Tuesday, 1 January 2019


The conventional explanation of crippling poverty, economic backwardness and perennial social turmoil in the midst of vast human and material resources in Nigeria is in terms of leadership failure, administrative ineptitude, technological deficiency, moral decadence and more recently, grand corruption. Other factors advanced include ethnic and religious differentiation. There is scant recognition of the absence of the spirit of nation behind the inability of Nigeria to take its rightful place among developed countries of the world.

Most Nigerian military and civilian political elite proceed on the highly questionable premise either that the National Question does not exist or that it was resolved with political independence in 1960. This class of citizens also ignores massive distortions which have taken place in the federal structure of the country since the advent of military dictatorship in the country in 1966.
The delusionary assumption of the political elite that Nigeria is already a nation poses the greatest hindrance to the solution of several problems besetting the country.
Is there a Nigerian Nation?
It is significant to recognize that Nigeria was not a nation ab initio. Numerous independent kingdoms, empires and nations existed before the idea of a Nigerian state was conceived by the colonialists. Indeed, an attempt to identify distinctively ‘Nigerian’ traits would stretch the imagination quite a bit.

British colonial masters who amalgamated the territories known as Protectorate of Northern Nigeria with the Colony and Protectorate of Southern Nigeria to form the Protectorate of Nigeria on January 1, 1914 administered the territory to foster the national interest of their home country. They did not come for the purpose of building a great African nation.
Indisputably, since it gained political independence from Britain in 1960, Nigeria has had requisite characteristics of a state namely, a defined territory, population, government, currency accepted within its borders and recognition as an international person. It however lacks qualities of a nation. There is clear absence of strong feeling of affinity among diverse nations within the country necessitating periodic resort to force to compel some sections of the country to remain within it. As the Anglo-Irish political theorist and philosopher, Edmund Burke (1729-1797) observed in the 18th century, “a nation is not governed that is perpetually to be conquered.” Some nations within Nigeria resent being ruled by those they perceive as aliens or people who do not share the same value ideals with them. In addition, internal functionality of the state in terms of efficiency, effectiveness and credibility of state institutions is in high deficit in the country. 
The issue is aggravated by the hypocrisy of the ruling class. Unlike most of the current leaders, the founding fathers of Nigeria were reasonably honest and often spoke with sincerity. As far back as 1947, Alhaji Abubakar Tafawa Balewa, who became Prime Minister of Nigeria from 957 to 1966, stated the issue with eloquent candour when he told the old Legislative Council (LECO) in Lagos in March 1947:
“Since 1914, the British government has been trying to make Nigeria into one     country, but the Nigerian people themselves are historically different in their            backgrounds, in their religious beliefs, and customs and do not show themselves any sign of willingness to unite…
“Nigerian unity is only a British intention for the country. Many deceive themselves by thinking that Nigeria is one particularly some of the press people … this is wrong.
I am sorry to say that this presence of unity is artificial and it ends outside this chamber, the Southern tribes who are now pouring into the north are more or less domiciled here and do not mix with the Northern people … and we in the North look upon them as invaders.”
Concluding, Sir Abubakar stated in clear and unmistakable terms:
“Since the amalgamation of Southern and Northern provinces in 1914, Nigeria has existed as one country only on paper…it is still far from being united. Nigeria unity is only a British intention for the country.” (The Hansard, March 20 to April 2, 1947).
Chief Obafemi Awolowo also expressed a similar sentiment at pages 47-48 of his book, Path to Nigeria Freedom published in 1947.
“Nigeria is not a nation: It is a mere geographical expression. There are not ‘Nigerians’ in the same sense as there are ‘English’ or ‘Welsh’ or ‘French’; the word Nigeria is merely a distinctive appellation to distinguish those who live within the boundaries of Nigeria from those who do not.”
Most of the things that appear to unite the country or which most Nigerians share in common such as federal constitution, parliament, official language, currency, defence, postal system and other federal agencies are things brought from outside, specifically British experiment. Nigeria was expected to evolve on the basis of co-operation and mutual respect with a view to forming a more complete union. But this process is yet to take off.
In opening his insightful piece entitled How to be a Nigerian published in May 1966, Peter Pan asserted in his humorous style of writing:
            “The search for the Nigerian is in progress.
“Optimists say that before this (20th) century is out, the experiment begun in the 19th century will produce such a people.
“Meanwhile, there are Hausas, Yorubas, Tivs, Edos, Fulanis, Ibos and 87 other lesser peoples inhabiting that area of geography” called Nigeria.
And Nigeria’s 2nd Military Dictator, General Yakubu Gowon (retd.) asserted with vigour that “the basis for Nigerian unity no longer exists”, as he seized power in an anti-Igbo military coup in July 1966.
Dismemberment of the Nigerian Federation
Nigeria’s fledgling democracy appeared to be on course until it was violently torpedoed by some misguided military officers in the first military coup in the country in January 1966. The coup involved the killing of the Prime Minister of Nigeria, Alhaji Abubakar Tafawa Balewa and several high ranking civilian and military officers in the country.

