· Mission to salvage Nigeria’s value system
· Academy of Excellence, induction hold today
By Anote Ajeluorou
To say that Nigeria’s value system is in tatters may be an understatement. The stark reality of the assertion is visible in all spheres of life. Corruption in the body politic is rife; so much so that those saddled with responsibilities find it easier to shirk than execute them. The roads that get washed away after a few months of construction, the collapse of buildings, power failures and lack of discipline are all indicators of a warped value system.
While a majority throws up its hands in utter despair, some optimists like Mr. Kenneth Ebbi of Whitedove Publicity Limited and Mrs. Yvonne Ebbi of The Etiquette Place refuse to join the despairing lot. For them, a difference can still made to raise a community of excellent Nigerian citizens that can redeem the country’s image and place her on a path of dignity. To achieve this, they have set a Brand or Bland initiative to advance ‘Excellence in Motion’, which will help foster positive changes amongst Nigerians willing to take a leap of faith.
At the heart of the project is the desire to bring about a sound value system on which a solid foundation for society can be built. In a recent encounter with The Guardian, Mr. Ebbi stated, “The value system in Nigeria has gone down; excellence has been thrown away. You cannot build a society or country without value system. Countries like Singapore, Malaysia, and Japan built values into their citizens.
“It’s no longer news that excellence has been thrown away, done away with. The poor roads, collapsed buildings and poor power supply all have to do with ineptitude. It’s such a Herculian task to solve these problems because of wrong values in operation.
“There was discipline and training required in the core professions in those days, and they were regarded as honourable. But today, you’re not honourable if you’re not a politician; if you’re not a drug or 419 kingpin. This is the challenge before us. We must bring back value system and the spirit of excellence”.
To achieve this noble objective of redirecting the value system back to where it was amongst Nigerians, the Ebbis believe that excellence must be taught as a course for everyone to imbibe it in their system so it could be part of their lives. Ebbi noted that ‘excellence’ isn’t a happenstance, but a discipline that must be inculcated through training, mentoring and monitoring for it to have a firm root in people’s lives.
He argued, “We believe that excellence has to be, must be taught as a course. People have to be groomed to be excellent in all they do. If your ‘now’ isn’t excellent, your ‘future’ can’t be excellent; if you’re not excellent in the ‘now’, no way can society be excellent in the ‘future’. We have as motto: ‘Raising a community of excellent citizens’.”
TO raise this community of excellent citizens, Brand or Bland is working in conjunction with Terry Pruett’s XMO Global based in Houston, Texas, U.S. to train and induct in an inaugural symposium the first batch of excellent citizens. The symposium will also have eminent Nigerian role models who will subsequently mentor member migrants to the community. Intending members of the Excellent Community will be made to imbibe certain qualities of excellence and sound value system that will be further reinforced through mentoring from role models of impeccable character.
According to Ebbi, “People don’t just know how to live excellent lives. We’ll select role models like Deacon Gamaliel Onosode, Dr. Christopher Kolade, Onyeka Onwenu, Mike Friday (an inventor), Chief Segun Olusola, Alex Goma, Pastor John Elenamah, and Chief L.E.A. Aimiuwu for the intending members of the community to emulate. We’ll also occasionally convene a town hall meeting where younger members of the community will meet with role models in their field and learn from them sound ethics.
“The idea is for these role models to be able to replicate themselves as much as possible so as to create a better society, with the aim of creating the critical mass of citizens that can make a difference by applying themselves to a sound value system and excellence in society”.
At the inaugural symposium today, April 13, 2012, at Nigeria Institute of International Affairs, Victoria Island, Lagos, marketing guru, Aimiuwu will deliver the keynote on ‘Restoring the Culture of Excellence in the Business and Social Landscape’. It will be chaired by Onosode. Other contributory speakers, according to Ebbi, are Onosode, Olusola, Kolade, Pruett, Goma, Elenamah, and Pastor Poju Oyemade.
Also at the symposium, 50 Nigerians of excellent character will be recognised to form the first batch of role models for young Nigerians. Ebbi stated the aim of recognising the 50 personalities thus: “We will be able to transform the thinking of Nigerians towards excellence in society, change the mindset of those who are willing to be changed, that can be taught, and win them towards excellence with the aim of raising a critical mass to cause a change and as a yardstick to change the perception of Nigerians”.
Most of the training and mentoring will be done online and so virtual. Ebbi said the platform will serve as a portal that housed excellent citizens, and geared towards improving the quality of the human resource. He asserted his belief that “We can build an excellent country Nigeria, but it has to start with the individual.”
Ebbi also stressed that the Academy of Excellence will teach competence in the workplace, branding and etiquette. He stated also that the training and level of discipline required of members of the Excellent Community would be such that employment agencies could rely on such members for employment. But he also warned that there would be Excel Police to monitor members and sanction anyone found erring and in contravention of the rigorous value system required of them.
In stating his passion for the ‘Excellerate’ (accelerate your excellence) project, Ebbi remarked that his derived from a passion and love for his country Nigeria. He expressed, “I may not be able to save this country, but I can help a few. I’d like a few whose records are clean to come on board. I believe this nation can change. I want to mobilise people to create sustainable change. In fact, to see excellence in a country like Nigeria is a worthwhile duty!”