Daily Trust (Abuja)

30 December 2012

Nigeria: Jonathan Blames Bad Attitude for Nation's Problems

President Goodluck Jonathan has stressed the need for attitudinal change among Nigerians for things to work and the country to make progress.

Jonathan, who spoke yesterday in Yenagoa during the burial of the former National Security Adviser, Gen. Oweye Azazi, said that corruption was not the only challenge to good governance.

Jonathan made the statement in reaction to a remark made by the Rt. Rev. Hyacinth Egbebo, the Catholic Bishop of Bomadi.

The clergyman had attributed the cause of accidents on Nigerian roads to bad roads created by corruption in government.

The president said, "If Nigerians would change their attitude, you will realise that most of these issues being attributed to corruption are not caused by corruption. Recently, I met with officials of the Federal Road Safety Corps who told me that they had discovered that majority of the road accidents are recorded on good roads. So you can see it is not a matter of corruption, it is an issue of the people's attitude."

In his tribute to Azazi, the president, who was accompanied by his wife, Patience, described the late general as a detribalised Nigerian, who believed in merit and competence.

"If 50 per cent of Nigerians would behave like late Azazi, believe me, this country will change for the better. I had no regret when I appointed him national security adviser, he was a good Nigerian," he said.

Jonathan urged Nigerians to emulate the good virtues of the late Azazi, who lived a life of service to his fatherland. "As we mourn Azazi, let us learn from his lifetime achievements to do what is right for the general good of our nation. Let us begin to pattern our lives in emulation of late Azazi's life of devotion and dedication to national service," he added.

In his tribute, Governor Chibuike Amaechi of Rivers State said the Niger Delta and Nigeria had lost a perfect military officer, whom he called 'General'.

The President of Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Pastor Ayo Oritsejafor, described Azazi as a man of integrity, whose laudable achievements in national service speaks volume.

In his tribute, the Chief of Army Staff, Lt.- Gen. Azubuike Ihejirika, who led other service chiefs to the funeral service, described the deceased as a 'firm and transparent Nigerian', who believed in merit.

Ihejirika said Azazi died with his lofty dreams of a modernised Niger Delta, which would help to transform the region to great economic power. The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the funeral service was attended by many dignitaries. They included service chiefs, traditional rulers and the former governors of Cross River and Bayelsa, Mr Donald Duke and Mr Diepreye Alamieyeseigha respectively.

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