By Adelola Amihere
The Director-General of the National Orientation Agency (NOA), Dr. Garba Abari has attributed degrading governance systems to lack of integrity and poor ethics across board.
He lamented that lack of commitment and non-challant approach to statutory assignments have led to degraded values and breakdown of ethics in governance.
Abari, who was addressing media executives over the weekend, exclaimed that “we are in a very deep social and economic crises”, and warned that except people operating at positions of authority change their attitude and embrace integrity and honest living, the society will continue to degenerate.
“Can you imagine junior secondary school students bearing arms and initiated into cultism? Can you imagine that citizens employed to protect now turn around to abuse citizens? We are now facing crises of our own internal contradictions.
“Is it not unfortunate that some parents now procure surrogate persons to write exams for their children? What do you expect from such generation of children in the future?
“Like you said, if people don’t know who they voted for because they are under influence ofr what is called vote buying or other vices, it tells you they lack faith in the activities of politicians and these frustrations have compelled them (the electorate) not to care less about what politicians do since they don’t see any improvements from the ruling class,” Dr. Abari stated.
He explained that NOA under his leadership had organised series of sessions with both the public and organised private sector on how to change the narrative, but lamented the effect of such engagements have not materialised.
Faced with a barrage of criticisms by media executives on terrible incidences of dereliction of duty by public agencies in spite of huge budgetary allocations, Abari stated that it shows that the nation needs more than a passing attention towards reversing the unfortunate trend.
He explained that recent engagement with offices including the diplomatic community on the abuse of Nigeria’s national symbols, especially the National flag, is yet to lead to a reversal of the abuse as several public and private agencies use whatever shade of green and size they like to depict the Nigerian National Flag, in violations of set colour, designs and shape.
The NOA boss however emphasised in spite of the malaise, his office has maintained visible dignity in Labour unlike in several agencies where people come to work and depart when it pleases them.
“In spite of the problems, our staff come to work early, clean the environment and sit at their table to do the work assigned to them. This is unlike what obtains in some ministries and agencies where the environment is very dirty, including toilets that are kept in terrible state.
“Negligible things like cleaning the toilets and keeping the environment clean are veritable factors in determining the state of mind of a people, because they say that cleanliness is next to godliness. In most public agencies, we have ungodly people and their environments will clearly show you what I mean,” he said.