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2.Meaning of integrity
3.Attributes of integrity
4.Example of people of integrity in the society
5.Need for people of integrity in society
We live in world where some people have lost their conscience and sense of fair play. Such people do evil things or commit crime, without minding what people say of them. We live in a world where people believe that “fair” is foul, foul is “fair” in the words of Shakespeare Macbeth. They therefore do things to take advantage of others. People in authority and even ordinary citizen do not honour agreement or promises, because, it favour them, not to do so. Our leader or those in authority amass undeserved or unmerited wealth, to the detriment of the welfare of citizens or the development of the community, state and the nation.
The above category of person and their action lack integrity.
Meaning of integrity
Integrity is that fine quality in a person which makes him/her to honour his word ,respect the feeling of others, or the public. It is noble character which makes a person to stand for justice and fair play. Integrity connotes high morals and conscience which make a person to do things rightly. It is therefore a quality of uprightness of character and refusal to do things because it favours the actor and hurts other persons.
A student demonstrates integrity by being truthful, honest, fair minded and disciplined. A leader demonstrates integrity by being, transparent and accountable to the people, and be shunning corruption and abuse of office.
Attributes Of Integrity
The attributes of qualities of integrity are:
1. Probity: This has to do with honest and uprightness of character. A person of integrity should be upright and transparent in his dealings. He/she would not take undue advantage in a matter to make gains at the expense of others. He leaves no one in doubt about the process of a transaction. He does not engages in “cover up” to undo or undermine others.
2. Honesty: Integrity has to do with Honesty. It is the quality of being reliable and dependable. An honest person does not tell lies, deceive or cheat his fellows. An honest student doesn’t engage in examination malpractice. A person of integrity does not tell lies to cover evil or wrong doing.
3. Contentment: This is the quality of being satisfied with what one has. It is a mark of integrity to be contented with what one has. It is the quality that makes a student to live within what parent can afford. It also makes students not to borrow in order to appear rich or comfortable. It prevents people from stealing or committing Crime in order to meet up with pears and neighbours.
4. Truthfulness: This is the quality of speaking the truth even when one is not favoured. A student is expected to say the truth even if he will be punished.”Truth is bitter” the saying goes. We must “speak the truth and shame the devil”. This quality makes one to stand for what is right and upright.
5. Fair Play: It is a mark of integrity the be fair to others. It is a quality of impartiality and open mindedness. We should not take sides in a dispute. Rather we should give the parties a “level playing ground”. This attribute prevents discrimination which brings about conflict and quarrels.
6. Non Compromise of Principle: Principles are moral rules of behaviour we believe are right. A person of integrity does not a bond on or go against such moral value no matter the situation of things around him. For example, a school principle will be compromising principles, if he does not punish or expel a student for stealing or for fighting his class teacher.
Examples Of People Of Integrity In The Society
1. Gani Fawehinmi (S A N ): Throughout his life, Gani Fawehinmi devoted attention to the cause of man, especially the down trodden. He fought against indiscipline,officer corruption and abuse of office. He fought against injustice and was exceptionally selfless. In the cause of all this, he suffered repression, denials, torture and imprisonment in the hands of the then military rulers of Nigeria. Gani would always be remembered for his selfless service to the nation. He was a great man of integrity.
2. Dr.Nnamdi Azikiwe and Sir Ahmad U Bello: These men made selfless contributions to nation building and the independence of Nigerian. They used their education, knowledge and talent of Nigeria. Unlike present day leaders in Nigeria, they did not use their position to accumulate wealth at the expense of the society and nation development.
3. Chief Obafemi Awolowo: Chief Awolowo lived a life of service of selflessness. He devoted his energy to uplift his people ad the nation. He wrote his name in gold and left great footprints in the sand of time.
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4. Abudulsalami Abubakar: Though he was a military ruler, he displayed great integrity when he conducted elections within one year in office as Head of state. He never allowed the allure of power and position to deceive him to stay put in power. He handed over power voluntarily to the elected government of Olusegun Obasanjo in 1999. He would always be remembered as a man of integrity, because he did not disappoint the expectation of Nigeria and the international community.
Need for People Of Integrity In Society
A society without men and women of integrity is doomed to fail. Life in such a society will be nasty, unjust and unprogressive. Integrity promotes social harmony, trust, discipline and mutual relationship among citizens. Integrity promotes merit. Persons of integrity keep agreement and this prevents conflicts. Therefore, society needs people of integrity for the following reasons;
1. Community Development: Men and women of integrity are need to champion command development, because they can be trusted and can command TV loyalty of the people. They are selfless in service and use the resources of public funds. Community development takes place when leader are sincere, honest and transparent. Also, when leader manage resources prudently.
2. Peace Co-existence: Integrity promotes peaceful co-existence. People can trust one another. Integrity promotes fair play, justice and merit. These are attribute which make people to live in peace with one another. Men and Women of integrity are peaceful and work for the growth of society.
3. Model for the Youths: The youths follow the footstep of their elders. Therefore men and women of integrity are needed as role model for the younger generation. The society benefits if the youths learn the good virtues and attributes of their elder men and women of integrity keep promise shun evil, corruption and social vices. The younger generation needs so much of this to form character.
4. Good Governance: People of integrity provide good governance. They are not corrupt. They are selfless and know that they must account to the people. They therefore render good service by utilizing the resource of society in a profitable manner to the people. When the righteous is on the throne, citizens enjoy the dividends of good governance, prosperity reigns, and there is progress.
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