The coup leader, late Major Chukwuma Kaduna Nzeogwu was however quickly shoved aside by superior officers who were not part of the planning and execution of the coup. Whatever might have been the revolutionary zeal of the plotters, they had no opportunity to show it.

By the Constitution (Suspension and Modification) Decree No. 1 of 1966, the Federal Military Government assumed “power to make laws for the peace, order and good government of Nigeria or any part thereof with respect to any matter whatsoever.” This was a classic case of displacement of goals as the Nigerian Armed Forces took on the main business of government allotted to the Legislature and the Executive under the Republican Constitution, 1963.

The soldiers did not only subvert constitutional democracy in the country, they instigated a civil war, the Nigeria-Biafra war which lasted from July 6, 1967 to January 15 1970.

The end of the war was followed by over 20 years of military dictatorship during which period military dictators dismembered the four-regional structure which existed in 1966 and created 36 unviable states, a Federal Capital Territory and 774 local government areas, most of which remain economically unviable. Unfortunately, those leaders who succeeded military dictators prefer to live in denial rather than address the crucial issue of nation-building.
Consequently, 58 years after becoming an independent country, the search for the Nigerian is yet to take off effectively.  Successive leaders of the Federal Government of Nigeria failed to initiate processes to build a Nigerian nation.
A basic condition precedent for Nigerian unity was the adoption of the principles of constitutionalism, federalism and democracy through electoral processes. However, sustained threats to these basic issues by military znc civilian operatives have been subversive of the country’s existence.

National Interest and Political Power
National interest is often mistakenly associated with the interest of an individual incumbent or group in power. This grievous error makes strategic government functionaries, particularly security agencies to victimize citizens who are patriotic and courageous enough to point out the errors, failures and misdeeds of rulers which detract from the ideal of a united country or nation-state. Security agencies in the country routinely demonise patriots who raise issues aimed at building a better society. They wholeheartedly embrace sycophants and charlatans while regularly harassing, sometimes falsely imprisoning or causing disappearance of patriots who truly love their country.

The fact that a person is a Head of State does not, ipso facto, make him or her a national leader. A nepotistic leader who utilizes his position to bolster his sectional interest is not a national leader but more likely a tribal leader.
Properly construed, national interest must be defined in terms of broad issues relevant to orderly development of a united Nigeria. A true nationalist would promote universalistic values such as meritocracy, democratic governance and values and rule of law  as indispensable tenets of a growing national culture.
Therefore, partisan regimes dedicated to protection of group or class interest represent only sectional interests whatever big names they may assume. Whatever praise singers may say, such leaders have no legitimate claim to national leadership.
Nation Building
Nigeria is a conglomeration of about 250 nations spread from the fringes of the Sahara Desert to the Atlantic. The fashioning and building of a nation out of such a poly-national state cannot be left to happenstance. It must be consciously designed, cultivated and nurtured by informed, patriotic and visionary nationalist leadership, devoid of parochial and sectarian bias.
Nation building means that there should be a conscious effort to erect integrative social forces to moderate the potentially polarizing influence of ethnic, religious or group allegiances. National interest should be pursued to the benefit of the whole system, not to the overriding benefit of sections of it.

Critical moments arise when certain interests become genuinely national, shared by all classes and groups in such a way as to intensify the spirit of nationalism. Nigerian nationalism was accentuated by accumulated grievances of peasants, civil servants and the educated class against British domination. In the final analysis, nationalism should mean love of fatherland and of a common heritage.
The National Question Defined
The national question has been variously conceptualised in terms of several significant questions in the Nigerian society. Principal among these are the continuing relevance of British Design for Nigeria, power politics, problem of minorities, ethnicity, religious fundamentalism, the Igbo Question, the Niger Delta Question, the Middle Belt Question and more recently, Islamist terrorism as well as cultural and class issues.

