By Emmanuel Acha
Enugu, Oct. 1, 2020 The Founder, Women Aid Collective (WACOL), Prof. Joy Ezilo, has called on Nigerians to imbibe national ethics and culture of patriotism in order to contribute to national development.
Ezilo said this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Enugu on Thursday, while reacting to the Independence anniversary speech of President Muhammadu Buhari.
She said the president’s speech raised questions about the manner Nigerians conduct themselves, corruption and indiscipline that diminish Nigeria as a nation.
“The president’s reference to the loss of moral rectitude struck a chord in me as this goes to the root of Nigeria’s problem, which is high corruption and lack of patriotism,” she said.
Ezilo, who is a former Dean, Faculty of Law, University of Nigeria, Enugu Campus, said that corruption was killing Nigeria and that the self-serving political class lacked patriotism.
“Buhari’s speech demonstrated an appreciation of how far we have come as a nation, the problems bedeviling Nigeria and expression of hope for a better and greater Nigeria.
“The president raised a lot of germane issues paramount in our survival as a nation, including peaceful co-existence, security, strengthening democratic institutions, rule of law and accountability,” she said.
Ezilo said that the reference to the recent election in Edo demonstrated Federal Government’s commitment to free and fair election.
“Also interesting was his affirmation of our diversity and the need for tolerance, equal opportunities, inclusiveness and the aspiration to lift 100 million Nigerians out of poverty in 10 years’ time.
“I think now is the time to confront our developmental challenges headlong with renewed determination to succeed.
“It is time to also re-consider the full implementation of the post-war policy of reconstruction, rehabilitation and reconciliation.
“We need to heal the wound and bring an end to the aftermath of the civil war,” she said.
Ezilo said it had become more compelling to build a Nigeria where every life would matter.
“As a Nigerian woman, I want to feel that my rights are respected and enforced.
“I want to live in a violence-free society and have the same opportunity as my male counterparts.
“ I want to be mainstreamed in the political and socio-economic affairs of Nigeria.
“As a mother and grandmother, I want a country my children and grandchildren will be proud of,” Ezilo said.
By Emmanuel Acha