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Personal Discipline, Not Jailing Corrupt Officials Will Bring Change To Nigeria ~Ndu

 

As the Federal Government continues to evolve policies and actions aimed at fighting the menace of corruption in the country, Professor of Political Philosophy, Emenike Ndu, has argued that the battle against corruption will not be won by arresting and sentencing a few people to prison terms. On the contrary, it is only when the mindset of the average Nigerian changes that the country can effectively tackle the cankerworm that has been militating against national development.
He dropped the hint while delivering the 134th Inaugural Lecture of the University to a packed audience at the Ebitimi Banigo Auditorium, last Thursday.

Professor Ndu, whose Lecture was entitled, Live Body, Dead Soul: The Anatomy of Discipline, Corruption and Leadership, stated: “Given the lack of discipline and endemic corruption, the prognosis for Nigeria is dim and its future bleak.When the cataclysmic occurrences which have already begun will intensify and come to a head, the Almighty God in His mercy and for the sake of the remnants will lead those who hold the reins of power away from the paths of false statesmanship and politics onto the paths of philosophy and truth.” 
He berated the trending view that the problem with Nigeria was that of leadership, pointing out that “the leadership of any country does not grow on a tree from which it can be plucked, nor can it be imported into the country from outside, unless the country is under colonialism.”
The Inaugural Lecturer who established a direct relationship between the law and the state, described the law as the substance of the state. According to him, if the society is undisciplined and corrupt, it will correspondingly produce undisciplined and corrupt leaders as has been the case with Nigeria. “If the society is disciplined and upright, it will produce leaders of the same colour,” Ndu said, pointing out that Nigeria was not different from any other country in the world where citizens subject themselves to law and order. 
Professor Ndu, who was a one-time Acting Head of the Department of Political and Administrative Studies in the Faculty of Sciences, defined discipline as the “attribute of individuals, of the society, and of the state which creates and makes order possible in the society and the state,” warning that individuals must embrace internal and external disciplines if they hoped to become better citizens and dependable nation-builders.
The Inaugural Lecturer stated that “corruption is not only a matter of stealing money from the coffers of the State, or collecting bribes which lead a great many to think of corruption only in relation to politicians and the police,” pointing out that every act of indiscipline which has money as an end also represented an act of corruption that must be challenged. 

Professor Ndu also highlighted the upsurge of ethnic nationalities in the past four or five decades, the chaotic traffic situation in most cities, the reckless use of sirens and bullhorns as abnormalities that should be curbed to restore the country to orderly conduct. 
“We are faced with a situation in which high profile murders go unresolved, a situation where the Executive routinely disobeys judicial orders, carrying on as if the judiciary does not exist and where we find men of letters who make every attempt to rationalize the irrational even when the constitution has been violated, a situation where the judiciary flip-flops on issues with scant regard for judicial precedents; a situation where sensitive and strategic positions in government, business, commerce, industry and even in institutions of education are made on the basis of ethnic affiliations, a situation where a lecturer accepts to teach a course, appears in class twice or thrice in a whole semester and then sets an examination paper which cannot be answered from the lecture notes, a situation where importers commission producers in foreign countries to produce inferior goods which they the importers present and sell to their unsuspecting countrymen as the real McCoy at the price of the real thing,”  amongst others, as empirical facts that every facet of Nigeria's social life is in accord with the definition of corruption.
On his contribution to knowledge as a political theorist, the Inaugural Lecturer posited that he developed the concept of discipline as a social and political category. “My point has been that discipline is a sine qua non for the success of any social enterprise. As a political category, I have divided discipline into internal and external disciplines. When discipline is internal, it is the property of the individual citizen, and it is that quality of character which leads us to define a person as self-governed, self-regulated, self-restrained, cooperative, self-disciplined and other such adjectives which describe a well-adjusted and law-abiding citizen,” he said, arguing that discipline is external when it is the property of the community which is organised in political terms as the State. 
The Inaugural Lecturer averred that both internal and external disciplines which work together to ensure social control are needed to strengthen cordiality, rulership and the art of governance, reminding his audience that Plato conceived society and other social organisations on the principles of reciprocal satisfaction of social and economic needs.
“One point that needs to be stressed is Plato's teaching with regard to the Ideal and Reality. Many, especially the uninitiated, and there are lots and lots of them, including many who claim to specialize in political theory, fail to understand Plato's profound teaching. Plato produced three forms of the State. The first and the absolute best was in theRepublic. The second and second best form of the State occurs in the Statesman. The third and third best which is in fact closest to the contemporary state systems in Europe he produced in the Laws,” Professor Ndu submitted. 
In his remarks, the Vice-Chancellor, Professor Ndowa Lale, commended the Inaugural Lecturer for his incisive presentation, describing him as a man who combined several qualities in his professional life. “Professor Ndu did not just address us as a consummate political philosopher, he also spoke as clergyman with such an impressive oratory to hold the attention of his audience. In a society where many things have gone wrong, it is heartening to know that there are still voices that point to the right way of doing things in this country. The Inaugural Lecturer intrepidly combined political theory with ecclesiastical examples with finesse,” Professor Lale told the ecstatic audience that included the Inaugural Lecturer's younger brother and former Chief Judge of Rivers State, Justice Iche Ndu, amongst other heavyweights that graced the occasion.

 

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