A Senior Advocate of Nigeria and renowned philanthropist, Ibrahim K. Bawa, has expressed worry and concern over the increasing decline in ethical standards and cultural core values, particularly among the youths and politicians of these days.
He identified poor leadership and blind followership laced with greed sat certain levels as major factors responsible for the ugly trend, regretting that the menace has permeated all facets of the society, including education, civil service, religion and politics.
Speaking on phone to this medium, the legal luminary expressed confidence of the redeemability of the trend if leaders change their attitude to governance as obtained in other climes.
He said: “One major problem with Nigerians that has continued to deteriorate is the issue of integrity and ethical standards. Ethics have been eroded in every facet of our society. Children want to cheat to pass examinations and tests because they don’t believe they can excel without cheating these days.
“Traders feel if they cannot cheat through their trade, they cannot ordinarily be wealthy. That is same practice with majority of those workers within the public and private sectors. Most of them are reluctant to go to work as stated in their appointment letters while some of them even report to work once in every week with some not reporting at all but criminally collecting monthly salary and other allowances without doing what is expected of them. That is quite amazing and sad.
“Go to religion, in places of worship, everyone is more focused on how to manipulate the religion for personal wealth and organizing fund raising events that in most cases without accountability and integrity.
“The worst scenario is in politics because that’s the centre of corruption and dishonesty. That is where the operators in public office manipulate figures, divert even constituency projects and encourage sycophancy and bootlicking to thrive as a way of life. Even my some of my colleagues in the legal profession and some medical personnel, many of us are not keen in putting our best in service. Instead, we prefer working for government just to collect colossus amount even without laboring.
“There is nothing wrong with private practice, but that must not impinge on the primary one you’re doing which is public service. All of us, including our children are running helter-skelter after easy money and other luxuries, to live comfortably without laboring.
“Fortunately, the ugly situation is not beyond redemption. It’s about leadership. The power of leadership is immense. If those on top say no to those ills, it will be a top bottom, bottom-top approach”.
The legal luminary underscored the need to return to the traditional values of honesty, hard work and waiting patiently for one’s turn than the syndrome of overheating the system for stay-put in power.
“Let’s drop the disturbing idea of get rich quick syndrome. Who is that that can say we can’t make money without mortgaging our core values? We can be better positioned to make the change when we get our values right and when our leaders lead by example.
“Times are hard we all know, but our ethical standards don’t have to go down with it. That’s why we are in politics today to change the narrative for a more decent, progressing and united society. The area, I happen to come from is too rural. In the entire local government, there is only one dilapidated cottage hospital to serve the people without a qualified resident doctor. The people are poor and impoverished. They are more to self struggle for a living with little assistance from anywhere. Portable water in most of the villages is gold. People still source water from wells, stagnant ponds and streams. Electricity is a luxury in my locality. In fact, the basic necessities of life are near absent in my area. But I must express my sincere gratitude to my state governor, His Excellency Simon Bako Lalong Esq for the restoration of peace in Plateau State and for leading a purposeful government that is serving with passion”.