VALUES, MORALS: KEY TO PEACEFUL CO-EXISTENCE, SAYS DISTINGUISHED LECTURER
The 8th Distinguished lecturer of the Institute of Public Policy and Administration (IPPA), University of Calabar, Senator Prof. Sandy Ojang Onor has posited that values, morals and norms are key to peaceful co-existence in any society.
Senator Prof Sandy Onor stated this at the Senate Chamber of the institution while delivering the 8th IPPA Distinguished Lecture titled, "Insecurity and National Unity in Nigeria: Righting the wrongs of Public Policy”.
He said in times of insecurity, uncertainty and confusion as currently witnessed in the country, we must re-examine the society's given frame of reference, including the values; philosophies, norms and policies that guide and moderate the conduct of public affairs.
According to him, as a country, we need to be constantly conscious that there are things that must be defended for peace, justice, dignity and the rule of law, stressing that, without core values and morals in our democratic process, we can't experience the needed peace we deserve as a country.
The Distinguished lecturer said the formation of the civil society and the enthronement of the rule law was meant to regulate and mediate the actions of men and women that could mar the march towards civilization and development.
He further informed that the insecurity and violence witnessed in the various geopolitical zones of Nigeria are products of bad governance, saying the escalating rate of youth restiveness, unemployment, poor infrastructure, corruption and ineptitude have made conditions of living near-impossible, even as life is fast becoming a burden for many people.
In his words, "All around us are overwhelming evidence of stark poverty; collapsing health, education, political and economic infrastructure resulting in the increasing pauperization and near elimination of the Nigeria middle class.
"There is also pollutions of values as shown in massive corruption, indiscipline, moral decadence and the resurgence of dangerous dimensions of ethnicity; Insecurity of life and property, and political violence.
He said Nigeria is currently passing through one of the most trying periods in her history in terms of insecurity despite the amount of money appropriated to the security sub-sector, stressing that, Nigeria's prospects of national security are bleaker than ever before.
Senator Sandy Onor said security is very critical to the existence and smooth running of any state maintaining that, the essence of the state is the promotion and creation of social, political and economic conditions that would enhance the welfare and wellbeing of the citizenry, but this has not been achieved because of the precarious security situation.
He Highlighted some of the major threats to national security to include; political threats, terrorism and human rights abuses; environmental or man-made threats, such as ecological changes, unemployment.
The distinguished lecturer said the desire to promote security and national unity in Nigeria must involve the taking and implementation of several actions, including but not limited to a deliberate move towards the creation of a society bound together by shared sentiments and outlook, resentment of institutionalizing the love of fair play, freedom and equality.
In her opening remarks, the Vice-Chancellor of the University of Calabar Prof. Florence Obi thanked the organizers of the event for coming up with an apt and timely topic that is geared towards peaceful co-existence.
Prof Florence obi who was represented by the Deputy Vice-Chancellor Administration, Prof. Michael Okom said she was particularly grateful for the feat recorded by IPPA led by its director, Prof. Eucharia Nwagbara, noting that, the gains of the Public lecture would be of great benefit in building the Nigeria state to unprecedented heights.
He said for the Nigeria state to be a safe habitat for all citizens, there must be a collective effort from all stakeholders to provide lasting solutions to the numerous problems confronting us, stressing that, insecurity and disunity in the country have, to a large extent, affected the growth and progress of the country.
Also speaking, the Director, Institute of Public Policy and Administration(IPPA), Prof. Eucharia Nwagbara said she was profoundly delighted to welcome guests to the 8th distinguished lecture.
She said that the lecture was unique in many ways, saying the topic of the lecture came at a time in the history of the country when issues of insecurity, threats to life and property, food insecurity, poverty, hunger, bad roads, poor health facilities, marginalization, insurgency have become a household concern.
She said though the federal government has policies that touch on every aspect of human endeavours, yet things are worsening by the day.
Some representatives of security agencies who spoke at the event said the security challenges in the country would soon be a thing of the past as pragmatic steps are currently being taken to nip the menace in the bud, even as they urged citizens to imbibe good values and adhere strictly to laid down rules governing the country.
The colourful and well-attended Public lecture featured the presentation of a memento the Distinguished lecturer by the Vice-Chancellor.
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