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Mr Garba Abari , Director-General of National Orientation Agency (NOA) says the agency will soon launch a programme tagged; “The Change Begins with Me’’ to reorient Nigerians for attitudinal change. Abari told newsmen on Thursday in Abuja that the programme was aimed at fighting corruption and encouraging peaceful co-existence in the country.
He said it was regrettable that corruption had done a lot of damage to every sphere of the country. “Fight against corruption must not begin with the government; people must be in the vanguard of fighting corruption. “Our schools, roads, hospitals should have been better than what they are now, but corruption has stalled their development.
“What would you say about a woman who uses chemical to forcefully ripen banana and sell it to the public; what about a woman who would use a padded mudu to sell rice. “A petrol attendant who would claim not to have change so that the buyer would leave the change; all these are corruption,’’ Abari said.
He explained that lecturers in tertiary institutions also engage in corrupt practices as they sell handouts to students, adding that lazy students also cut corners by selling their bodies and giving money to pass examinations. According to him, the change must start at the individual level, which will inevitably extend to the society and country at large.
“Nobody is happy with the way corruption has relegated the country to its present situation. “We the citizen must take a second hard look at what we did wrong that we will not do tomorrow. “The change must start with the people in the little things they do in their families, place of work and responsibilities,’’ Abari said.
On co-existence, the NOA boss said that the various tribes in the country had co-existed for long which dates back to the pre-colonial era. According to him, there are more than 250 ethnic groups in the country, and these groups have intermarried and there are intercultural relationships among them.
Abari, however, said that elite, religious and political manipulation and personal aggrandisement were threats to peaceful co-existence and development. “Nigeria is a beautiful country with cultural diversity which informs our beauty as a country. “We have large population; it is in this population that we have our strength; we can use our numbers to attract all manners of advantage to the country,’’ he said.
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