The National Orientation Agency National (NOA) recently embarked on extensive public sensitisation to educate Nigerians on national values which will determine the development and progress of the nation. SOLOMON NDA-ISAIAH and PEMBI STEPHEN-DAVID write.
The National Orientation Agency, established as an agency that communicates government policies, programmes, and strategies to grassroots and local levels, so that citizens will be aware of government activities and support them, is leading ‘ Do the right thing... Transform Nigeria’ campaign. Using values and principles as a proven concept, the agency, headed by Mike Omeri, is tireless in its responsibility of giving national orientation to citizens on the kind of values they are expected to imbibe and demonstrate for national progress, peace, and stability.
Omeri says you don’t have to think about doing the right thing because if you are for the right thing, you will do the right thing without thinking. ‘‘That is the character we want to encourage Nigerians to exhibit anytime any day. We should support the Nigerian Transformation Agenda which aligns with Mr President’s vision for a better Nigeria. It is the new way to go, so that our country may continue to soar even higher among the comity of nations.’’
To ensure that Nigerians imbibe this character, the NOA has set the stage for the principles to be read and discussed in a ‘‘roundtable’’ environment. This way, Omeri says, ‘’will encourage and promote growth in every participant and hold important reminders for those of us who have already” ‘seen it all’. The roundtable will be conducted in such a way that each person in a group will read a paragraph from the principle. After that, each person will share what (s)he understood from the text.’’
Reflecting on the idea that real integrity is doing the right thing knowing that no one is going to know whether you did it or not, Omeri explains that for every nation to develop there is a need for national values: ‘‘citizens must be guided to adopt these values and attitudes. The fact is that national values such as; honesty, obedience, hard work, tolerance and political faith, regulate the life of a nation and help to achieve its goals and objectives.’’
The director general who is making the NOA a proactive, issue based and activity driven, says: ‘‘honesty is a virtue which makes people avoid fraud, cheating, and crookedness. As Nigerians, we must imbibe the value of honesty. Obedience as we all know requires submission to authority, person or law. It is the submission of one’s will to recognise the authority. Without obedience to the laws of the land by citizens and leaders alike, chaos would occur in the society.’’
He argues that ‘‘if citizens work hard in their different aspects of life, the nation will make progress. Nigeria needs citizens with commitment to her national goals and objectives. A person does not in a community alone, he lives among other people so there is a need for tolerance.’’ To move Nigeria to greatness Omeri says: ‘‘we should not only have political faith in our government but we should help to fulfil its promises by performing our own responsibilities as good citizens.’’
He reiterated that: ‘‘in Nigeria, it is no longer business as usual, but business unusual. The time for doing the wrong thing is over. No more doing the wrong things in the office, on our high ways and even in our neighbourhood and get away with it. This time, we intend to raise the consciousness of all Nigerians to do the right thing in order to transform Nigeria and we are taking the campaign to all nooks and crannies of the country.’’
Omeri maintains that: ‘‘when we control the impulsiveness of our words, we eliminate the regret that comes after saying something wrong. So restrain helps us grow our abilities to analyse. When we learn to think things through, it makes us good listeners and gain insight into people and situations. We should never cover our faults, excuse or lie about our mistakes or we may end up believing our lies. It takes humility to admit our faults and humility will bring about character. This may appear to be a contradiction but humility requires great courage. ’’
Delivering a paper on ‘‘Do The Right Thing-Ethics First’’, Air Vice Marshal (Rtd) Olusegun A. Ogundana said: ‘‘it is the individual that can make any system work, so it starts with you. We must return to the old ways and old days, appeal to the conscience of the individual at any given level. We must be ready and willing to Do The Right Thing. Allowing the wring things to take over is the wrong attitude.’’