Mr Basheer Ariyo, a Senior Technologist at the University of Ilorin (Unilorin)a>) has called on public officers in the country to be honest in discharging their responsibilities and refrain from deceitful acts.
Making the appeal on Wednesday in Ilorin while speaking with newsmen, Ariyo urged government officials to see the office as “consignments entrusted on them”.
He reminded them that they would vacate such positions at a point in time and on which they would be questioned some day as to how they carried out their respective responsibilities.
“Dishonesty is a blight that has engendered so much corruption in the Nigerian society at large.
“Today, many believe government properties are individual inheritance and that is why you see many civil servants mismanaging properties of government in their different offices leaving aside their other bad attitudes to work.
“Everybody must deviate from all of these,” he advised.
Ariyo also urged Nigerian workers to emulate great personalities, such as Umar Al-Khattab, companion of Prophet Muhammad, who during his tenure as Caliph, used official pen to carry out only official duties and when he got home and needed to write anything personal, would use his personal pen.
He explained that when Umar was asked the reason for such act, he said “he would not want to be questioned on the Day of Judgment that he used the government property for his own personal purpose”.
He also cited a vice-chancellor of a Nigerian university who was once tempted by a parent who came for admission assistance for her child.
According to him, the woman brought a lot of provisions but the said vice-chancellor refused to take them as he told her that there are lots of people who need such provisions and that are a kind of bribe to him.
The UniIlorin technologist decried the belief of many public office holders who think that bribery was the order of the day and no formal responsibility could be carried out without bribery.
“People come together to organise thrift contribution but some among them are criminals who would struggle to get the first part of the contribution only to later refuse to continue with the contribution.
“Many people have been killed because they engaged in joint business because other partners connived against them. All of these are what people should refrain from,” he advised.
Ariyo also urged Nigerians not to turn getting into positions to a ‘do or die affair’, reminding them to know that “it is God Almighty who assigns whoever He wishes into different positions.
Besides, he urged Nigerian leaders to always question themselves before being questioned and emulate the political forefathers of Nigeria, such as Tafawa Balewa, Obafemi Awolowo, Ahmadu Bello and Nnamdi Azikiwe in the management of public funds and properties.