The national question arises when two or more nations are joined in one state. The Nigerian experience is that perceived oppression by any of the nations against one or more of other nationalities participating in the state enterprise often leads to social tension or threats of breakup of the union.
In an article titled “Whose national conference?” published in THE GUARDIAN, Thursday, June 21, 1990, p 9, Dr. Edwin Madunagu noted that the Nigerian society is increasingly structured against some social groups and classes. He defined the National Question as “the range of specific problems that arise when two or more ethnic groups are merged under one polity and governed by one state.” In the Nigerian context, the questions that arise under this rubric include “ethnic and religious questions” as well as “human rights”.
A genuine National Question is that whose solution advances the interests of the working and toiling population –the overwhelming majority of the people.
The National Question pungently described by late Prime Minister Abubakar Tafawa Balewa and Chief Obafemi Awolowo in 1947 and Peter Pan (Peter Enahoro) in 1966, was compounded and aggravated by 28 years of barbaric military dictatorship which lasted from January 1966 to October 1979 and again from January 1983 to May 1999.  During this period, democratic governance was banned, constitutionalism was abrogated in place of arbitrary Military Decrees, the rule of law was thrown to the dustbin while the federal structure established at Independence in 1960 was bastardised.

Resolving the National Question in Nigeria
On the resolution of issues National Question, Madunagu argued that “the National Question is a structural question, not a constitutional one. It can only be resolved the same way it was created, namely, by deliberate political decision, sharply and courageously executed. In other words, structural imbalances are not redressed through the application of constitutional provisions. On the contrary, constitutional provisions are made to legalise and formalize structural shifts that have already taken place through deliberate political action. This is the historically correct line that must be urged on the government.”

Therefore, resolution of the National Question must be direct, categorical and precise.

Chris O.O. Biose

Saturday, 22 December 2018


The basic issue in the Niger Delta is that since the promulgation of Petroleum Decree No. 51, 1969, the Off Shore Oil Revenue Decree (No. 9), 1971 and other obnoxious military decrees by which military dictators dispossessed the Niger Delta of the benefits of its oil and gas resources, successive Federal administrations have been extracting the oil and gas in the Niger Delta and using the proceeds to develop other Regions in the country to the exclusion of the Niger Delta. The activities of the oil companies were reflected in permanent gas flares, massive coastal marine pollution and unprecedented levels of environmental degradation without parallel anywhere in the world. They promoted intra and inter-community strife by means of selective favours. Regrettably, some youth resorted to militancy although the vast majority remained law-abiding. All these engendered tendency towards breakdown in traditional values and confusion among the oppressed people of the Niger Delta.
The Federal Government consistently ignored civilized demands for social justice towards the Niger Delta and remediation of environmental degradation of the area. Rather than show understanding and ameliorate some of the most pressing issues, Federal Government reaction was to lay permanent military siege on the Region.
Starting with the Minorities Commission of 1957, there have been numerous studies and reports detailing the intolerable human and environmental disaster in the Niger Delta Region. Some of these include World Bank Report on Niger Delta, UNDP Report on Niger Delta, United Nations Report on Niger Delta and the Niger Delta Technical Committee Report. The recommendations in these reports have so far been largely ignored by the Federal Government.
Several bodies have also been established by the Federal Government over the years, ostensibly to develop the Niger Delta. These started with the Niger Delta Development Board, (NDDB), 1959, to the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), 2000, among several others, but all these failed to produce desired results due to insincerity of the ruling elite. It is crystal clear, from the experience of the past half century, that the development of the Niger Delta cannot be left in the hands of the Federal Government.
What is required is that Niger Deltans should be constitutionally and legally empowered to utilize the resources available to them to train their children and develop their land. Niger Deltans do not need the Federal Government to collect their oil and gas money and then pretend to be helping them by using an infinitesimal part of the proceeds for a dubious Amnesty programme.
The APC campaigned on true federalism in the country prior to the 2015 presidential election but jettisoned the proposal immediately it got into power. The APC also published its Manifesto on its website, part of which read: “Initiating action to amend the Nigerian Constitution, with a view to devolving powers, duties and responsibilities to states in order to entrench true federalism.”
When concerned members of the public reminded the President of the provision in his party’s manifesto, Presidency spokespersons claimed that it was not President Buhari that made the promise.

