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.