President Muhammadu Buhari has said that before Nigerians demand to see the changes he promised them during the 2015 election, they must first change their own attitude by shunning corruption and other social vices.
He adds that change is not about economic or social progress, but it is in terms of citizens’ personal behaviour.
Buhari said this while delivering a speech at the inauguration of the national re-orientation campaign tagged, ‘Change Begins With Me’ in Abuja on Thursday.
The President acknowledged that Nigeria is currently passing through a challenging period where hardly anything works normally.
He lamented that honesty, hard work and godliness had given way to all kinds of manifestations of lawlessness and degeneration in our national life.
Buhari said, “Our citizens must realise that the change they want to see begins with them, and that personal and social reforms are not a theoretic exercise. If you have not seen the change in you, you cannot see it in others or even the larger society.
“In other words, before you ask ‘Where is the change they promised us?’, you must first ask, ‘How far have I changed my ways? What have I done to be part of the change for the greater good of society?’
The President said his government had done well in the fight against corruption, adding that the fresh campaign was a way of getting Nigerians to join in the struggle.
He added, “The campaign we are about to launch today is all about the need for us to see change, not merely in terms of our economic, social progress but in terms of our personal behaviour on how we conduct ourselves, engage our neighbours, friends and generally how we relate with the larger society in a positive and definitive way and manner that promotes our common good and common destiny, change at home, change in work place, change at traffic junction, change at traffic lights, etc.”
He said the value system of the nation had been eroded and that was why students would prefer to embrace cultism rather than face their studies. He said it was for the same reason youths were vandalising oil pipelines thus robbing the nation of much-needed resources.
Buhari said the disintegration of social values encouraged impunity and corruption in the public sector which ultimately led to the current economic recession.