By Deji Abdulwahab
The Federal Government has called on Nigerians to imbibe the national ethics for the sustenance of peace and justice in the country.
The Minister of Youth and Sports Development, Mr Sunday Dare, made the call on Thursday at the commemoration of the 70th Anniversary of the Citizenship and Leadership Training Centre in Abuja.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the centre which is now a parastatal under the Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports Development was established in 1951.
The theme of the anniversary is “Optimising the Unique Value of Citizenship and Leadership Training Centre for a Better Nigeria’’.
The minister, who was represented by Mr Nebeolisa Anako, the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry, said that Section 23 of the 1999 constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as amended dwells on national ethics.
These, he added, includes discipline, integrity, dignity of labour, social justice, religious tolerance, self-reliance and patriotism.
“A deeper analysis of these national ethics indicates that citizens imbibing and internalising these ethics is an indispensable roadmap for the attainment and sustenance of peace which itself is a panacea for development.
“As you all know, there can be no development in any human society without peace and justice.
“Let me quickly mention here that peace is not necessarily the absence of conflicts but has to do with the instruments put in place to manage conflicts so that it does not degenerate into chaos and restiveness.
“You will agree with me that Technology is sweeping through the world, Nigeria inclusive, demolishing old boundaries and simplifying processes thereby expanding opportunities for economic growth and prosperity.
“However, decline in morals, ethics, character and citizenship values present a real and potent threat to the attainment of these potentials with its attendant negative effect on peace and nation building,’’ the minister said.
Prof. Ezra Gunen of Department of Human Kinetics and Health Education, Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria said the country required values such as discipline, self-reliance, creativity, humility, and honesty for its survival.
Gunen, who presented a paper on the establishment of the centre said,“however, what we are witnessing in Nigeria today is self-centeredness which is so prominent in the least of organisations you may think of.
“So, there is need for the Citizenship and Leadership Training Centre to run value reorientation programme not minding what other agencies are doing since the focus is on the youths.
“The centre should pull them together, train and educate them on these values and evaluate their adaptation to values.
“It also allow them to go into areas where you can see them practically implementing these values for the survival of Nigeria,’’ the don said.
Alhaji Umar Dansuleka, the Chairman, Governing Board of the centre, urged the Federal Government to make the training centre compulsory for public office holders, public servants, political aspirants and everybody involved in the service delivery value chain.
According to Dansuleka, this will equip the recipients for the rudiments of service with the consciousness to serve diligently, to strive and not to yield to any untoward dictates.
“I believe that if this is done, it will go a long way to enable the Centre inculcate the required values in Nigerians with the result that social vices will be reduced to the barest minimum,’’ he said.
The Director-General of the Centre, Mr Jonah Bawa, said that the effectiveness and efficiency of the centre to accomplish its mandate could be enhanced by the amendment of the Act that established it.
According to Bawa, the act should accommodate not only provisions that spell out which category of Nigerians should attend the Centre’s training but also make it compulsory, without which they cannot enjoy certain privileges.
“I believe very strongly that if this is done, the effect will be remarkable and visible in the everyday life of Nigerians,’’ he said. (NAN)