenry failed to complement the campaign by changing their own attitude and disposition.
He said: “My belief is that a nation cannot rise above the values of its citizens. If we want our country to function at a certain standard, then we must become the first exemplars of that standard.
“We must be at the forefront in condemning criminality, corruption and all ethical infractions. We must desist from seeing one another in the light of ethnicity, religion and class, but as Nigerians.
“This has become necessary because most times when you read comments of Nigerians, especially the youths, in the social media, you will want to weep for this country. A politician is arrested for corruption and most Nigerians will be defending him, calling it witch-hunting based on tribal, religious or political sentiments.”
While noting that ethical rebirth is not limited to reducing corruption in public life, Ubani enjoined Nigerians to support the present government towards lifting the country out of moral and ethical quagmire.
In his remarks, Oladele called for policy re-engineering and exemplary conduct on the part of Nigerians while also challenging political office holders to ensure their children and wards attend public schools and use public amenities towards restoring the lost glory of the nation.
The NIPR President said, “If Nigeria must be repaired, those who volunteer to be the repairers must lead by example. A minister or commissioner should allow his children to go to public school and I’m sure, an average commissioner for education would make sure that such a school works.
“Same for the hospital. Until they patronise what belongs to Nigeria and what is supposed to be patronised by other common Nigerians, we will not have it better.”
Earlier in his address, the chairman of Ogun NIPR, Mr. Tope Adaramola, called for “National Mind Re-engineering Crusade” that would involve critical actors, including public relations practitioners.
He said the crusade should incorporate the War Against Indiscipline (WAI) introduced by the Federal Government, adding that “Nigerians need to know that there is nothing wrong with our land, but a lot is wrong with our mindsets.”