Oct 21, 2009

Survey of Nigerian Core Values

Given the amount of resources that has been available to the nation, Nigerians admit that the nation has not done enough between independence and toady. It is however common knowledge that if any individual, organization or nation must succeed, he must have certain core values to which he attaches considerable significance. In Nigeria it is generally accepted that the core values of discipline, integrity, dignity of labour, social justice, religious tolerance, patriotism and self reliance have been eroded
The National Orientation Agency (NOA) in Nigeria is shouldered with the responsibility of consistently raising the awareness, provide timely and credible feedback, and positively change attitude and values amongst Nigerians. It is also responsible for accurately and adequately informing and sufficiently mobilizing citizens to act in ways that promote peace, harmony and national development. The NOA in collaboration with the National Institute for Policy and Strategic Studies (NIPSS) in Kuru Plateau State on 20th October 2009 presented a book titled ‘A Survey of Nigerian Core Values. As the name implies, the book is a survey of the level of perception of the values of the nation among its citizens in the 36 states of the nation and Abuja. According to Idi Farouk the Director General of NOA, the 269-page book is an intellectual exercise whose aim is to articulate a set of national core values that would enhance and promote positive value re-orientation, national integration and cohesion. He said that these values have been weather-beaten over the years thereby leaving us in the state of confusion in which we now find ourselves.
Farouk drew a direct line of transmission between material resource and the quality and attitude of human resource. In that wise he says, the level of progress of a nation is a direct consequence of a favorable combination of these two broad factors. He thus played up the significance of the patriotic duty and responsibility of Nigerians to ensure that the vision 202020 of President Umar Musa Yar’adua succeeds. Thus his agency has a twin responsibility of enlightening Nigerians on the significance of the president’s vision and the pursuance of value orientation and attitudinal transformation of Nigerians. NOA is hence delighted that the book will provide the needed reservoir of data to back up its effort towards addressing the specific needs in the attitudinal gaps of the various social spectra of Nigeria.
The collaboration between NOA and NIPSS according the DG was necessity by the common responsibility the two have. While NIPSS addresses the same subject at the leadership level, NOA does the same thing albeit at the grassroots.
Earlier, Nigerian orator and one of its few remaining nationalists, Yusufu Maitama Sule, the Dan masanin Kano electrified the gathering when he addressed the same issue. In his speech, Maitama dwelt on Nigerian traditional core values whose erosion is responsible for the chaos in which we find ourselves.
The Dan Masanin Kano noted that a number of countries which include Brazil and the Asian tigers had about the same level of progress as Nigeria at its independence. Today, he noted, these countries are far ahead of Nigeria on the global development index. He attributed the steady progress of these nations to the reverence they attach to their traditional values.
Despite Nigeria’s diversity he says, there are more similarities than differences in our traditional values and should have served as the basis for national integration and cohesion, core values the nation has not adequately been able to preserve.
The orator did not fail to mention the role of another core value, discipline towards the progress of the nation. According to him, Nigeria’s past leaders have been conscious of the modest level of discipline among Nigerians and the fact that it has contributed enormously to our chameleon speed of progress. That he says explains why every administration since the mid-seventies had war against indiscipline as part of its agenda to building the nation.
The former Nigerian Ambassador to the UN noted that democracy differs from nation to nation even in the western world. This is because there is the need for democracy to reflect local cultures. When this fails to happen, it results in the state of events in which Nigeria has found itself today. Thus he advocates an African derivative of democracy to be known as Afrocracy which must be preceded by a bloodless cultural revolution.

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