Osinbajo decries society’s loss of character, values
In his keynote address at the 10th Memorial Anniversary Lecture of Justice Peter Odo Effiong Bassey at the University of Calabar yesterday, he said the country needs a great deal of cultural and social re-orientation.
Nigeria, he said, can only progress on a foundation of set and clear-cut values, adding: “I would quote from the scriptures which says that righteousness exalts a nation. It is a simple expression which carries great depth.
“No society has developed that has not kept to some form of core values. Governance has to be based on principles and ideals. One of such principles is hard work. It is also critical that the work be positively directed and productive.
“One of the reasons the country is not as developed as others is because people are not paid for the hours they work. Most developed countries run a system based on payment for hours worked.”
He added that integrity, reward for merit, consequences as opposed to impunity, and social justice, where government gives money to the extremely poor reinforces values.
Meanwhile, the former governor of Cross River State, Mr. Donald Duke, said that much should be done to improve the judiciary, which defines a good society.
According to him, “deviants in society are related to the weakness of the judiciary. For a nation of our size and complexity, our judiciary is one of the most poorly remunerated.
“It is the responsibility of the judiciary to apply the consequences of breaches to the law. Divine law provides for consequences to keep a deviant humanity in check. The place of consequences is vital in society. It ensures the general wellbeing of society. Rule of law should not be a slogan but our way of life.”
On her part, the former Minister of Education, Dr. Oby Ezekwesili, said the country’s problem since independence has been a distorted incentive regime, where “hard work is scorned and unaccountable wealth glorified.
“When society operates on distorted core values, and elevate ignoble acquisition of wealth without effort, it would never be able to allocate resources maximally and efficiently.”
She charged government to put in place mechanisms to improve the quality of life of citizens, adding that “any government that fails in this purpose fails to fulfill all social contracts it has with its citizens. Governments that fail are those that fail to mobilise a sense of shared vision and values.”
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