The high point of the deceptive stance of the ruling APC was rehearsed on the floor of the Senate and House of Representatives in July 27, 2017. Both Houses of the National Assembly (NASS) with APC majority voted against devolution of powers to states in their proposed amendment to the 1999 Constitution. The rejection of devolution of powers to states by the APC-controlled NASS effectively meant a continuation of the existing intensively exploitative and inequitable political structure in Nigeria. This is so far the most resounding REJECTION OF CHANGE in the country. As former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar put it in his reaction to the NASS voting the APC had “betrayed its 2015 election promises.” (Emmanuel Aziken, Atiku, Ohaneze, women groups others, slam Senate, Vanguard, July 28, 2017).
Finally, in his New Year speech on January 1, 2018, President Muhammadu Buhari said “when all is considered, my firm view is that our problems are more to do with process than structure.” (Samuel Ogundipe, Nigeria: Buhari Rejects Restructuring Nigeria, PREMIUM TIMES online, January 1, 2018). Apparently, President Buhari  does not want to alter the intensely exploitative poiitcal structure erected by his military predecessors.
In view of the rejection of the single most important political demand of Niger Deltans by President Muhammadu Buhari and his APC, the presidential election scheduled to hold in February 2019 presents a golden opportunity for Niger Deltans to take their destiny in their own hands. Of all the presidential candidates, only former Vice President Atiku Abubakar has presented a clear and workable agenda for political restructuring of the country.
But the truth is: Atiku cannot do it alone when he becomes President in 2019. He needs a clear majority in the NASS to implement it. Therefore, Niger Deltans must vehemently reject any APC candidate and vote exclusively for Atiku and his PDP candidates in the National Assembly during the forthcoming National Assembly and presidential election in February 2019.
With political restructuring of the country into a true federal state, federating units and regions would control their resources and pay constitutionally recommended part of it to the central government as it was in the First Republic before the military coup of January 1966. This entails fiscal federalism that would enable the people of Niger Delta to develop their area rather than wait for those who have no stake in the Region to do it for them.
Niger Deltans must scrupulously avoid being sidetracked into selfish or diversionary issues such as lobbying for political appointments, contracts and award of oil blocs to stooges of the oppressor  in the Niger Delta. 
Military siege of the Niger Delta on the false propaganda of maintaining peace is a ruse. Militancy was never the issue in the Niger Delta. Neither was Amnesty. In this regard, it is also pertinent to state that the “amnesty” implemented by the administration of late President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua was not at all that which was recommended by the Ledum Mtee Technical Committee. In fact, Mittee described the Federal Government version of Amnesty Programme as mere “appeasement”.
In an interview which he granted Jimitola Onoyume of Vanguard newspaper in June 2016, Mr. Ledum Mittee, pioneer Vice-Chairman of Movement for the Survival of Ogoni People (MOSOP), later chairman of the organization and also Chairman of Niger Delta Technical Committee (Mittee Committee) disowned government selection of one item (Amnesty) out of a body of coherent recommendations in the Mittee Report and treated it as a “stand-alone” solution to the crisis in the Niger Delta while ignoring the issues that the Technical Report tried to address.
Mittee likened late President Yar’Adua’s amnesty programme for Niger Delta militants to “a situation where people protest over a bad road, cut a tree to block the road because government ignored them. The government comes to bribe them to remove the tree. So, the road is not repaired but vehicles still allowed to drive through. This is the situation in the region.”  The government “equates peace in the Region with flow of oil.” (Jimitola Onoyume, Niger Delta crisis: how government missed it – Mittee, Vanguard, June 13, 2016).

It is difficult to believe that anyone who aspires to the Nigerian Presidency could claim ignorance of these issues. That would be extremely dishonest and untenable. 
When he is sworn in as President of Nigeria in May 2019, President ‘Atiku Abubakar would fashion out a workable programme or time-table to remove the constitutional obstacles that hinder true federalism in Nigeria. Given the general desire for peace in Nigeria, the National and State Assemblies would cooperate with such a programme of action and give it speedy constitutional backing.

