Former President of Nigeria, Olusegun Obasanjo, on Friday, disclosed that one of the challenges affecting the progress of Nigeria is the displacement of the values of honesty and hard work by the love for money and other material things.
The elder statesman stated this in Ibadan, Oyo State capital, at the inauguration of the Prof Abayomi Oluwatosin Jiboku Building and Entrepreneurship Centre at the Lariken International College.
Obasanjo while speaking at the inauguration on Friday said the number of cars, as well as houses built by individuals, should not be used to rate their level of success but the lives they have touched.
The former president lamented that Nigerians have a strong desire for wealth than care for their neighbour.
Obasanjo further stated that nobody can buy his conscience, no matter the amount of money offered.
Obasanjo said, “One of the ways we have problems in our society today is the values we cherish. Money-making is the value now pervasive.
“In Yorubaland, money-making is not one of the values that we take to. Omoluabi, truthfulness, integrity, truth, industry and hard work were our values. Where have they gone? Why have we put them aside and all we are striving for is money? Where is honour in our values?
“Nowadays, anyone who has money can buy anything but not with me. If you have money, you cannot buy my conscience and support for anything. In any case, if you have all the money in the world, of what purpose will it be?
“How do you describe success? I define success as you making a place better than you met it. It is not the amount of money you have, not the number of houses built, not the number of cars you have. It is how much you have contributed to making a place better than you find it.”
He lauded the standards of the college while stressing that there was a need for the school curriculum to be designed for the training of both the mind and the hands.
Obasanjo said, “If we are going to get out of insecurity, banditry, Boko Haram, kidnapping and other criminalities, we will have a long gestation period of training and educating all Nigerian children.
“Education is the beginning of the life well-lived. God has given every one of us innate abilities. It is when those innate abilities are developed that we can be the best in our self-service, in the service of our nuclear and extended families, in the service of our community and the service of our nation and the world.”