Vice President Yemi Osinbajo said corruption should not be seen as peculiar to Nigeria.
The Nigerian leader spoke Tuesday while delivering a lecture titled “Values: The difference between success and failure” at the 100th anniversary of Baptist Boys High School, BBHS, Abeokuta, Ogun State.
According to him, Nigeria “will fail completely if the leaders do not accept and implement” what he called an “ethical revolution” to bring about the necessary change in Nigeria.
Osinbajo emphasized that the government must lead the ethical revolution by rewarding good ethical conduct and ensuring prompt punishment for bad conduct.
Calling on Nigerians to remove the view that corruption is only synonymous with Nigeria, Osinbajo said that no modern society is free of corruption.
“Every modern society has had to deal with corruption. Corruption is not a Nigerian thing. Sometimes we delude ourselves that corruption is Nigerian, no, many countries, in fact most countries in the world, have been more corrupt than we are; but their elites sat down and decided they have to deal with it because if they don’t, it will take care of them,” he said.
He said that the elites of today’s modern societies confronted corruption by sitting down and saying “we have to agree that this is the way to go, we cannot keep repeating the same thing, we must enthrone a minimum ethical standard in order to have success”.
The law professor called for elite consensus, asking political elites, religious elites, and business elites to agree that “the country will utterly fail if we don’t accept and implement an ethical revolution.”
He called on educational institutions to instill the value of honesty, diligence, hard work, respect, trustworthiness, discipline, and integrity in their students in order to train young people with correct thinking.
Speaking about the 100th anniversary of the BBHS Alumni Association, Osinbajo said the school produced the late Obafemi Awolowo, MKO Abiola, former president Olusegun Obasanjo and chief Bola Ajibola, saying they are all exceptional personalities.