And it won’t even be that difficult. It would not take more than three or four pages of legal work to abrogate or amend all the obnoxious oil and gas decrees and transfer the resources to the states or Regions where they are found.
Constitutional experts have observed that the Federal Constitution, 1960, had 44 item on the Exclusive Legislative List and 28 on the Concurrent List. “The Republican Constitution of 1963 had 45 items on the Exclusive List and 29 on the Concurrent. In 1963, the ratio between federal and regional responsibilities was 3:2, whereas the 1999 Constitution has 68 items on the Exclusive List and 30 on the Concurrent.”
Given honesty of purpose and the political will to do right, it is absolutely simple to return power to the states and regions as it was in the First Republic. Renowned Nigerian constitutional lawyer, Professor Itse Sagay, SAN, probably had all the above in mind when he recommended a simple formula to achieve political restructuring of the country. He said:
“If I look at the present document, all I need to do is to transfer about 16 powers that are in the exclusive legislative list to the concurrent list, and then transfer some powers totally out of the list so that it becomes only for states on the residuary list.” (SAGAY, July 4, 2010, p 66)
This is the first task that Alhaji Atiku Abubakar would lead the country to achieve when he is elected President and Commander-in-Chief of the Federal Republic of Nigeria in 2019.
Chris O O Biose,

Thursday, 7 February 2013

Page 6                                                          Nigerian Tribune, Tuesday, 9 June, 1987

Awo: The ultimate honour


Implementing late Chief Awolowo’s four cardinal programmes, nationwide, is the highest honour to the memory of one who did so much to improve the life of his compatriots.

As if to atone for their mistake in denying him the chance to occupy the highest political office in the land as he well deserved, to enable him transform the country for the benefit of the majority, and in appreciation of the invaluable services he rendered with the limited opportunity he had while yet with us, Nigerians are resolved to bestow adequate individual, group and national honours on the late leader. Hundreds of thousands of Nigerians have thus offered useful suggestions as to how best to honour our departed leader.

The Federal Government responded positively and has participated fully in the funeral arrangements spear-headed by some of the deceased’s lieutenants and the LOOBO states. It also gladdens the heart that the federal government has named one of the nation’s institutions of higher learning – UNIFE – after the great leader. These are, indeed, heart-warming and spontaneous expressions of the highest regard and the late leader’s family and disciples must feel most grateful.

Seen, however, from the point of view of the under-privileged classes of the country, one can express the view that these agreeably laudable actions so far taken are largely cosmetic and symbolic insofar as they do not pertain to the root cause and key issues which ranked high in the thinking of this political giant. As the head of state himself correctly pointed out not very long ago, Chief Awolowo had been the main issue in Nigerian politics for the past 35 years. The true test must be: if Chief Awolowo were to reappear and requested to make a wish, would he start talking of a funeral and names of schools and stadia? I trust not. Attractive as this might be, there were certain things which Awo consistently advocated in his life time, and for which people now openly express their admiration.

In this connection, it is most interesting to find that a good number of highly-placed government functionaries at both federal and state levels have publicly acknowledged the wisdom of the four cardinal action programmes based on the late leader’s socialist political strategy for the country’s development and  this, I  submit, is where our major interest must lie. There seems to be a pervasive rediscovery of the rectitude of the socialist policies for which he always fought.

If this is truly so, and if one is not to be tempted to agree with those who see the unrestrained outburst of expressions of admiration as hypocritical, then one should be encouraged to humbly suggest that the best way to honour Awo is for the federal authorities to act now to see that some core principles of the late leader’s socialist programmes are translated into concrete action. It is my humble view that the best way to honour a man is to do his wish. Let the authorities implement at least one Awo Programme and name it as such. To give honour where it is due, one must acknowledge with due appreciation the integrated rural development programme of the federal administration. There is at present a noticeable effort to improve access to the rural areas by a “massive programme of rural road construction and rehabilitation”. This is commendable but roads alone do not a civilization make.

Those who know the late leader would confirm that he was a pragmatist who spoke mainly in action. In this respect, any one of two under-mentioned Awo programmes could be implemented as a specific mark of honour for the late leader.
1.         With immediate effort, and as a minimum measure, the government should declare a free and compulsory secular education at primary and secondary levels throughout the country followed by a year of compulsory national service which will include military training for all Nigerian youths before going into the labour market.

It should be borne in mind that this educational policy is not an end in itself. It is an essential instrument for promoting national political consciousness and eventual economic and technological take-off of the country. This could be specifically christened – The Awo Programme.

2.         On a more holistic note, the administration could take the bull by the horn and declare Nigeria a socialist state and put a halt to all policies which increase and perpetuate inequalities; while instituting and vigorously pursuing policies which promote egalitarianism.

