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A PROJECT ON HOW INTEGRITY CAN BE TRANSLATED INTO ACTION The word integrity originates from the Latin word integer which literally means “whole” or “complete”. According to www.wikipedia.com, integrity is a concept of consistency of actions, values, methods, measures, principles, expectations, and outcomes. Integrity generally involves the adherence to a particular behavior or code of conduct which is considered by most to be right. During the classical period, scholars and statesmen were concerned so much about virtue and an acceptable life style considered by most to be appropriate, and most of all which do not negate the laws of natue. Emphasis was laid on the moral and ideal part of life rather than the material aspect; statesmen pursue reverence and glory with moral and astute political thoughts and actions. Integrity was something to be proud of and it exhibited in all of the Greco-Roman empire, Persian empire, and the traditional Africans which some of the influence we still enjoy today. The advent of civilization brought a halt to this perfect society of integrity and virtue, men became polluted, men started to lose their conscience and decadence started to evade mankind. Integrity can be understood both in practice and in theory; it is a corporeal concept as well as an abstract concept. Ethicist considers the issue of integrity to be more of the abstract but in the midst of modern political scientists and social scientists as a whole, integrity has been more of what we exhibit and see in our daily activities. Politically, integrity is a quintessential tool towards transparency, trust and good governance. Today, integrity has become a scarce commodity and it remains so even more in the African continent. Nevertheless, few individuals in the political corridor can boost of this scarce commodity. In the religious world, I see integrity as the soul of spirituality but today it is merely a farce. Hypocrisy and materialism cripples the religious leaders and I sometimes wonder if they even consider giving little credence to integrity. Integrity for me is more of action than theory or abstract. No matter who you are, what you do or where you are, integrity applies to you. If you are a teacher in a nursery school, why not show integrity by treating all your students equally and giving each of them what they deserve according to their performance. If you are a doctor, show integrity by respecting the Hippocratic Oath. A university lecturer should be upright in his relationship with students without any regard to gender or tribe and should access students with merit. Political office holders should bring integrity to action by fulfilling their manifestos and oath of office, and abstain from any malpractice. Students are not left out in the practicability of integrity, the avoidance of social vices and a strict principle of educational success is enough to show that we have a trait of the classical society. Integrity as a concept should not remain abstract but should have pragmatic relevance to our lives and nation at large. Great men who we have learnt about did not just become what they are; it took a huge chunk of integrity. Great men like Martin Luther King Jnr, Malcom X, Chinua Achebe, Gani Fawehimi, et al. Finally, the practicality of integrity is not a collective duty; it is more of a personal task. So anywhere one finds his or herself, integrity should be the cornerstone of whatever you do. It should be the template of human development which is lacking in our dear country Nigeria; it should be our guide towards a new and reformed nation.


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Practicalising integrity