The Director General, National Orientation Agency (NOA), Mr. Mike Omeri has condemned the attitude of some Nigerian civil societies who paint the wrong image of Nigeria outside the shores of this country to the detriment of our national image.
He made this known at the “Do the Right Thing: Campus Focus” attitude adjustment programme organized by the NOA at the University of Ibadan (UI) on Friday. He said it was unpatriotic and irresponsible for any Nigerian or group of Nigerians under any name to go abroad to speak ill of the country to the amusement of other nationals who will never paint a negative image of their own countries.
Mr. Omeri tasked Nigerian students to take on a new orientation of putting the nation first as an example to other Nigerians. He pointed out that “those who are doing the wrong things in Nigeria are not foreigners but Nigerians. So it is wrong for us to go out there to insult our country. Let us therefore take up the challenge of changing our orientation as Nigerians to begin to do the right thing rather than to insult our country, and that change can begin with the youth who are the future of our great nation”.
He said the goal of the Campus Focus programme of the NOA is to raise young undergraduates as role models for fellow youths and the Agency was proud to partner with the University of Ibadan because the institution had been engaged in doing the right thing through its Department of Social Orientation. He disclosed that the Agency was planning to make UI the official centre for the teaching of Patriotism, Ethics and Values since UI was a factory of knowledge interested in transforming the content of the knowledgebase of Nigerians towards positive attitudinal orientation.
In his own remarks, the Vice Chancellor, University of Ibadan, Professor Isaac Adewole noted that the concept of “Doing it Right the First Time” had been the guiding philosophy of the management of the institution, which philosophy it was promoting and inculcating in the students of the university. “We must work on our younger ones to imbibe the right values. If character is not there, then the knowledge base is not there. The university exits not just to produce graduates qualified in learning but also in character. The university reserves the right to withdraw its certificate at any time from any of its graduate who is found not worthy in character to carry its certificate”.
He called on student unions to jettison the mindset of what he called “we against them” and to adopt an orientation that recognizes that “it is our country and our university”, stressing that any vandalism of public property carried out in protests does not damage other people’s property as it were but the collective property of all Nigerians including the vandals. “Let’s stop destroying our country through vandalism because we have no other country but this one”, he admonished.
Earlier, during a courtesy visit by the NOA Director General, Prof. Adewole disclosed that the university was considering the establishment of a unit to propagate the “Do the Right Thing” concept as a character molding strategy for its students.
Resource persons who presented papers at the programme include Dr. Wale Okediran and Dr. Tony Marinho.