In the words of Papa himself, “it is abundantly clear that the evils of the capitalist system are naked self-interest, greed and the gross and irremediable injustices arising from the forces of supply and demand and the margin. Some of these evils are inherent and inseparable from the capitalist system and since they tend, inexorably, to make the weak progressively weaker relatively and the under-developed country more systematically enslaved as an economic entity, every underdeveloped country will be wise resolutely to avoid the capitalist system.

“The socialist system is preferable to the capitalist system, because it is devoid of the evils of the later, and is positively superior to it. This then in my considered judgment is the path to economic freedom in underdeveloped countries.  

“But it must be emphasized that there is an imperative and indispensable need for thorough and detailed planning and stern discipline of body and mind, to make the socialist system, and to ensure, under it, effective and efficient mobilization, co-ordination, deployment, and development of all the natural and human resources.

“…My own considered verdict is that the path to economic freedom in developing countries is socialism.”

If any of these policy decisions is implemented with immediate effect, as a specific mark of honour for the revered elder statesman, then Awo’s name would be specifically associated with the take-off of the Third Republic. If it is not done, the struggle will start afresh.

It has been said: “If you love me, keep my commandments.” Those who love Awo should imitate his stern discipline, egalitarian programmes and work ethic. This will be the best way to honour the man Awo.

“On a more holistic note, the administration could take the bull by the horn and declare Nigeria a socialist state and put a halt to all policies which increase and perpetuate inequalities; while instituting and vigorously pursuing policies which promote egalitarianism.”


Sunday, 1 January 2012

CHRIS BIOSE - Motto: Ezi okwu bu ndu (Truth is Life)

CHRIS BIOSE - Motto: Ezi okwu bu ndu (Truth is Life)

SEARCH OF INTEGRITY – An introduction
Chris. O. O. Biose

This blog is devoted to identifying, building
and celebrating one of the most critical needs of the Nigerian state, namely,
the virtue of integrity in public

We are used
to discussing huge gaps in core economic and social infrastructure in Nigeria
about which huge budgetary provisions are made year in and year out without
commensurate results. To achieve the objectives of budgetary provisions and
other social objectives, it is also necessary to invest even greater energy and
resources to close the even more yawning gap between the expected behaviour of
role occupants and the bitter reality.

Webster’s Encyclopedic Dictionary of the English Language defines integrity as “moral soundness, probity, wholeness,
completeness…”. It entails the quality of being whole, pure, complete,
undivided and incorruptible.

There is a
close connection between the level of personal integrity and the way in which
individuals play their roles in society.

For example,
a policeman of integrity would not collect bribes and allow law breakers free
reign. This well known practice among Nigerian policemen points to the urgent
need for fundamental transformation of the Nigeria Police. Throwing money at
problems through huge budgetary provisions and declaration of state of
emergency to address current security challenges facing the country may appear
administratively justifiable but if the fundamental issue of the logistic and
behavioural integrity of those individuals that operate the system are not seriously
and holistically addressed, in the long run, the measures may not produce the desired

A customs
officer of integrity would not collect bribes and facilitate importation of
contraband into the country or look the other way as deadly military arsenal
are illegally moved into the country across the borders, giving free reign to armed robbers, political marauders, assassins
and religious terrorists.

A judge of
integrity would not collect huge bribes and give judicial imprimatur to violent,
election-rigging criminals, posing as politicians, to occupy elective offices
when clearly such pretended politicians did not win elections.

A legislator
of integrity would not subscribe to huge bribes before passing budgets and
keeping mum as Governors mismanage state funds.

In most
Nigerian villages and towns, officials cannot enforce city and town council
regulations because of corruption. So, the country is fast becoming one large

The above examples
and many more that could be cited, call into serious question, the integrity of
role occupants in Nigerian public life. Integrity deficit has long been an
institutional problem in Nigeria which political leaders deliberately refused
to address because it would hurt the basis of their power.

there are challenges to doing right in human society. But a man of integrity
has strength of will to hold steadfastly to commitments. This quality ensures
the ability to translate intention into action even in the face of challenging
social conditions or conflicting personal desires.

today needs men of integrity in private and public life to change the society
from moral and material squalour to greatness and progress. It is time to
cultivate, nurture and advance our higher qualities of integrity and positive

I will
conclude this introductory submission by asserting categorically that no plan
for social progress will achieve the desired objective if the men who operate
the system suffer from high integrity deficit. Indeed, whatever the resources
available in state, if the human beings occupying that space are debased, the
place is thereby debased. The effect is more crippling if the debased constitute
the ruling class. A morally and spiritually debased ruling class is the greatest
curse any society may experience.