Ogunsakin: Integrity, Critical to Nigeria’s Socio-Economic Devt

- Bennett Oghifo

Integrity is critical to Nigeria’s socioecono­mic developmen­t, Tunde Ogunsakin, Assistant Inspector General of Police (Rtd) has said. Ogunsakin, who was the Chief Host/Chairman at the Nigerian Associatio­n of Christian Journalist­s (NACJ) awards night, held at the Sheraton Hotels and Towers, Ikeja, Lagos, recently, said “If things are done in the right way, the propensity to advance socially and economical­ly will be enhanced and incidences of fraud will be minimal.

“We should demand from our leaders, high standard of propriety and services, good conscience, which are common enemies of want, disease, and poverty, which are the enemies of the common man.”

He said the Nigerian people expect more dedication and transparen­cy from their leaders to fight the scourge of want and divisivene­ss, saying that the incidence of mass poverty permeated the Nigerian society.

Ogunsakin advised everybody who intends to pursue integrity to “strive to be the same person in front of the crowd as you are behind the scene. As the pressure is on, what is inside always comes out. It is at the point of crises that the true self comes out.”

According to Ogunsakin, “You can get to the top without integrity, in fact you can get there faster, but you can’t stay at the top long without integrity.”

AIG Ogunsakin, who was the Integrity Man of the Year 2013/2014, stated that NACJ award was a platform through which personalit­ies who have distinguis­hed themselves by showing high level of integrity are celebrated.

He said it was heartwarmi­ng that the wife of the President, Aisha Buhari was being honoured with “Integrity Woman of the Year 2018”, adding “wherever you find a great man you will find a great woman standing behind him.

“It is, therefore, not surprising that our mother, Mrs. Aisha Buhari is stand- ing behind His Excellency, President Muhammadu Buhari, a man who both nationally and internatio­nally is recognised as a man of integrity in all areas.”

He said the NACJ also found other Nigerians worthy of receiving the award, listing some of them: Governor of Katsina State, Aminu Bello Masari; and Deputy Governor of Imo State, Prince Eze Madumere.

Other recipients included: Senator Ben Murray-Bruce; Dr. Orji Uzor Kalu, former governor of Abia State; Mrs. Usiholo, Esele Judith of NNPC-NAPIMS; Mrs. Christiana­h Abosede Akindolie, Founder of Chritianah Fate Foundation; Felix Chidi Idiga, MD/CEO JAFAC Group; Dr. Uchechukwu Sampson Ogah; Mr. Babatunde Wilkey, CEO, Meat Embassy; Comptrolle­r Nike Oladuni of Nigerian Customs Service, among others.

Welcoming awardees and guests to the well-attended event, the Secretary General of NACJ, Mr. Charles Okhai said, “The associatio­n is not a Christian body for Christians. We are Christians who are journalist­s that are pledging to promote the nation called Nigeria. So, we don’t have religious divides.”

He said the associatio­n does not give awards as core responsibi­lity but that theirs was a crusade of sorts. “We are making a statement that somebody is watching you somewhere. We specifical­ly give this award to leaders who have been able to demonstrat­e that spirit of integrity. We don’t claim that our recipients are perfect people- far from it- in fact there is no perfect man on this earth; no man is infallible.”

He said, “We give the award to people who have been able to show that sense of integrity, give them the award to further encourage them.”

According to him, it would be difficult to curb corruption through arrests because “we believe that corruption stems from human character and mindset. So, what we are trying to do is touch our mindset, so that when you are conscious of it, then it will just be your way of life.”

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