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Forsaking professional ethics leads to national disaster, says ex-PCA Salami


Justice Ayo Salami

Retired President of the Court of Appeal (PCA), Isa Ayo Salami, has said that Nigeria may be heading for destruction if professional ethics are not upheld.

The honourable justice stated this yesterday during the opening ceremony of the Committee of Heads of Internal Audit Departments in Nigerian Universities (CHIADINU) annual conference at Kwara State University (KWASU), Malete.

According to him, the nation is at the threshold of monumental disaster, with unchecked ethical breaches among others.

The revered retired justice, while delivering a keynote address entitled ‘Choosing Between Your Job and Integrity’, asserted that no profession is practised in Nigeria with due integrity.

“I want to say, at the risk of repetition but for the purpose of emphasis, that Nigeria is heading for doom if it fails to drastically deal with the chronic disease of lack of integrity in the practice of the professions. To my mind, all are practised with impunity, damming the consequences.

“All virtues such as courage, truthfulness, dutifulness, hard work, brilliance, skillfulness, competence and productivity are universal principles. In the same vein, their opposites such as stealing, idleness, falsehood, laziness, betrayal of trust, sharp practices, incompetence and recklessness stand condemned anywhere in the world. Nigeria cannot be an exception.

“The similitude of an auditor in an institution who compromises his duty is that of an insect living and feeding on the kola nut. The end of the kola nut is the end of the insect.

“Consequently, if I were you, I will cherish my integrity the same way, if not better than, I hold my job. You cannot do without the two. They are not replaceable or interchangeable. If I were you, I will value my integrity as I value my job. I will always be guided by the legacy I will love to leave behind rather than the wealth that those who don’t know how I acquired it would share after my departure from the surface of the earth.”

Earlier, the pioneer Vice Chancellor of KWASU, Prof. AbdulRasheed Na’Allah, expatiated the meaning of corruption in the academic environment to include sexual harassment and extortion of students.

Describing the internal audit of the university as virile and a system that could easily detect fraud, Na’Allah challenged Nigerian universities to assist in developing the nation, noting that tertiary institutions were primarily designed to serve as think-tank for the nation, not money-spinners.

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